MFA Financial, Inc. (MFA): Insiders Are Buying, Should You?

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MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA) was in 21 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. MFA has seen an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 16 hedge funds in our database with MFA positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In today’s marketplace, there are dozens of methods market participants can use to watch their holdings. Some of the most under-the-radar 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 elite hedge fund managers can outpace the market by a healthy amount (see just how much).

MFA Financial, Inc.

Just as integral, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a variety of incentives for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if you understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action regarding MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA).

How have hedgies been trading MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 21 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 31% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Pine River Capital Management, managed by Brian Taylor, holds the largest position in MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA). Pine River Capital Management has a $23.1 million position in the stock, comprising 0.5% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $21.7 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedge funds that hold long positions include Carl Goldsmith and Scott Klein’s Beach Point Capital Management, James Melcher’s Balestra and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

As aggregate interest increased, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, established the most outsized position in MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA). Renaissance Technologies had 11.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also made a $10 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital, and Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital.

What have insiders been doing with MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA) has seen 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 MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA). These stocks are Newcastle Investment Corp. (NYSE:NCT), Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:STWD), Douglas Emmett, Inc. (NYSE:DEI), Retail Properties of America Inc (NYSE:RPAI), and Chimera Investment Corporation (NYSE:CIM). All of these stocks are in the reit – diversified industry and their market caps match MFA’s market cap.

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