Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (PZZA)?

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Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. PZZA investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest in recent months. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with PZZA positions at the end of the previous quarter.

To the average investor, there are tons of metrics shareholders can use to track Mr. Market. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can outclass the market by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the marketplace. Obviously, there are many motivations for an executive to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if piggybackers understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the latest action surrounding Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA).

How have hedgies been trading Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -25% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the biggest position in Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA). Renaissance Technologies has a $22.6 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is CSat Investment Advisory, managed by Claes Fornell, which held a $14.3 million position; 5.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Ward Davis and Brian Agnew’s Caerus Global Investors.

Because Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) has experienced a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there is a sect of fund managers who were dropping their full holdings at the end of the first quarter. Intriguingly, Robert B. Gillam’s McKinley Capital Management dropped the largest investment of all the hedgies we key on, totaling an estimated $5.2 million in stock.. Drew Cupps’s fund, Cupps Capital Management, also sold off its stock, about $4.4 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds at the end of the first quarter.

Insider trading activity in Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time frame, Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA). These stocks are Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE), Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK), DineEquity Inc (NYSE:DIN), and Texas Roadhouse Inc (NASDAQ:TXRH). This group of stocks are in the restaurants industry and their market caps are similar to PZZA’s market cap.

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