The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the September quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors endured a torrid quarter, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF).
Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) has experienced an increase in support from the world's most elite money managers lately. AMSF was in 11 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2018. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with AMSF positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that amsf isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.
Hedge funds' reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn't keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds' small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 18 percentage points since May 2014 through December 3, 2018 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.
Let's check out the latest hedge fund action regarding Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF).
How have hedgies been trading Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF)?
Heading into the fourth quarter of 2018, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 22% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards AMSF over the last 13 quarters. With the smart money's positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an "upper tier" of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).
More specifically, Citadel Investment Group was the largest shareholder of Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF), with a stake worth $4.2 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Citadel Investment Group was Two Sigma Advisors, which amassed a stake valued at $2.5 million. Fisher Asset Management, D E Shaw, and AQR Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.
As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Holocene Advisors, managed by Brandon Haley, assembled the most outsized position in Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF). Holocene Advisors had $0.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Matthew Tewksbury's Stevens Capital Management also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter.
Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF). We will take a look at Autolus Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ:AUTL), City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO), Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR), and Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc (NASDAQ:ITCI). All of these stocks' market caps are similar to AMSF's market cap.
[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position AUTL,11,400451,-3 CHCO,8,30993,-1 ESPR,16,239166,0 ITCI,16,120681,-2 Average,12.75,197823,-1.5 [/table]
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 12.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $198 million. That figure was $14 million in AMSF's case. Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard ESPR might be a better candidate to consider a long position.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.