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Should You Avoid Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI)? – GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE:GPX), TAL Education Group (ADR) (NYSE:XRS)

Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months.

To the average investor, there are tons of gauges investors can use to analyze Mr. Market. A couple of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top money managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a superb amount (see just how much).

Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI)

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are many motivations for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a look at the key action surrounding Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI).

Hedge fund activity in Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI)

At year’s end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -8% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Wilmot B. Harkey and Daniel Mack’s Nantahala Capital Management had the largest position in Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI), worth close to $14 million, accounting for 2.3% of its total 13F portfolio. On Nantahala Capital Management’s heels is Robert Pitts of Steadfast Capital Management, with a $12 million position; the fund has 0.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Michael Price’s MFP Investors and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Because Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI) has witnessed falling interest from hedge fund managers, we can see that there exists a select few funds who were dropping their entire stakes at the end of the year. Interestingly, Wilmot B. Harkey and Daniel Mack’s Nantahala Capital Management dumped the largest position of all the hedgies we monitor, valued at close to $3 million in call options. Israel Englander’s fund, Millennium Management, also dumped its stock, about $1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 1 funds at the end of the year.

How are insiders trading Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI)?

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time frame, Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero 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 Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI). These stocks are TAL Education Group (ADR) (NYSE:XRS), New Oriental Education & Tech Grp (ADR) (NYSE:EDU), GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE:GPX), Education Management Corp (NASDAQ:EDMC), and Strayer Education Inc (NASDAQ:STRA). This group of stocks belong to the education & training services industry and their market caps resemble BPI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
TAL Education Group (ADR) (NYSE:XRS) 5 0 0
New Oriental Education & Tech Grp (ADR) (NYSE:EDU) 7 0 0
GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE:GPX) 8 2 4
Education Management Corp (NASDAQ:EDMC) 6 1 0
Strayer Education Inc (NASDAQ:STRA) 7 2 5

With the returns demonstrated by the aforementioned tactics, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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