Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love SWS Group, Inc. (SWS)?

SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS) was in 7 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. SWS shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund interest recently. There were 5 hedge funds in our database with SWS positions at the end of the previous quarter.

SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS)

At the moment, there are tons of methods shareholders can use to monitor the equity markets. A duo of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Just as important, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are many incentives for a bullish insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if you know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a peek at the latest action surrounding SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS).

How are hedge funds trading SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 40% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

Of the funds we track, Phil Frohlich’s Prescott Group Capital Management had the biggest position in SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS), worth close to $4.9 million, comprising 1.3% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is James Dondero of Highland Capital Management, with a $4.8 million position; 0.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedgies with similar optimism include Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital.

As aggregate interest increased, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Wexford Capital, managed by Charles Davidson, established the most outsized position in SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS). Wexford Capital had 0.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management also made a $0.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

How are insiders trading SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time frame, SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 1 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 SWS Group, Inc. (NYSE:SWS). These stocks are Siebert Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:SIEB), Investment Technology Group (NYSE:ITG), Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG), Palmetto Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:PLMT), and Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (USA) (NYSE:OPY). All of these stocks are in the investment brokerage – regional industry and their market caps are closest to SWS’s market cap.