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Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (PAG) – Copart, Inc. (CPRT), KAR Auction Services Inc (KAR)

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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. PAG has seen an increase in enthusiasm from smart money recently. There were 7 hedge funds in our database with PAG holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG)

To the average investor, there are plenty of gauges shareholders can use to analyze publicly traded companies. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top money managers can outperform their index-focused peers by a solid amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of incentives for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this method if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, let’s take a glance at the latest action encompassing Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG).

What does the smart money think about Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 29% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG). Royce & Associates has a $23 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, which held a $15 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds that are bullish include Alexander Mitchell’s Scopus Asset Management, Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were breaking ground themselves. Scopus Asset Management, managed by Alexander Mitchell, assembled the biggest position in Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG). Scopus Asset Management had 3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also made a $2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new PAG position is Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Insider trading activity in Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG)

Insider buying is best served when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time period, Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG). These stocks are Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI), Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH), AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN), Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT), and KAR Auction Services Inc (NYSE:KAR). This group of stocks are the members of the auto dealerships industry and their market caps match PAG’s market cap.

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