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Is Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK) A Good Stock To Buy?

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Hedge funds and other investment firms run by legendary investors like Israel Englander and Ray Dalio are entrusted to manage billions of dollars of accredited investors’ money because they are without peer in the resources they use to identify the best investments for their chosen investment horizon. Moreover, they are more willing to invest a greater amount of their resources in small-cap stocks than big brokerage houses, and this is often where they generate their outperformance, which is why we pay particular attention to their best ideas in this space.

Is Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) a buy, sell, or hold? Money managers are in a bearish mood. The number of long hedge fund bets were trimmed by 2 recently. At the end of this article we will also compare VRSK to other stocks including Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT), SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC), and McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.

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How have hedgies been trading Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2016, a total of 23 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, an 8% drop from one quarter earlier. Smart money ownership has trended down throughout the last year, though within a narrow range. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

HedgeFundSentimentChart

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Akre Capital Management, managed by Charles Akre, holds the number one position in Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK). Akre Capital Management has a $210.2 million position in the stock, comprising 4% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, with a $127.1 million position. Other members of the smart money that hold long positions encompass Brian Bares’ Bares Capital Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, and Robert Joseph Caruso’s Select Equity Group.

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