Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN) was in 15 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. UN shareholders have witnessed a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. There were 15 hedge funds in our database with UN positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In the financial world, there are dozens of gauges investors can use to watch their holdings. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN)

Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the stock market universe. There are plenty of incentives for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a glance at the key action encompassing Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN).

How are hedge funds trading Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 15 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Tom Russo’s Gardner Russo & Gardner had the most valuable position in Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN), worth close to $316 million, accounting for 4.3% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Osterweis Capital Management, managed by John Osterweis, which held a $84 million position; the fund has 3.7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers with similar optimism include Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, John A. Levin’s Levin Capital Strategies and Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital.

Since Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN) has witnessed falling interest from the smart money, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of hedgies that slashed their positions entirely heading into 2013. It’s worth mentioning that Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC dropped the largest stake of all the hedgies we key on, valued at close to $13 million in stock., and Israel Englander of Millennium Management was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $0 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How are insiders trading Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time period, Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results shown by the aforementioned studies, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN) is no exception.

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