Written by Rebecca Lipman

It's like the holy trinity of bullish sentiment: Stocks that have the bullish backing of three groups of informed and influential investors. When this is the case, main street investors would be wise to take note.

Institutions: Institutional investors are also known as "big money" investors or managers. They represent big pools of money such as investment banks, pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, endowment funds, etc. Because institutional investors handle such large amounts of money, it is easy enough to assume that the big money managers know what they are doing - or at the very least know more than the average investor.

Insiders: Many analysts follow insider buying trends because, after all, insiders know more about their companies than anyone else. Their investment activity is closely monitored and can tell us a lot about where they feel the business is heading. Companies experiencing insider buying over the past six months provide an indicator that insiders think the stock is undervalued at current levels.

Short Sellers: Short selling is an investment technique that allows an investor to make money when the value of a stock falls. Because short selling requires borrowing, an individual or institution must meet several requirements (including background checks) to engage in short selling. Thus, in general, short sellers are more sophisticated than the average investor. When short sellers start reducing their short positions, it's a sign they believe the share price has more upside to price in than down.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in market cap over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below.




Business Section: Investing Ideas

The following nine companies have seen net positive buying from institutional buyers in the current quarter, insider buyers in the last six months, and short covering month-over-month.

Do they have your vote of confidence too? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. KiOR, Inc. (Nasdaq: KIOR): Focuses on operating as a renewable fuels company. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 3.14M, which is 19.51% of the company's 16.10M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 14.9M shares, which represents about 92.55% of the company's float of 16.10M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 2.54M to 2.29M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.55% of the company's float of 16.10M shares.

2. Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP): Provides digital wireless services under the 'Cricket' brand name in the United States. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 8.01M, which is 16.41% of the company's 48.80M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 5.6M shares, which represents about 11.48% of the company's float of 48.80M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 12.39M to 9.93M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 5.04% of the company's float of 48.80M shares.

3. Cumulus Media Inc. (Nasdaq: CMLS): Engages in the acquisition, operation, and development of commercial radio stations in the United States. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 8.55M, which is 14.98% of the company's 57.07M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 28.2M shares, which represents about 49.41% of the company's float of 57.07M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 10.60M to 9.78M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.44% of the company's float of 57.07M shares.

4. Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: PCRX): Engages in the development, commercialization, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 689.48K, which is 7.55% of the company's 9.13M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.0M shares, which represents about 21.91% of the company's float of 9.13M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 1.91M to 1.78M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.42% of the company's float of 9.13M shares.

5. Vistaprint N.V. (Nasdaq: VPRT): Operates as an online provider of marketing products and services to micro businesses worldwide. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 613.55K, which is 2.01% of the company's 30.59M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 4.3M shares, which represents about 14.06% of the company's float of 30.59M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 11.08M to 10.30M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 2.55% of the company's float of 30.59M shares.

6. Endeavour International Corporation (NYSE: END): Engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 431.0K, which is 1.92% of the company's 22.43M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 5.0M shares, which represents about 22.29% of the company's float of 22.43M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 6.28M to 5.86M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.87% of the company's float of 22.43M shares.

7. Universal Display Corp. (Nasdaq: PANL): Engages in the research, development, and commercialization of organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies and materials for use in flat panel display, solid-state lighting, and other product applications. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 406.91K, which is 1.30% of the company's 31.24M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 3.0M shares, which represents about 9.6% of the company's float of 31.24M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 13.45M to 12.53M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 2.94% of the company's float of 31.24M shares.

8. Hanmi Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: HAFC): Operates as the holding company for Hanmi Bank that provides general business banking products and services in the United States. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 273.50K, which is 1.19% of the company's 22.89M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.2M shares, which represents about 9.61% of the company's float of 22.89M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 1.28M to 1.00M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.22% of the company's float of 22.89M shares.

9. Meru Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: MERU): Engages in the development and marketing of a virtualized wireless LAN solution. Net insider shares purchased over the last six months at 78.49K, which is 0.87% of the company's 9.04M share float. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 1.3M shares, which represents about 14.38% of the company's float of 9.04M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 2.74M to 2.19M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 6.08% of the company's float of 9.04M shares.

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Disclosure: Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, insider and short data from Yahoo! Finance.

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