Is FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG) an attractive investment right now? Money managers are becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund bets moved up by 2 recently.
According to most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as slow, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are over 8000 funds trading today, we at Insider Monkey look at the top tier of this group, close to 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group has its hands on the lion’s share of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing picks, we have uncovered a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).
Just as integral, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are lots of reasons for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).
Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the recent action surrounding FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG).
What does the smart money think about FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG)?
At the end of the first quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 40% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.
Of the funds we track, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors had the most valuable position in FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG), worth close to $1.8 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by D E Shaw, managed by D. E. Shaw, which held a $0.9 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.
With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, established the most outsized position in FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG). Arrowstreet Capital had 0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Gregory Fraser Rudolph Kluiber and Timothy Krochuk’s GRT Capital Partners also initiated a $0.3 million position during the quarter.
How are insiders trading FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG)?
Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG). These stocks are Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH), Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE), Tower Group International Ltd (NASDAQ:TWGP), Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:AGII), and MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG). This group of stocks belong to the property & casualty insurance industry and their market caps match FFG’s market cap.