This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) – Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ARP), VistaPrint Limited (NASDAQ:VPRT)

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest recently.

In today’s marketplace, there are plenty of indicators market participants can use to track stocks. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a solid margin (see just how much).

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY)

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are lots of reasons for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a glance at the latest action encompassing Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY).

How have hedgies been trading Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -8% from the third quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors had the most valuable position in Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY), worth close to $22 million, comprising 0.2% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $21 million position; 0.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds that are bullish include Brian Taylor’s Pine River Capital Management, Malcolm Fairbairn’s Ascend Capital and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Judging by the fact that Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) has witnessed falling interest from hedge fund managers, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of hedge funds that slashed their entire stakes heading into 2013. Intriguingly, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies dropped the largest position of the 450+ funds we watch, totaling an estimated $5 million in stock.. Richard Driehaus’s fund, Driehaus Capital, also said goodbye to its stock, about $4 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 1 funds heading into 2013.

Insider trading activity in Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) has experienced 1 unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY). These stocks are ABM Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ABM), Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CATM), Interval Leisure Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IILG), Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ARP), and VistaPrint Limited (NASDAQ:VPRT). This group of stocks are the members of the business services industry and their market caps are closest to HPY’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
ABM Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ABM) 10 0 4
Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CATM) 9 1 5
Interval Leisure Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IILG) 9 0 0
Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ARP) 8 1 0
VistaPrint Limited (NASDAQ:VPRT) 9 3 3

With the returns demonstrated by the aforementioned research, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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