Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Guess?, Inc. (GES) Anymore

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Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late.

To the average investor, there are tons of gauges shareholders can use to monitor Mr. Market. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can beat the broader indices by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Just as key, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. There are a number of incentives for a corporate insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action regarding Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES).

Hedge fund activity in Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES)

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -17% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably.

Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES)According to our comprehensive database, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the largest position in Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), worth close to $103.3 million, accounting for 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $22.6 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedgies that hold long positions include Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, Joseph A. Jolson’s Harvest Capital Strategies and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Seeing as Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) has faced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, it’s easy to see that there lies a certain “tier” of funds that elected to cut their full holdings in Q1. Interestingly, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw sold off the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, worth an estimated $10.7 million in stock., and Michael Doheny of Freshford Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $8.9 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 2 funds in Q1.

How are insiders trading Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time frame, Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES). These stocks are Wacoal Holdings Corporation (ADR) (NASDAQ:WACLY), DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW), Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS), The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE:MW), and The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE). This group of stocks are in the apparel stores industry and their market caps resemble GES’s market cap.

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