Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love AMCOL International Corporation (ACO)?

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AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO) was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. ACO investors should be aware of an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 1 hedge funds in our database with ACO positions at the end of the previous quarter.

According to most shareholders, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, old financial vehicles of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds trading at the moment, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the crème de la crème of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total capital, and by paying attention to their best picks, we have found a number of investment strategies that have historically beaten the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are many motivations for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a look at the key action surrounding AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO).

Hedge fund activity in AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 400% from the third quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO)Of the funds we track, Dreman Value Management, managed by David Dreman, holds the largest position in AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO). Dreman Value Management has a $11.2 million position in the stock, comprising 0.3% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Israel Englander of Millennium Management, with a $1.8 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, initiated the most outsized position in AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO). Millennium Management had 1.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies also initiated a $0.7 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new ACO positions are Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

What have insiders been doing with AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time period, AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE:ACO). These stocks are McEwen Mining Inc (NYSE:MUX), U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (NYSE:SLCA), Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI), Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE:CLD), and Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ:GSM). All of these stocks are in the industrial metals & minerals industry and their market caps are similar to ACO’s market cap.

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