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Is Huron Consulting Group (HURN) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months.


In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are seen as slow, old financial tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at present, we look at the aristocrats of this group, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group has its hands on the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by tracking their best picks, we have found a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see the details here).

Just as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of motivations for a bullish insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if shareholders know what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a gander at the key action regarding Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN).

What does the smart money think about Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors had the largest position in Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN), worth close to $16.3 million, comprising 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Prescott Group Capital Management, managed by Phil Frohlich, which held a $3.3 million position; the fund has 0.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Gregory Fraser, Rudolph Kluiber, and Timothy Kroch’s GRT Capital Partners.

Since Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN) has experienced falling interest from hedge fund managers, it’s safe to say that there exists a select few hedgies who were dropping their entire stakes last quarter. Intriguingly, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management cut the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we track, totaling about $0.5 million in stock. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Insider trading activity in Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN)

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time frame, Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN). These stocks are FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:FCN), Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:NCI), Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO), Wageworks Inc (NYSE:WAGE), and Accretive Health, Inc. (NYSE:AH). This group of stocks are in the management services industry and their market caps resemble HURN’s market cap.

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