American Science & Engineering, Inc. (ASEI): Insiders Are Dumping, Should You?

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American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI) investors should pay attention to a decrease in support from the world's most elite money managers in recent months.

American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI)In today’s marketplace, there are a multitude of gauges shareholders can use to analyze publicly traded companies. Some of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite hedge fund managers can trounce the broader indices by a superb margin (see just how much).

Just as key, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of stimuli for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With these "truths" under our belt, it's important to take a look at the recent action regarding American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI).

Hedge fund activity in American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI)

In preparation for this year, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -11% from the third quarter. With hedgies' sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the largest position in American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI). Renaissance Technologies has a $21 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates, with a $12 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Brian Bares's Bares Capital Management, Cliff Asness's AQR Capital Management and Joel Greenblatt's Gotham Asset Management.

Because American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI) has faced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, logic holds that there was a specific group of hedgies who were dropping their full holdings at the end of the year. It's worth mentioning that Charles Clough's Clough Capital Partners said goodbye to the largest investment of the 450+ funds we watch, comprising close to $2.4 million in stock.. Israel Englander's fund, Millennium Management, also said goodbye to its stock, about $0.5 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds at the end of the year.

How are insiders trading American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI)?

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let's also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI). These stocks are CompX International Inc. (NYSEAMEX:CIX), Brink'S Co (NYSE:BCO), Ascent Capital Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASCMA), Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc (NASDAQ:KTOS), and Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (NYSE:CKP). This group of stocks belong to the security & protection services industry and their market caps resemble ASEI's market cap.

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