American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA): This Metric Says You Are Smart to Buy DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW)

DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW) was in 15 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. DSW shareholders have witnessed an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers recently. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with DSW positions at the end of the previous quarter.

DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW)In today’s marketplace, there are dozens of indicators investors can use to analyze Mr. Market. A duo of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can outpace the market by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of reasons for an executive to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a glance at the latest action regarding DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW).

How have hedgies been trading DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 15 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 50% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the most valuable position in DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW), worth close to $28 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Donald Chiboucis of Columbus Circle Investors, with a $28 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. SAC Capital Advisors, managed by Steven Cohen, established the most outsized call position in DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW). SAC Capital Advisors had 26 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also made a $13 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new DSW investors: Paul Hudson’s Glade Brook Capital Partners, Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

How have insiders been trading DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 7 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 DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW). These stocks are Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS), and Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA). All of these stocks are in the apparel stores industry and their market caps resemble DSW’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) 35 0 2
The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE) 7 0 4
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) 26 0 6
Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS) 23 0 7
Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA) 23 0 5

With the returns shown by our studies, everyday investors must always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW) is no exception.