Hedge Funds Are Buying Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC)

Is Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) the right pick for your portfolio? Prominent investors are buying. The number of long hedge fund positions moved up by 3 lately.

In the eyes of most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as slow, old investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the masters of this club, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group controls most of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by watching their top picks, we have discovered a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see the details here).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. There are a number of motivations for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if you know where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action regarding Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC).

Hedge fund activity in Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC)

At year’s end, a total of 25 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 14% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, East Side Capital (RR Partners), managed by Steven Richman, holds the most valuable position in Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC). East Side Capital (RR Partners) has a $172 million position in the stock, comprising 9.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $49 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies that are bullish include Michael Messner’s Seminole Capital (Investment Mgmt), Sander Gerber’s Hudson Bay Capital Management and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management.

As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Seminole Capital (Investment Mgmt), managed by Michael Messner, assembled the most valuable position in Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC). Seminole Capital (Investment Mgmt) had 36 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Joe DiMenna’s ZWEIG DIMENNA PARTNERS also initiated a $17 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new LNC positions are Brian Taylor’s Pine River Capital Management, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, and Douglas W. Case’s Advanced Investment Partners.

How are insiders trading Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 7 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns shown by the aforementioned research, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) is an important part of this process.

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Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.