Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Express, Inc. (EXPR) Anymore

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Is Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) a healthy stock for your portfolio? Investors who are in the know are becoming less hopeful. The number of long hedge fund bets were trimmed by 5 lately.

To most traders, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation today, we choose to focus on the leaders of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on most of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by watching their best investments, we have spotted a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per 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 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR)Just as important, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of stimuli for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action encompassing Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR).

How have hedgies been trading Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 19 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -21% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the most valuable position in Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR), worth close to $93.1 million, comprising 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is D. E. Shaw of D E Shaw, with a $20.7 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that are bullish include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Judging by the fact that Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) has faced declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there were a few fund managers who were dropping their full holdings last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Steven Tananbaum’s GoldenTree Asset Management dropped the biggest position of all the hedgies we key on, valued at close to $10.4 million in stock., and James Pallotta of Raptor Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $4.7 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 5 funds last quarter.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time frame, Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR). These stocks are Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB), Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN), The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE:MW), and Genesco Inc. (NYSE:GCO). This group of stocks are in the apparel stores industry and their market caps are closest to EXPR’s market cap.

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