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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Marten Transport, Ltd (MRTN)

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Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN)Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN) investors should be aware of a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months.

If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, old financial tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open today, we at Insider Monkey look at the bigwigs of this group, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group controls the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by keeping an eye on their top stock picks, we have discovered a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year 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 trumped the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. Just as you’d expect, there are many stimuli for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a glance at the recent action encompassing Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN).

What have hedge funds been doing with Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN)?

Heading into 2013, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN). Royce & Associates has a $20.6 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Alexander Mitchell of Scopus Asset Management, with a $3 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds with similar optimism include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

Due to the fact that Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN) has faced declining sentiment from the smart money, we can see that there was a specific group of fund managers that decided to sell off their entire stakes at the end of the year. Intriguingly, Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp dropped the largest position of the “upper crust” of funds we track, valued at about $0.4 million in stock. These transactions are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Insider trading activity in Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ:MRTN). These stocks are Universal Truckload Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:UACL), Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS), Saia Inc (NASDAQ:SAIA), Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO), and Celadon Group, Inc. (NYSE:CGI). This group of stocks belong to the trucking industry and their market caps resemble MRTN’s market cap.

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