Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA)

Is Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) a safe investment today? Investors who are in the know are becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund positions rose by 7 lately.

At the moment, there are a multitude of indicators shareholders can use to watch Mr. Market. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best investment managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

Just as key, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of stimuli for a corporate insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if you understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, let’s take a gander at the key action regarding Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA).

How are hedge funds trading Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 26 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 37% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, PAR Capital Management, managed by Paul ReederáandáEdward Shapiro, holds the largest position in Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA). PAR Capital Management has a $69 million billion position in the stock, comprising 3% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, which held a $42 million position; the fund has 1.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Don Morgan’s Brigade Capital, Daniel S. Och’s OZ Management and Robert Emil Zoellner’s Alpine Associates.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, established the most outsized position in Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA). Balyasny Asset Management had 42 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Robert Emil Zoellner’s Alpine Associates also initiated a $13 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new ASCA investors: Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital, Jeffrey Smith’s Starboard Value LP, and Alexander Mitchell’s Scopus Asset Management.

What have insiders been doing with Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results exhibited by Insider Monkey’s studies, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) applies perfectly to this mantra.

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