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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) – FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG), Tower Group International Ltd (NASDAQ:TWGP)

Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) was in 14 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. HTH shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with HTH holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH)

To the average investor, there are a multitude of methods market participants can use to track Mr. Market. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top hedge fund managers can trounce the S&P 500 by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are many incentives for a corporate insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action regarding Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH).

What have hedge funds been doing with Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 14 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 40% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the biggest position in Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH), worth close to $14 million, accounting for 0% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Gregory Bylinsky and Jefferson Gramm of Bandera Partners, with a $11 million position; the fund has 6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital, Jonathon Jacobson’s Highfields Capital Management and Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have jumped into Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) headfirst. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, initiated the most outsized position in Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH). Millennium Management had 1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management also initiated a $1 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Geoffrey Raynor’s Q Investments (Specter Holdings) and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time period, Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) has experienced 3 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 Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH). These stocks are Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI), FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG), MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG), Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:AGII), and Tower Group International Ltd (NASDAQ:TWGP). This group of stocks are the members of the property & casualty insurance industry and their market caps are closest to HTH’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI) 5 0 4
FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG) 5 0 9
MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG) 20 6 1
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:AGII) 9 0 2
Tower Group International Ltd (NASDAQ:TWGP) 7 1 2

With the returns exhibited by our research, everyday investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) is an important part of this process.

Click here to learn more about Insider Monkey’s Hedge Fund Newsletter

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