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Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (ELS) Anymore: Post Properties Inc (PPS), Hatteras Financial Corp. (HTS)

Is Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) an outstanding investment today? The best stock pickers are selling. The number of long hedge fund positions stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience

David Shaw

In today’s marketplace, there are tons of indicators shareholders can use to track Mr. Market. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top hedge fund managers can outpace the broader indices by a solid margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the stock market universe. There are a number of reasons for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action encompassing Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS).

How are hedge funds trading Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, D E Shaw, managed by D. E. Shaw, holds the most valuable position in Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS). D E Shaw has a $87 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. On D E Shaw’s heels is Jeffrey Furber of AEW Capital Management, with a $55 million position; the fund has 1.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Due to the fact that Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) has experienced bearish sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there were a few money managers that decided to sell off their entire stakes last quarter. Intriguingly, Thomas Bailard’s Bailard Inc sold off the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, worth close to $1 million in stock. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) has seen 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 Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS). These stocks are Post Properties Inc (NYSE:PPS), Hatteras Financial Corp. (NYSE:HTS), BRE Properties Inc (NYSE:BRE), Mid America Apartment Communities Inc (NYSE:MAA), and Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HME). All of these stocks are in the reit – residential industry and their market caps match ELS’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Post Properties Inc (NYSE:PPS) 10 0 5
Hatteras Financial Corp. (NYSE:HTS) 10 3 0
BRE Properties Inc (NYSE:BRE) 12 1 0
Mid America Apartment Communities Inc (NYSE:MAA) 7 0 0
Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HME) 8 1 10

With the returns shown by the aforementioned strategies, retail investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) is an important part of this process.

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