Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG) Anymore

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in hedge fund interest in recent months.

In the eyes of most market participants, hedge funds are perceived as slow, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we at Insider Monkey look at the bigwigs of this club, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group controls the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by paying attention to their top stock picks, we have formulated a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see all of our picks from August).

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)

Just as important, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the world of equities. Obviously, there are lots of reasons for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the latest action regarding Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG).

How are hedge funds trading Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 44 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -6% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital had the largest position in Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG), worth close to $290.8 million, comprising 3.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, which held a $282.7 million position; the fund has 1.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Steven Richman’s East Side Capital (RR Partners), Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management and David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP.

Seeing as Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) has experienced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there lies a certain “tier” of hedge funds who were dropping their full holdings heading into Q2. At the top of the heap, Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management sold off the largest position of all the hedgies we monitor, totaling about $23.2 million in stock.. Robert Pohly’s fund, Samlyn Capital, also dropped its stock, about $22.8 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds heading into Q2.

Insider trading activity in Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time period, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG). These stocks are Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CINF), Everest Re Group Ltd (NYSE:RE), The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR), Cna Financial Corp (NYSE:CNA), and XL Group plc (NYSE:XL). This group of stocks are in the property & casualty insurance industry and their market caps are closest to HIG’s market cap.

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