Willbros Group Inc (WG): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bearish, What Should You Do?

Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG) has experienced a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers recently.

In the financial world, there are dozens of methods investors can use to track Mr. Market. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can outclass the market by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the world of equities. Obviously, there are plenty of motivations for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a look at the recent action surrounding Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG).

How are hedge funds trading Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG)?

At year’s end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -8% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Tontine Asset Management, managed by Jeffrey Gendell, holds the biggest position in Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG). Tontine Asset Management has a $8.2 million position in the stock, comprising 2.1% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates, with a $5.5 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other peers with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Phil Frohlich’s Prescott Group Capital Management and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Due to the fact that Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG) has faced a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of fund managers that decided to sell off their positions entirely heading into 2013. At the top of the heap, Joseph Vidich’s Manalapan Oracle Capital Management said goodbye to the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, comprising close to $0.5 million in stock., and Mike Vranos of Ellington was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds heading into 2013.

How have insiders been trading Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG). These stocks are WSP Holdings Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WH), Synergy Resources Corp (NYSEAMEX:SYRG), Basic Energy Services, Inc (NYSE:BAS), and Tesco Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ:TESO). All of these stocks are in the oil & gas equipment & services industry and their market caps are closest to WG’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
WSP Holdings Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WH) 2 0 0
Synergy Resources Corp (NYSEAMEX:SYRG) 4 2 0
Basic Energy Services, Inc (NYSE:BAS) 9 3 3
Tesco Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ:TESO) 13 0 2

With the results shown by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, retail investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Willbros Group Inc (NYSE:WG) is no exception.

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