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Highwoods Properties Inc (HIW): Insiders Are Buying, Should You?

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Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. HIW investors should be aware of a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 6 hedge funds in our database with HIW positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW)

If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are seen as slow, old investment tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we hone in on the moguls of this group, about 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by monitoring their highest performing stock picks, we have unsheathed a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are lots of stimuli for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action regarding Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW).

What have hedge funds been doing with Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -17% from the third quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the largest position in Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW). Renaissance Technologies has a $7.4 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ascend Capital, managed by Malcolm Fairbairn, which held a $6.7 million position; the fund has 0.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Because Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) has faced a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of funds that slashed their full holdings at the end of the year. It’s worth mentioning that D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw dumped the largest stake of the 450+ funds we track, comprising about $2 million in stock., and Mike Vranos of Ellington was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds at the end of the year.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 7 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Highwoods Properties Inc (NYSE:HIW). These stocks are Mack Cali Realty Corp (NYSE:CLI), Kilroy Realty Corp (NYSE:KRC), Brookfield Canada Office Properties (NYSE:BOXC), CommonWealth REIT (NYSE:CWH), and Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM). This group of stocks are in the reit – office industry and their market caps match HIW’s market cap.

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