Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) investors should pay attention to a decrease in support from the world's most elite money managers lately.
To most stock holders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group has its hands on most of the hedge fund industry's total capital, and by paying attention to their best stock picks, we have found a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced 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 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).
Just as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are plenty of stimuli for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).
Now, we're going to take a peek at the latest action regarding Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA).
At the end of the first quarter, a total of 24 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.
When looking at the hedgies we track, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the biggest position in Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA). Renaissance Technologies has a $185.3 million position in the stock, comprising 0.4% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies's heels is Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, with a $82.9 million position; the fund has 0.4% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies that are bullish include Patrick McCormack's Tiger Consumer Management, SAC Subsidiary's Sigma Capital Management and Panayotis Takis Sparaggis's Alkeon Capital Management.
Judging by the fact that Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the smart money, it's safe to say that there is a sect of funds that elected to cut their entire stakes at the end of the first quarter. Intriguingly, SAC Subsidiary's CR Intrinsic Investors said goodbye to the largest stake of the 450+ funds we watch, worth close to $14.3 million in stock., and Lee Hobson of Highside Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $13.1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).
Insider buying is best served when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
With the returns exhibited by Insider Monkey's time-tested strategies, retail investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) is an important part of this process.