Is American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was in 52 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. AXP investors should pay attention to an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 50 hedge funds in our database with AXP positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In today’s marketplace, there are many indicators market participants can use to monitor their holdings. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outclass the market by a significant margin (see just how much).

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)Just as important, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the marketplace. Obviously, there are plenty of motivations for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a gander at the latest action surrounding American Express Company (NYSE:AXP).

What does the smart money think about American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 52 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 4% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Berkshire Hathaway, managed by Warren Buffett, holds the most valuable position in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). Berkshire Hathaway has a $8.715 billion position in the stock, comprising 11.6% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jean-Marie Eveillard of First Eagle Investment Management, with a $576 million position; 8.6% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedgies that are bullish include Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, John Armitage’s Egerton Capital Limited and Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors.

Consequently, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Egerton Capital Limited, managed by John Armitage, initiated the most valuable position in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). Egerton Capital Limited had 229 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital also made a $103 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new AXP positions are Thomas Steyer’s Farallon Capital, George Soros’s Soros Fund Management, and Joe DiMenna’s ZWEIG DIMENNA PARTNERS.

Insider trading activity in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)

Insider buying is best served when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time period, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 14 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns shown by our time-tested strategies, everyday investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) applies perfectly to this mantra.

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