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Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (ABG): Smart Money Sentiment Improving After Q1 Beating

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A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended September 30, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG).

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG) was in 21 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. ABG has experienced an increase in enthusiasm from smart money lately. There were 20 hedge funds in our database with ABG holdings at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), Precision Drilling Corp (USA) (NYSE:PDS), and Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc (NYSE:AJRD) to gather more data points.

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At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.

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What have hedge funds been doing with Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 21 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a 5% gain from the second quarter of 2016. By comparison, 33 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in ABG heading into this year, so hedge fund sentiment has declined drastically in 2016 despite the slight Q3 rise. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

HedgeFundSentimentChart (47)

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, MSD Capital, led by Glenn Fuhrman and John Phelan, holds the biggest position in Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG). MSD Capital has a $111.4 million position in the stock, comprising 27.6% of its 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Eminence Capital, led by Ricky Sandler, which holds a $103 million position; 1.7% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedge funds and institutional investors that hold long positions include Larry Robbins’ Glenview Capital, Steven Richman’s East Side Capital (RR Partners), and Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management. We should note that none of these hedge funds are among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.

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