Is Libbey Inc. (LBY) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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LIBBEY INC Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY) shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late.

If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, old investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we choose to focus on the upper echelon of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their highest performing picks, we have unearthed a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see the details here).

Just as key, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are a number of incentives for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the key action encompassing Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY).

What have hedge funds been doing with Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY)?

At year’s end, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 40% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, “Richard S. Meisenberg’s ACK Asset Management had the most valuable position in Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY), worth close to $14 million, comprising 6.8% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Wynnefield Capital, managed by Nelson Obus, which held a $6.4 million position; 2.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedgies that are bullish include Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Consequently, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, established the largest position in Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY). Citadel Investment Group had 0.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

How have insiders been trading Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time frame, Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY). These stocks are Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE:NWL), Jarden Corp (NYSE:JAH), Acme United Corporation (NYSEAMEX:ACU), and Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ:HELE). This group of stocks are in the housewares & accessories industry and their market caps resemble LBY’s market cap.

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