Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bullish, What Should You Do?

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. CBRL shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund interest of late. There were 15 hedge funds in our database with CBRL positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL)

In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, outdated investment vehicles of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the top tier of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls the majority of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by monitoring their top picks, we have uncovered a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 trumped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).

Just as important, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the marketplace. There are lots of incentives for a corporate insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the recent action regarding Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL).

Hedge fund activity in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL)

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 18 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 20% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the most valuable position in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL), worth close to $14.6 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Force Capital, managed by Robert Jaffe, which held a $5.1 million position; 0.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedge funds that hold long positions include Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider’s SG Capital Management, Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. SG Capital Management, managed by Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider, created the biggest position in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL). SG Capital Management had 3.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw also made a $1.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital, Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

How have insiders been trading Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL)?

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time period, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL). These stocks are Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), The Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN), Bloomin’ Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BLMN), and The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE). This group of stocks are in the restaurants industry and their market caps are similar to CBRL’s market cap.

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