SLM Corp (SLM): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bearish, What Should You Do?

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SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) was in 30 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. SLM has seen a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately. There were 35 hedge funds in our database with SLM holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

According to most stock holders, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, old financial tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds in operation today, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the moguls of this group, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on most of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by monitoring their top picks, we have discovered a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM)Just as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of reasons for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action surrounding SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM).

What have hedge funds been doing with SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 30 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -14% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM)According to our comprehensive database, Jonathon Jacobson’s Highfields Capital Management had the biggest position in SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM), worth close to $675.5 million, comprising 6.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is David Abrams of Abrams Capital Management, with a $308.1 million position; 29.9% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

Since SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) has experienced a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of money managers who sold off their entire stakes heading into Q2. Interestingly, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management dumped the largest stake of all the hedgies we key on, comprising about $11.8 million in stock.. David Costen Haley’s fund, HBK Investments, also said goodbye to its stock, about $2.4 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 5 funds heading into Q2.

What have insiders been doing with SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM)?

Insider buying is best served when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time frame, SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM). These stocks are Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), and CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT). This group of stocks are the members of the credit services industry and their market caps are similar to SLM’s market cap.

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