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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Buy American Campus Communities, Inc. (ACC)

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American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC) was in 14 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. ACC investors should pay attention to an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with ACC positions at the end of the previous quarter.

American Campus Communities, Inc.

In the eyes of most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be worthless, outdated financial tools of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we hone in on the elite of this club, close to 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by paying attention to their best stock picks, we have revealed a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are a number of incentives for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a peek at the recent action surrounding American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC).

What have hedge funds been doing with American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 14 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 8% from the first quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw had the most valuable position in American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC), worth close to $44.1 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Jeffrey Furber of AEW Capital Management, with a $37.2 million position; the fund has 0.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have jumped into American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC) headfirst. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, established the most valuable position in American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC). Balyasny Asset Management had 5.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also initiated a $3.1 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a new position in the stock is David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments.

Insider trading activity in American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC)

Insider buying is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time period, American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC) has experienced 2 unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC). These stocks are Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT), Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS), Apartment Investment and Management Co. (NYSE:AIV), Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE:SNH), and Two Harbors Investment Corp (NYSE:TWO). This group of stocks are in the reit – residential industry and their market caps match ACC’s market cap.

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