Hedge Funds Are Betting On Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (AHT): FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (FCH), Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc (BEE)

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Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund sentiment recently.

In the financial world, there are many methods shareholders can use to watch Mr. Market. A couple of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can beat their index-focused peers by a superb amount (see just how much).

Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc.

Just as key, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to break down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of stimuli for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the recent action surrounding Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT).

How are hedge funds trading Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 43% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, Forward Management, managed by J. Alan Reid, Jr., holds the largest position in Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT). Forward Management has a $18.3 million position in the stock, comprising 1.3% of its 13F portfolio. On Forward Management’s heels is Robert Jaffe of Force Capital, with a $8.1 million position; the fund has 1.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Andy Redleaf’s Whitebox Advisors and Alex von Furstenberg and Mal Serure’s Arrow Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Whitebox Advisors, managed by Andy Redleaf, assembled the largest position in Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT). Whitebox Advisors had 2.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Alex von Furstenberg and Mal Serure’s Arrow Capital Management also initiated a $2.1 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new AHT investors: Anthony Bozza’s Lakewood Capital Management, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

How are insiders trading Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time frame, Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero 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 Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT). These stocks are DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE:DRH), Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc (NYSE:BEE), Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB), Chesapeake Lodging Trust (NYSE:CHSP), and FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (NYSE:FCH). This group of stocks belong to the reit – hotel/motel industry and their market caps are closest to AHT’s market cap.

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