Hedge Funds Are Dumping Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS)

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Is Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) a good investment?

To the average investor, there are a multitude of indicators investors can use to track publicly traded companies. Two of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can beat the broader indices by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to analyze the marketplace. Obviously, there are a number of stimuli for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss the newest info about Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS).

Hedge fund activity in Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS)

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 18 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -14% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

According to our 13F database, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management had the most valuable position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS), worth close to $262.3 million, accounting for 1.7% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $59.8 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining peers that are bullish include Michael Messner’s Seminole Capital (Investment Mgmt), Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital.

Since Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) has experienced declining interest from the top-tier hedge fund industry, we can see that there were a few funds that elected to cut their entire stakes at the end of the second quarter. Interestingly, Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital dropped the largest investment of the 450+ funds we key on, worth close to $11.7 million in stock, and Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $8.1 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds at the end of the second quarter.

Insider trading activity in Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS)

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also take a look at the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS). These stocks are American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG), HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC), W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB), Partnerre Ltd (NYSE:PRE), and Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). This group of stocks are the members of the property & casualty insurance industry and their market caps are similar to AXS’s market cap.

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