An Insider Is Buying Accenture Plc (ACN)

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Management consulting behemoth Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) has seen its stock price rise by a solid 11.3% clip year-to-date, but hedge funds are standing pat. What about insiders?

In the eyes of many of your peers, hedge funds are seen as useless, old financial vehicles of a period lost to current times. Although there are more than 8,000 hedge funds in operation today, Insider Monkey looks at the top tier of this club, about 525 funds. It is assumed that this group controls most of the smart money’s total capital, and by keeping an eye on their highest performing stock picks, we’ve found a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (find a sample of our picks).

Just as crucial, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to analyze the financial markets. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of reasons for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s examine the recent info about Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN).

What does the smart money think about Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)?

At Q2′s end, a total of 28 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the first quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)According to our 13F database, Lansdowne Partners, managed by Paul Ruddock and Steve Heinz, holds the largest position in Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN). Lansdowne Partners has a $582.3 million position in the stock, comprising 7.3% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $100.8 million position; the fund has 0.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, David Harding’s Winton Capital Management and Wallace Weitz’s Wallace R. Weitz & Co..

Because Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) has witnessed declining interest from upper-tier hedge fund managers, logic holds that there is a sect of funds that slashed their entire stakes heading into Q2. Intriguingly, Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors dropped the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we key on, totaling close to $156.3 million in stock. John W. Rogers’s fund, Ariel Investments, also dropped its stock, about $23.2 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)?

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time frame, Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll go over the relationship between both of these indicators 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 are similar to ACN’s market cap.

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