At Insider Monkey, we track over 700 of the most successful hedge funds in the world and analyze their top stock picks so as to gain insight into their collective buying habits. Despite redemptions totaling about $67 billion this year, hedge funds’ assets under management have risen to $3.24 trillion thanks to gains of 5.44% this year. While hedge funds continue to underperform the market, we have found that they excel at picking stocks on the long side of their portfolios, while generally not faring as well with their other investments, which drags down their overall returns. For example, their top-30 mid-cap stock picks delivered 18% returns during the 12-month period ended November 21, 2016, while the S&P 500 Index posted gains of less than half that (7.6%). This is why we share the top picks and trends among the group of hedge funds that we follow with readers, and why in this article, we’ll see how they’ve recently traded Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS).
Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2016. AXS investors should pay attention to an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. There were 11 hedge funds in our database with AXS holdings at the end of the previous quarter. At the end of this article we will also compare AXS to other stocks including People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT), Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL), and Tesoro Logistics LP (NYSE:TLLP) to get a better sense of its popularity.
At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.
How are hedge funds trading Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS)?
Heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, a total of 13 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, an increase of 18% from the second quarter of 2016. On the other hand, there were a total of 20 hedge funds with a bullish position in AXS at the beginning of this year. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management has the number one position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS), worth close to $265 million, accounting for 1.6% of its total 13F portfolio. On Pzena Investment Management’s heels is AQR Capital Management, led by Cliff Asness, holding a $96.3 million position. Other members of the smart money with similar optimism contain Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management. We should note that none of these hedge funds are among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.