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Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) Anymore – Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ), Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG)

Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) investors should pay attention to a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money lately.

Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG)

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are a multitude of indicators investors can use to analyze publicly traded companies. Some of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can beat the S&P 500 by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Equally as important, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of incentives for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a look at the key action encompassing Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG).

How have hedgies been trading Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG)?

At year’s end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -35% from the third quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital had the largest position in Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG), worth close to $12 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Two Sigma Advisors, managed by John Overdeck and David Siegel, which held a $8 million position; 0% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining peers that are bullish include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, David Harding’s Winton Capital Management and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

Due to the fact that Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) has faced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, we can see that there were a few hedge funds that decided to sell off their full holdings at the end of the year. Intriguingly, John A. Levin’s Levin Capital Strategies sold off the largest stake of all the hedgies we monitor, comprising about $98 million in stock.. Brian Taylor’s fund, Pine River Capital Management, also said goodbye to its stock, about $17 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 6 funds at the end of the year.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time frame, Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 14 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG). These stocks are Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS), Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ), Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG), Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG), and Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK). This group of stocks are in the asset management industry and their market caps are closest to PFG’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) 21 0 9
Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ) 23 0 6
Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG) 14 0 5
Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) 2 0 0
Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK) 11 0 0

With the returns shown by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, everyday investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG) is an important part of this process.

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