NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–The hedge fund and fund of funds business Man Group Plc is now trading at more than double its 52-week low, having gained 3.3% Wednesday [March 15] on the London exchange.

The FTSE 100 index, of which the company is a component, has been on a bull run, but Man rose at a faster pace than the index. It was fluctuating around US$40 a share (23.50 pounds) in early trading on Thursday, compared to a low of about US$20 for the past 52 weeks.

This new high raises the question of whether the firm, long considered by analysts to be undervalued, is now becoming too expensive. It remains an analyst favorite, however.

In a recent report, Deutsche Bank’s Chantal Moshal confirmed Man as her top pick among U.K.-based asset managers. But with the recent increases, the price is moving above the range that was the basis of analyst buy recommendations.

The stock took off in November and December of 2005, outperforming the FTSE 100. There was a reversal when the company reported tepid asset growth for the fourth quarter of 2005, but that effect turned out to be brief and the ascent resumed.

CKurdas@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.