This Metric Says You Are Smart to Buy Foot Locker, Inc. (FL)

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Is Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) a safe investment today? Money managers are getting more bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund bets moved up by 1 recently.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are dozens of indicators investors can use to track stocks. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can beat the broader indices by a significant margin (see just how much).

Just as important, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the financial markets. Obviously, there are a number of stimuli for an executive to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the latest action regarding Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL).

How have hedgies been trading Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL)?

Foot Locker, Inc.In preparation for this quarter, a total of 31 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 3% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, holds the most valuable position in Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL). Citadel Investment Group has a $143.9 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Discovery Capital Management, managed by Rob Citrone, which held a $100.3 million position; the fund has 1.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC and David Keidan’s Buckingham Capital Management.

As industrywide interest jumped, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Discovery Capital Management, managed by Rob Citrone, assembled the most valuable position in Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL). Discovery Capital Management had 100.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC also made a $51.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new FL positions are Malcolm Fairbairn’s Ascend Capital, Sanford J. Colen’s Apex Capital, and Daniel Lascano’s Lomas Capital Management.

How are insiders trading Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time frame, Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL). These stocks are DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW), Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), and Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN). This group of stocks are in the apparel stores industry and their market caps are closest to FL’s market cap.

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