American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bearish, What Should You Do?

Is American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT) a healthy stock for your portfolio? The smart money is getting less optimistic. The number of bullish hedge fund positions shrunk by 3 lately.

If you’d ask most stock holders, hedge funds are perceived as unimportant, outdated investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at present, we hone in on the leaders of this group, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by watching their top equity investments, we have figured out a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 trumped the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see all of our picks from August).

American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT)

Just as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. There are a number of reasons for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a gander at the key action surrounding American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT).

How have hedgies been trading American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT)?

At year’s end, a total of 33 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -8% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the most valuable position in American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT), worth close to $280 million, accounting for 0.4% of its total 13F portfolio. On Citadel Investment Group’s heels is Viking Global, managed by Andreas Halvorsen, which held a $234 million position; 6.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Charles Akre’s Akre Capital Management, Thomas Steyer’s Farallon Capital and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management.

Seeing as American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT) has witnessed a declination in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few hedge funds that decided to sell off their full holdings heading into 2013. Intriguingly, Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital dumped the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, valued at about $85 million in stock.. Louis Navellier’s fund, Navellier & Associates, also dumped its stock, about $72 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds heading into 2013.

How have insiders been trading American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time frame, American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results exhibited by our studies, everyday investors must always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT) is no exception.

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Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.