Citigroup Inc. (C): The Data Screaming ‘Buy, Buy, Buy’

Is Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) a buy, sell, or hold? The best stock pickers are getting more bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund bets went up by 5 lately.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C)

At the moment, there are many indicators shareholders can use to monitor publicly traded companies. A duo of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can outperform the broader indices by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are lots of incentives for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a gander at the key action regarding Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C).

Hedge fund activity in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 108 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 5% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP had the biggest position in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), worth close to $363.7 million, accounting for 7.9% of its total 13F portfolio. On Appaloosa Management LP’s heels is Pzena Investment Management, managed by Richard S. Pzena, which held a $358.1 million position; 2.9% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include George Soros’s Soros Fund Management, Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management and Ken Heebner’s Capital Growth Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Steadfast Capital Management, managed by Robert Pitts, assembled the most outsized position in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). Steadfast Capital Management had 99.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Dinakar Singh’s TPG-AXON Management LP also initiated a $79.8 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Sean Cullinan’s Point State Capital, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, and George Soros’s Soros Fund Management.

Insider trading activity in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C)

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time period, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) has seen 2 unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). These stocks are Toronto-Dominion Bank (USA) (NYSE:TD), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (ADR) (NYSE:MTU), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). This group of stocks are the members of the money center banks industry and their market caps are closest to C’s market cap.