Is ICF International Inc (ICFI) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds? – Exponent, Inc. (EXPO), Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NCI)

ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI) has seen an increase in enthusiasm from smart money recently.

ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI)

To most investors, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we hone in on the top tier of this group, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by keeping an eye on their top picks, we have identified a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. There are a number of incentives for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a glance at the key action regarding ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI).

What have hedge funds been doing with ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 13% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Third Avenue Management, managed by Martin Whitman, holds the most valuable position in ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI). Third Avenue Management has a $37.9 million position in the stock, comprising 0.8% of its 13F portfolio. On Third Avenue Management’s heels is Gotham Asset Management, managed by Joel Greenblatt, which held a $1.5 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Andy Redleaf’s Whitebox Advisors and Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital.

Consequently, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Gotham Asset Management, managed by Joel Greenblatt, established the most valuable position in ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI). Gotham Asset Management had 1.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also initiated a $0.7 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a new position in the stock is Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital.

How are insiders trading ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time period, ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI). These stocks are Wageworks Inc (NYSE:WAGE), Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO), Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:NCI), Standard Parking Corporation (NASDAQ:STAN), and Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ:RECN). This group of stocks belong to the management services industry and their market caps are similar to ICFI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Wageworks Inc (NYSE:WAGE) 9 1 8
Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) 4 1 6
Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:NCI) 11 0 3
Standard Parking Corporation (NASDAQ:STAN) 2 2 11
Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ:RECN) 13 0 2

With the returns shown by our time-tested strategies, retail investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and ICF International Inc (NASDAQ:ICFI) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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