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Accenture Plc (ACN): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) a buy right now? Investors who are in the know are becoming less hopeful. The number of long hedge fund positions shrunk by 8 lately.

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are tons of metrics investors can use to monitor the equity markets. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can outclass the broader indices by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of motivations for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if you know what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a glance at the key action encompassing Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN).

How have hedgies been trading Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 23 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -26% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, Lansdowne Partners, managed by Paul Ruddockáand Steve Heinz, holds the biggest position in Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN). Lansdowne Partners has a $487.1 million position in the stock, comprising 8.1% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Donald Chiboucis of Columbus Circle Investors, with a $139.6 million position; the fund has 1.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Since Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) has experienced falling interest from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there were a few fund managers who were dropping their full holdings at the end of the year. It’s worth mentioning that Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management said goodbye to the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we track, worth about $88.1 million in stock.. Daniel Bubis’s fund, Tetrem Capital Management, also sold off its stock, about $27.1 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 8 funds at the end of the year.

What have insiders been doing with Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)?

Insider buying is best served when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time frame, Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN). These stocks are Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT), Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX), Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE:CSC), Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX), and Wipro Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WIT). This group of stocks are the members of the information technology services industry and their market caps match ACN’s market cap.

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