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Hedge Funds Are Selling Assurant, Inc. (AIZ)

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Is Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) a bargain? Money managers are becoming less hopeful. The number of bullish hedge fund bets fell by 2 in recent months.

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ)

At the moment, there are tons of metrics market participants can use to watch stocks. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can trounce the market by a significant margin (see just how much).

Just as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are lots of motivations for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action regarding Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ).

Hedge fund activity in Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ)

Heading into Q2, a total of 16 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -11% from the first quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management had the largest position in Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ), worth close to $75.5 million, comprising 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Abrams Capital Management, managed by David Abrams, which held a $67.5 million position; the fund has 6.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management, Peter Adam Hochfelder’s Brahman Capital and Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital.

Due to the fact that Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) has experienced a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there was a specific group of hedgies that decided to sell off their positions entirely in Q1. It’s worth mentioning that Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors dropped the largest investment of the 450+ funds we monitor, totaling about $5.6 million in stock.. SAC Subsidiary’s fund, CR Intrinsic Investors, also dumped its stock, about $4.7 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds in Q1.

Insider trading activity in Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time frame, Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ). These stocks are PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO), AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), Unum Group (NYSE:UNM), StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:SFG), and CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO). All of these stocks are in the accident & health insurance industry and their market caps match AIZ’s market cap.

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