Hedge Funds Are Selling Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK)

Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) was in 25 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. VRSK shareholders have witnessed a decrease in hedge fund interest lately. There were 29 hedge funds in our database with VRSK holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK)

If you’d ask most traders, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old financial tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading today, we at Insider Monkey look at the crème de la crème of this group, about 450 funds. It is estimated that this group controls the majority of the smart money’s total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing picks, we have determined a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outclassed the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as key, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a number of motivations for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the key action encompassing Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK).

What have hedge funds been doing with Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 25 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -14% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the biggest position in Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK), worth close to $121 million billion, comprising 0.4% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Panayotis æTakisÆ Sparaggis of Alkeon Capital Management, with a $117 million position; 0.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and David Blood and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.

Due to the fact that Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) has witnessed falling interest from hedge fund managers, logic holds that there was a specific group of money managers who were dropping their full holdings at the end of the year. Intriguingly, Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital said goodbye to the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, valued at close to $21 million in stock.. SAC Subsidiary’s fund, Sigma Capital Management, also sold off its stock, about $20 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds at the end of the year.

What have insiders been doing with Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last half-year time frame, Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 11 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns shown by our tactics, everyday investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK) applies perfectly to this mantra.

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