Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Citigroup Inc. (C)

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was in 118 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. C shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately. There were 112 hedge funds in our database with C holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

In the financial world, there are plenty of gauges shareholders can use to watch the equity markets. A couple of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can trounce the broader indices by a significant margin (see just how much).

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C)Just as key, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a number of reasons for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a gander at the key action encompassing Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C).

What does the smart money think about Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 118 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 5% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Pzena Investment Management, managed by Richard S. Pzena, holds the most valuable position in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). Pzena Investment Management has a $397.6 million position in the stock, comprising 2.8% of its 13F portfolio. On Pzena Investment Management’s heels is Appaloosa Management LP, managed by David Tepper, which held a $376.9 million position; the fund has 8% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds with similar optimism include William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management.

As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. Blue Ridge Capital, managed by John Griffin, created the most valuable position in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). Blue Ridge Capital had 206.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin’s Senator Investment Group also initiated a $132.7 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new C investors: Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors, and Jeffrey Tannenbaum’s Fir Tree.

How are insiders trading Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C)?

Insider buying is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) has experienced 2 unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). These stocks are Toronto-Dominion Bank (USA) (NYSE:TD), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (ADR) (NYSE:MTU), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). This group of stocks are the members of the money center banks industry and their market caps match C’s market cap.

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