Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI): Insiders Are Dumping, Should You? – Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO), Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB)

Is Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI) an exceptional investment right now? The best stock pickers are taking a bullish view. The number of bullish hedge fund bets went up by 5 recently.

In the financial world, there are plenty of metrics investors can use to track publicly traded companies. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can trounce the market by a significant margin (see just how much).

Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI)Just as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are a number of stimuli for a bullish insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a look at the key action encompassing Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI).

What have hedge funds been doing with Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 19 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 36% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Pzena Investment Management, managed by Richard S. Pzena, holds the biggest position in Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI). Pzena Investment Management has a $47 million position in the stock, comprising 0.4% of its 13F portfolio. On Pzena Investment Management’s heels is Yale M. Fergang and Robert W. Medway of Royal Capital, with a $37 million position; the fund has 9.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds with similar optimism include John C. Walker’s Stonerise Capital Management, Charles de Vaulx’s International Value Advisers and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. MFP Investors, managed by Michael Price, established the most outsized position in Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI). MFP Investors had 1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital also initiated a $0 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new VCI investors: Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

How are insiders trading Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI). These stocks are Millennial Media, Inc. (NYSE:MM), MDC Partners Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:MDCA), Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO), National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI), and Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB). All of these stocks are in the marketing services industry and their market caps resemble VCI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Millennial Media, Inc. (NYSE:MM) 14 0 25
MDC Partners Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:MDCA) 8 1 1
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO) 11 0 1
National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) 15 0 0
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB) 19 0 6

With the results exhibited by our research, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Valassis Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCI) applies perfectly to this mantra.