Should You Buy Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (PEI)?: Retail Opportunity Investments Corp (ROIC), Saul Centers Inc (BFS)

Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund sentiment of late.

Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI)In the financial world, there are plenty of methods investors can use to analyze the equity markets. Some of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can outclass the market by a solid margin (see just how much).

Just as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are many stimuli for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a glance at the key action surrounding Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI).

How have hedgies been trading Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI)?

At year’s end, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 13% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management had the largest position in Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI), worth close to $23 million, comprising 0.7% of its total 13F portfolio. On Dreman Value Management’s heels is Robert Jaffe of Force Capital, with a $11 million position; the fund has 1.7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments.

As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds have jumped into Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI) headfirst. HBK Investments, managed by David Costen Haley, created the largest position in Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI). HBK Investments had 0 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also made a $0 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The only other fund with a new position in the stock is Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

How have insiders been trading Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI). These stocks are Retail Opportunity Investments Corp (NASDAQ:ROIC), Saul Centers Inc (NYSE:BFS), Inland Real Estate Corporation (NYSE:IRC), Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust (NYSE:RPT), and Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT). This group of stocks belong to the reit – retail industry and their market caps resemble PEI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Retail Opportunity Investments Corp (NASDAQ:ROIC) 13 0 0
Saul Centers Inc (NYSE:BFS) 5 1 6
Inland Real Estate Corporation (NYSE:IRC) 5 9 0
Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust (NYSE:RPT) 9 0 0
Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) 5 1 6

With the returns shown by our time-tested strategies, retail investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. (NYSE:PEI) is no exception.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds