Is BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (BJRI) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI) investors should be aware of an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late.

In the financial world, there are tons of metrics shareholders can use to watch stocks. A duo of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can beat the S&P 500 by a healthy amount (see just how much).

BJ's Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI)

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the marketplace. Obviously, there are many motivations for a corporate insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a peek at the key action regarding BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI).

Hedge fund activity in BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI)

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 67% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the largest position in BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI), worth close to $16 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $11.4 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds with similar optimism include Alexander Mitchell’s Scopus Asset Management, Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management and John Fichthorn’s Dialectic Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. Scopus Asset Management, managed by Alexander Mitchell, assembled the most outsized position in BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI). Scopus Asset Management had 10.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management also made a $3.7 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new BJRI positions are John Fichthorn’s Dialectic Capital Management, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Insider trading activity in BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI)

Insider buying is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time period, BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:BJRI). These stocks are DineEquity Inc (NYSE:DIN), Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC), Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE), AFC Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFCE), and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD). This group of stocks belong to the restaurants industry and their market caps are closest to BJRI’s market cap.

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