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Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (BTI) Anymore – Lorillard Inc. (LO), Altria Group Inc (MO)

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Is British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI) a marvelous investment now? Prominent investors are getting less optimistic. The number of long hedge fund positions were cut by 3 lately.

British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI)

To the average investor, there are a multitude of indicators market participants can use to watch their holdings. A couple of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite money managers can beat their index-focused peers by a significant amount (see just how much).

Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of incentives for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if you know what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a glance at the key action regarding British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI).

Hedge fund activity in British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI)

In preparation for this year, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -25% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

Of the funds we track, Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, holds the most valuable position in British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI). Fisher Asset Management has a $338 million position in the stock, comprising 0.9% of its 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management’s heels is Tom Russo of Gardner Russo & Gardner, with a $224 million position; the fund has 3.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Seeing as British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI) has witnessed a declination in interest from the smart money, logic holds that there were a few funds that slashed their entire stakes at the end of the year. Intriguingly, David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments dumped the largest stake of all the hedgies we track, valued at an estimated $1 million in stock.. Israel Englander’s fund, Millennium Management, also dumped its stock, about $1 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds at the end of the year.

How have insiders been trading British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSEAMEX:BTI). These stocks are Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR), Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO), Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI), Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO), and Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM). All of these stocks are in the cigarettes industry and their market caps resemble BTI’s market cap.

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