Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Arkansas Best Corporation (ABFS) Anymore: Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (ECHO), Celadon Group, Inc. (CGI)

Is Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS) an exceptional investment today? Investors who are in the know are getting less bullish. The number of long hedge fund positions were cut by 4 lately.

Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS)

In today’s marketplace, there are tons of gauges market participants can use to track Mr. Market. Some of the best 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 investment managers can outpace the market by a solid margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are a variety of motivations for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a peek at the latest action surrounding Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS).

What does the smart money think about Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -29% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the biggest position in Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS). Royce & Associates has a $14 million position in the stock, comprising 0% of its 13F portfolio. On Royce & Associates’s heels is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $4 million position; the fund has 0% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors.

Due to the fact that Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS) has faced bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, it’s easy to see that there lies a certain “tier” of fund managers who sold off their entire stakes heading into 2013. Intriguingly, Ken Brodkowitz and Mike Vermut’s Newland Capital dumped the biggest investment of the 450+ funds we track, worth close to $1 million in call options, and Mike Vranos of Ellington was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $1 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 4 funds heading into 2013.

What have insiders been doing with Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time period, Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS) 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 Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS). These stocks are Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO), Celadon Group, Inc. (NYSE:CGI), Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN), Quality Distribution, Inc. (NASDAQ:QLTY), and Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:PATR). This group of stocks belong to the trucking industry and their market caps match ABFS’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO) 7 1 2
Celadon Group, Inc. (NYSE:CGI) 10 1 6
Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN) 5 0 1
Quality Distribution, Inc. (NASDAQ:QLTY) 7 5 0
Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:PATR) 1 0 3

With the results shown by our tactics, retail investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS) applies perfectly to this mantra.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds

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