UGI Corp (UGI): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock? – Ameren Corp (AEE), TransAlta Corporation (USA) (TAC)

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UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI) was in 12 hedge funds' portfolio at the end of December. UGI shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world's largest hedge funds lately. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with UGI holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Credit: UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI)

In the eyes of most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as underperforming, outdated financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open today, we choose to focus on the crème de la crème of this club, about 450 funds. It is estimated that this group controls the lion's share of all hedge funds' total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing stock picks, we have identified a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we've began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are many motivations for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if "monkeys" understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let's take a peek at the key action encompassing UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI).

What does the smart money think about UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI)?

At year's end, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 20% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Adage Capital Management, managed by Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson, holds the largest position in UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI). Adage Capital Management has a $36 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Carlson Capital, managed by Clint Carlson, which held a $27.3 million position; 0.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Chuck Royce's Royce & Associates, Ric Dillon's Diamond Hill Capital and Israel Englander's Millennium Management.

As aggregate interest increased, key money managers were leading the bulls' herd. Adage Capital Management, managed by Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson, created the largest position in UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI). Adage Capital Management had 36 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies also made a $10.6 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Glenn Russell Dubin's Highbridge Capital Management and David Costen Haley's HBK Investments.

How have insiders been trading UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI)?

Insider buying is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time period, UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI) has seen 3 unique insiders purchasing, and 4 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 UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI). These stocks are Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE), Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC), TransAlta Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TAC), NV Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NVE), and Westar Energy Inc (NYSE:WR). This group of stocks are the members of the diversified utilities industry and their market caps are closest to UGI's market cap.

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