West Coast Bancorp (WCBO): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

Is West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) a buy right now? Prominent investors are selling. The number of bullish hedge fund bets retreated by 3 in recent months.

West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO)If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be slow, old investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the bigwigs of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group controls the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by paying attention to their highest performing investments, we have brought to light a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 (see the details here).

Just as beneficial, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a variety of stimuli for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a peek at the key action surrounding West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO).

How have hedgies been trading West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -30% from one quarter earlier.

Seeing as West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) has faced a declination in interest from the smart money, we can see that there is a sect of money managers that elected to cut their positions entirely last quarter. At the top of the heap, Sander Gerber’s Hudson Bay Capital Management cut the biggest stake of all the hedgies we monitor, worth about $5.2 million in stock.. Matthew Lindenbaum’s fund, Basswood Capital, also said goodbye to its stock, about $2.9 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds last quarter.

How are insiders trading West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time frame, West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns exhibited by the aforementioned studies, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) is an important part of this process.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds