Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Argan, Inc. (AGX)?

Is Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX) a worthy stock to buy now? The best stock pickers are in an optimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions increased by 4 recently.

Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX)

In today’s marketplace, there are tons of methods shareholders can use to watch the equity markets. A couple of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best hedge fund managers can trounce the market by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are lots of incentives for an upper level exec to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a gander at the key action surrounding Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX).

How have hedgies been trading Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 133% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the biggest position in Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX), worth close to $4.8 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Robert B. Gillam of McKinley Capital Management, with a $1 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedgies with similar optimism include Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital, Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

Now, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Hutchin Hill Capital, managed by Neil Chriss, assembled the most valuable position in Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX). Hutchin Hill Capital had 0.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management also made a $0.6 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Mike Vranos’s Ellington, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.

How have insiders been trading Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX)?

Insider buying is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time period, Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX) has experienced zero 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 Argan, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:AGX). These stocks are Layne Christensen Company (NASDAQ:LAYN), Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ:GLDD), Matrix Service Co (NASDAQ:MTRX), Orion Marine Group, Inc. (NYSE:ORN), and Sterling Construction Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRL). This group of stocks are in the heavy construction industry and their market caps match AGX’s market cap.