Virtus Investment Partners Inc (VRTS): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) was in 7 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. VRTS has seen a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. There were 7 hedge funds in our database with VRTS positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS)

According to most market participants, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old financial tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we choose to focus on the upper echelon of this club, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by watching their top investments, we have deciphered a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as beneficial, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. There are a number of reasons for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a glance at the latest action surrounding Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS).

How have hedgies been trading Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management had the biggest position in Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS), worth close to $26.5 million, accounting for 0.8% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $13.8 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Due to the fact that Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) has experienced a declination in interest from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there was a specific group of funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes at the end of the year. At the top of the heap, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management said goodbye to the largest stake of all the hedgies we monitor, valued at an estimated $0.5 million in stock., and Ben Levine, Andrew Manuel and Stefan Renold of LMR Partners was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.4 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How have insiders been trading Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS). These stocks are Financial Engines Inc (NASDAQ:FNGN), Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE:EVR), WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF), Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE:CNS), and Gamco Investors Inc. (NYSE:GBL). This group of stocks belong to the asset management industry and their market caps are similar to VRTS’s market cap.

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