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NiSource Inc. (NI): Why Are Top Investors Fleeing?

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Hedge funds run by legendary names like Nelson Peltz and David Tepper make billions of dollars a year for themselves and their super-rich accredited investors (you’ve got to have a minimum of $1 million liquid to invest in a hedge fund) by spending enormous resources on analyzing and uncovering data about small-cap stocks that the big brokerage houses don’t follow. Small-caps are where they can generate significant out-performance. That’s why we pay special attention to hedge fund activity in these stocks.

Is NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) a good investment right now? The sinking sentiment among top money managers says no. The number of bullish hedge fund positions were trimmed by 7 in Q3. NiSource Inc. was in 23 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. There were 30 hedge funds in our database with NiSource Inc. positions at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE:ATO), OneMain Holdings Inc (NYSE:LEAF), and Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) to gather more data points.

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In today’s marketplace there are many signals investors have at their disposal to value stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar signals are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can trounce their index-focused peers by a significant margin (see the details here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the latest action regarding NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI).

Hedge fund activity in NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI)

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 23 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a 23% fall from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management has the largest position in NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI), worth close to $136.9 million, comprising 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. On Millennium Management’s heels is Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, with an $82.1 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other members of the smart money with similar optimism comprise Stuart J. Zimmer’s Zimmer Partners, Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

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