Should You Avoid Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (AHL)?

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Is Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL) the right pick for your portfolio? Hedge funds are in a pessimistic mood. The number of long hedge fund positions were cut by 4 recently.

In the financial world, there are tons of indicators investors can use to watch Mr. Market. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can outperform the market by a significant amount (see just how much).

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL)Just as important, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the financial markets. There are lots of motivations for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a look at the key action surrounding Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL).

Hedge fund activity in Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL)

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 18 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -18% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Greenlight Capital, managed by David Einhorn, holds the biggest position in Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL). Greenlight Capital has a $189.6 million position in the stock, comprising 2.9% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, which held a $74.2 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedgies that are bullish include Anthony Bozza’s Lakewood Capital Management, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management and David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management.

Due to the fact that Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL) has experienced bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, we can see that there were a few fund managers who sold off their full holdings at the end of the first quarter. At the top of the heap, Zeke Ashton’s Centaur Capital Partners cut the largest investment of the 450+ funds we key on, valued at close to $3.2 million in stock., and D. E. Shaw of D E Shaw was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $2.5 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds at the end of the first quarter.

Insider trading activity in Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL). These stocks are American National Insurance Company (NASDAQ:ANAT), Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:ALTE), ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE:PRA), Corelogic Inc (NYSE:CLGX), and First American Financial Corp (NYSE:FAF). All of these stocks are in the property & casualty insurance industry and their market caps match AHL’s market cap.

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