Boston Beer Co Inc (SAM): This Metric Is Screaming ‘Sell, Sell, Sell’

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Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM) investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund sentiment in recent months.

If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are viewed as unimportant, outdated investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we at Insider Monkey look at the elite of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group oversees the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing equity investments, we have determined a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see the details here).

Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM)

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the investments you’re interested in. There are a variety of incentives for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a gander at the key action surrounding Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM).

How have hedgies been trading Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM)?

At year’s end, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -25% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, holds the most valuable position in Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM). Fisher Asset Management has a $50.1 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Mario Gabelli of GAMCO Investors, with a $15.7 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Judging by the fact that Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM) has witnessed a declination in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there were a few funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes at the end of the year. At the top of the heap, Roberto Mignone’s Bridger Management sold off the largest position of all the hedgies we key on, worth an estimated $10.2 million in stock.. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s fund, Arrowstreet Capital, also sold off its stock, about $1.8 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds at the end of the year.

Insider trading activity in Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM)

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 11 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM). These stocks are China New Borun Corp (NYSE:BORN), Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP), Compania Cervecerias Unidas S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:CCU), and Vina Concha y Toro S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:VCO). All of these stocks are in the beverages – brewers industry and their market caps resemble SAM’s market cap.

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