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Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Metlife Inc (MET)

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Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) was in 56 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. MET investors should pay attention to an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers lately. There were 52 hedge funds in our database with MET positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)

According to most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as underperforming, old investment tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at present, we hone in on the bigwigs of this club, close to 450 funds. It is estimated that this group controls most of the smart money’s total capital, and by tracking their top stock picks, we have found a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the world of equities. There are a number of incentives for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if shareholders know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a glance at the recent action surrounding Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET).

Hedge fund activity in Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)

At Q1’s end, a total of 56 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 8% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Pzena Investment Management, managed by Richard S. Pzena, holds the biggest position in Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET). Pzena Investment Management has a $311 million position in the stock, comprising 2.2% of its 13F portfolio. On Pzena Investment Management’s heels is Lee Ainslie of Maverick Capital, with a $181.8 million position; the fund has 2.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP, Jeffrey Tannenbaum’s Fir Tree and John A. Levin’s Levin Capital Strategies.

As industrywide interest jumped, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Maverick Capital, managed by Lee Ainslie, created the biggest position in Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET). Maverick Capital had 181.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jeffrey Tannenbaum’s Fir Tree also made a $155.7 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin’s Senator Investment Group, Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management, and Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET). These stocks are China Life Insurance Company Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:LFC), Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC), Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU), ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING), and Prudential Public Limited Company (ADR) (NYSE:PUK). This group of stocks are in the life insurance industry and their market caps resemble MET’s market cap.

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