Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF): One Metric You Should Be Watching

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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund interest lately.

To the average investor, there are dozens of gauges shareholders can use to watch the equity markets. Two of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can trounce their index-focused peers by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as key, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. There are lots of incentives for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if shareholders know what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a peek at the latest action surrounding Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF).

What have hedge funds been doing with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 23 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 5% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

These Are The Most Shorted S&P 500 StocksAccording to our comprehensive database, SAC Capital Advisors, managed by Steven Cohen, holds the largest position in Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF). SAC Capital Advisors has a $115.6 million position in the stock, comprising 0.6% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is D E Shaw, managed by D. E. Shaw, which held a $47.6 million call position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers with similar optimism include Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management.

Now, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. Alyeska Investment Group, managed by Anand Parekh, created the largest position in Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF). Alyeska Investment Group had 19.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Alexander Mitchell’s Scopus Asset Management also initiated a $4.7 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new CLF investors: Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management, Michael Novogratz’s Fortress Investment Group, and Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates.

How have insiders been trading Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF). These stocks are Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ:ARLP), Tahoe Resources Inc (NYSE:TAHO), Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE:NRP), Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP), and Titanium Metals Corp (NYSE:TIE). This group of stocks belong to the industrial metals & minerals industry and their market caps are closest to CLF’s market cap.

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