Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) Anymore

American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI)Is American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI) worth your attention right now? The best stock pickers are in a bearish mood. The number of long hedge fund positions dropped by 3 recently.

At the moment, there are plenty of gauges market participants can use to track publicly traded companies. A pair of the most innovative 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 outperform their index-focused peers by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the marketplace. Obviously, there are a number of incentives for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action encompassing American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI).

What does the smart money think about American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -38% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Brian Bares’s Bares Capital Management had the biggest position in American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI), worth close to $39.3 million, comprising 6.9% of its total 13F portfolio. On Bares Capital Management’s heels is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $7.1 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Amy Minella’s Cardinal Capital, Lisa Rapuano’s Lane Five Capital and Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates.

Because American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI) has faced a declination in interest from the smart money, we can see that there was a specific group of money managers that elected to cut their entire stakes in Q4. Interestingly, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management said goodbye to the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we track, worth an estimated $0.4 million in stock., and Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0.4 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds in Q4.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last half-year time period, American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI). These stocks are Performant Financial Corp (NASDAQ:PFMT), COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), Examworks Group, Inc. (NYSE:EXAM), Green Dot Corporation (NYSE:GDOT), and Comverse Inc (NASDAQ:CNSI). All of these stocks are in the business services industry and their market caps resemble APEI’s market cap.