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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Stifel Financial Corp. (SF)?: Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (USA) (OPY), Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG)

Is Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF) going to take off soon? Money managers are getting less bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund bets stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience

Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF)

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Equally as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the stock market universe. There are lots of motivations for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a gander at the key action regarding Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF).

What does the smart money think about Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF)?

At year’s end, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the biggest position in Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF), worth close to $121 million, comprising 0.4% of its total 13F portfolio. On Royce & Associates’s heels is Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, which held a $29 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Drew Cupps’s Cupps Capital Management and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

Seeing as Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF) has faced a declination in interest from the smart money, logic holds that there was a specific group of money managers that elected to cut their full holdings in Q4. Intriguingly, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw dumped the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we monitor, comprising an estimated $1 million in stock., and Ben Levine, Andrew Manuel and Stefan Renold of LMR Partners was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $1 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Insider trading activity in Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF)

Insider buying is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF). These stocks are Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (USA) (NYSE:OPY), Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG), Investment Technology Group (NYSE:ITG), Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE:RJF), and Greenhill & Co., Inc. (NYSE:GHL). This group of stocks are the members of the investment brokerage – regional industry and their market caps are similar to SF’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (USA) (NYSE:OPY) 6 0 0
Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG) 13 0 1
Investment Technology Group (NYSE:ITG) 11 0 2
Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE:RJF) 18 2 10
Greenhill & Co., Inc. (NYSE:GHL) 6 0 0

With the returns demonstrated by the aforementioned research, retail investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF) applies perfectly to this mantra.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds