Should You Buy Laclede Group Inc (LG)?

Is Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG) the right pick for your portfolio? Money managers are in a bullish mood. The number of long hedge fund bets increased by 3 recently.

Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG)

To most market participants, hedge funds are seen as slow, old investment vehicles of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at the moment, we look at the leaders of this group, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total capital, and by tracking their top stock picks, we have discovered a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the world of equities. There are a variety of motivations for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if you know what to do (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a glance at the latest action encompassing Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG).

What does the smart money think about Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 100% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, holds the biggest position in Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG). AQR Capital Management has a $6.9 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On AQR Capital Management’s heels is Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $2 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp.

Consequently, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, established the most outsized position in Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG). Renaissance Technologies had 2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital also initiated a $1.8 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new LG position is Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time frame, Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 2 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 Laclede Group Inc (NYSE:LG). These stocks are Summit Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:SMLP), PAA Natural Gas Storage, L.P. (NYSE:PNG), Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN), Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE), and Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NYSE:NKA). This group of stocks belong to the gas utilities industry and their market caps match LG’s market cap.