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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS) – AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB), Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE:CNS)

Is Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS) a splendid investment now? Prominent investors are in a bearish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets shrunk by 2 in recent months.

Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS)

In today’s marketplace, there are a multitude of methods market participants can use to analyze their holdings. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can outperform the market by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of reasons for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if you know where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a glance at the key action encompassing Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS).

Hedge fund activity in Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS)

Heading into 2013, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -15% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, John W. Rogers’s Ariel Investments had the most valuable position in Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS), worth close to $159 million, comprising 3.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Ken Fisher of Fisher Asset Management, with a $56 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that hold long positions include Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors, Donald Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management and Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates.

Seeing as Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS) has experienced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers that slashed their positions entirely in Q4. Interestingly, Michael Price’s MFP Investors dropped the largest stake of all the hedgies we track, valued at an estimated $3 million in stock.. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s fund, Arrowstreet Capital, also sold off its stock, about $1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds in Q4.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time period, Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS). These stocks are Gamco Investors Inc. (NYSE:GBL), AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB), Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS), Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE:CNS), and Financial Engines Inc (NASDAQ:FNGN). All of these stocks are in the asset management industry and their market caps match JNS’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Gamco Investors Inc. (NYSE:GBL) 6 1 1
AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB) 8 0 1
Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) 7 0 5
Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE:CNS) 5 0 2
Financial Engines Inc (NASDAQ:FNGN) 5 0 12

With the returns shown by Insider Monkey’s studies, retail investors should always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Janus Capital Group Inc (NYSE:JNS) is an important part of this process.