Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Barrett Business Services, Inc. (BBSI)?: Kelly Services, Inc. (KELYA), DICE HOLDINGS, INC. (DHX)

Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) investors should pay attention to an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently.

Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI)In the financial world, there are a multitude of gauges market participants can use to watch their holdings. Some of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can outclass the market by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the financial markets. Obviously, there are many reasons for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if you understand where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action surrounding Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI).

What does the smart money think about Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI)?

At year’s end, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 33% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI). Royce & Associates has a $6 million position in the stock, comprising 0% of its 13F portfolio. On Royce & Associates’s heels is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $4 million position; the fund has 0% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Richard Driehaus’s Driehaus Capital, Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors and Andy Redleaf’s Whitebox Advisors.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Whitebox Advisors, managed by Andy Redleaf, assembled the biggest position in Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI). Whitebox Advisors had 1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management also initiated a $0 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new BBSI positions are Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

How have insiders been trading Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI)?

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI). These stocks are Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA), DICE HOLDINGS, INC. (NYSE:DHX), Kforce Inc. (NASDAQ:KFRC), Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSII), and CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI). This group of stocks are in the staffing & outsourcing services industry and their market caps are similar to BBSI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) 10 0 1
DICE HOLDINGS, INC. (NYSE:DHX) 8 0 2
Kforce Inc. (NASDAQ:KFRC) 6 1 12
Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSII) 9 0 0
CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI) 3 0 1

With the results exhibited by the aforementioned research, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 37% between September 2012 and March 2013 versus 12.9% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.

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