PICO Holdings Inc (PICO): Insiders Aren’t Crazy About It But Hedge Funds Love It

Now, according to many market players, hedge funds are perceived as overrated, outdated investment vehicles of an era lost to time. Although there are In excess of 8,000 hedge funds with their doors open today, Insider Monkey aim at the crème de la crème of this group, about 525 funds. It is assumed that this group oversees the majority of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by monitoring their highest quality picks, we’ve come up with a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped the S&P 500. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (find the details here).

Equally as useful, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to analyze the financial markets. Obviously, there are plenty of stimuli for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO)

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to examine the latest info surrounding PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO).

How are hedge funds trading PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO)?

At Q2’s end, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 13% from the first quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully.

When using filings from the hedgies we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the largest position in PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO), worth close to $43.1 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Gruss Asset Management, managed by Howard Guberman, which held a $5.6 million position; 0.6% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other peers that are bullish include Zeke Ashton’s Centaur Capital Partners, Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

As industrywide interest increased, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, created the most outsized position in PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO). Royce & Associates had 43.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Howard Guberman’s Gruss Asset Management also initiated a $5.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Zeke Ashton’s Centaur Capital Partners, Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

How are insiders trading PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO)?

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also examine the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to PICO Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PICO). These stocks are Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ), CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO), StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:SFG), Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:EIHI), and Triple-S Management Corp.(NYSE:GTS). This group of stocks are in the accident & health insurance industry and their market caps match PICO’s market cap.