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Hedge Funds Are Buying Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR)

Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) has seen an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months.

At the moment, there are a multitude of indicators market participants can use to monitor publicly traded companies. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can trounce the broader indices by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Crispin OdeyJust as key, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. There are plenty of stimuli for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Now, it’s important to take a gander at the latest action regarding Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR).

How have hedgies been trading Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 21 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 24% from the third quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

Of the funds we track, Paul Reeder and Edward Shapiro’s PAR Capital Management had the largest position in Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR), worth close to $146 million, accounting for 6.4% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is David Cohen and Harold Levy of Iridian Asset Management, with a $88 million position; the fund has 1.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors, Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management Group and Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers have jumped into Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) headfirst. Iridian Asset Management, managed by David Cohen and Harold Levy, established the most outsized position in Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR). Iridian Asset Management had 88 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors also initiated a $36 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new CAR investors: Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management, Manish Chopra’s Tiger Veda, and Sean Cullinan’s Point State Capital.

How are insiders trading Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns demonstrated by our studies, retail investors must always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) is no exception.

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