Here is What Hedge Funds Think About First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (FCFS)

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Is First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS) a buy, sell, or hold? The smart money is in a bearish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets retreated by 1 lately.

According to most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated investment vehicles of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we choose to focus on the masters of this group, close to 450 funds. It is estimated that this group oversees the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by paying attention to their highest performing equity investments, we have formulated a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed 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 outperformed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS)Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of motivations for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if you know where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a gander at the key action surrounding First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS).

What does the smart money think about First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS)?

At Q1′s end, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -11% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

Of the funds we track, Matthew Iorio’s White Elm Capital had the biggest position in First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS), worth close to $16 million, comprising 2.8% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $7.7 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Judging by the fact that First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS) has experienced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there were a few hedgies who sold off their positions entirely at the end of the first quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Ken Grossman and Glen Schneider’s SG Capital Management said goodbye to the biggest stake of all the hedgies we track, totaling close to $6 million in stock., and Dmitry Balyasny of Balyasny Asset Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $4 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds at the end of the first quarter.

Insider trading activity in First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS). These stocks are World Acceptance Corp. (NASDAQ:WRLD), PHH Corporation (NYSE:PHH), CapitalSource, Inc. (NYSE:CSE), Cash America International, Inc. (NYSE:CSH), and Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE:NNI). This group of stocks are in the credit services industry and their market caps match FCFS’s market cap.

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