Hedge Funds Are Dumping Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY) – Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV)

Is Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY) going to take off soon? The best stock pickers are becoming less confident. The number of long hedge fund bets stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience.

Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY)

To most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at present, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the masters of this club, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the majority of the smart money's total capital, and by monitoring their top stock picks, we have come up with a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the world of equities. Just as you'd expect, there are lots of motivations for a bullish insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let's take a glance at the recent action surrounding Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY).

How are hedge funds trading Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY)?

At year's end, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedgies' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies had the most valuable position in Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY), worth close to $91 million, comprising 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Michael Hintze of CQS Cayman LP, with a $24 million position; the fund has 2.8% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that hold long positions include Paul Ruddockáand Steve Heinz's Lansdowne Partners, Daniel S. Och's OZ Management and Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial Holdings.

Since Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the smart money, it's safe to say that there exists a select few hedge funds that decided to sell off their positions entirely in Q4. It's worth mentioning that Mike Vranos's Ellington dumped the biggest stake of the 450+ funds we track, worth about $1 million in stock.. Bruce Kovner's fund, Caxton Associates LP, also dumped its stock, about $0 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How have insiders been trading Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let's also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY). These stocks are JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), Copa Holdings, S.A. (NYSE:CPA), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), and LATAM Airlines Group SA (ADR) (NYSE:LFL). All of these stocks are in the regional airlines industry and their market caps match RYAAY's market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) 14 0 3
Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) 18 0 10
Copa Holdings, S.A. (NYSE:CPA) 12 0 0
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) 21 0 1
LATAM Airlines Group SA (ADR) (NYSE:LFL) 6 0 0

With the returns demonstrated by Insider Monkey's strategies, retail investors must always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY) is no exception.

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