Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Marten Transport, Ltd (MRTN)?

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Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. MRTN investors should pay attention to an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. There were 5 hedge funds in our database with MRTN positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In the eyes of most stock holders, hedge funds are perceived as slow, old investment tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we choose to focus on the top tier of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls most of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by watching their best equity investments, we have formulated a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as key, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the stock market universe. There are plenty of reasons for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the latest action regarding Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN).

How are hedge funds trading Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 80% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN)Of the funds we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN). Royce & Associates has a $19.8 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. On Royce & Associates’s heels is Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, which held a $1.2 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds that are bullish include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.

As one would reasonably expect, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, established the biggest position in Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN). Millennium Management had 1.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital also made a $0.6 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new MRTN investors: Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital, Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management, and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN). These stocks are Universal Truckload Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:UACL), Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS), Saia Inc (NASDAQ:SAIA), Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO), and Celadon Group, Inc. (NYSE:CGI). This group of stocks belong to the trucking industry and their market caps match MRTN’s market cap.

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