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Is EZCORP Inc (EZPW) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW) investors should be aware of a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months.

To most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as slow, outdated financial tools of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at the moment, we hone in on the masters of this club, around 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by monitoring their highest performing stock picks, we have unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced 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 beaten the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are many reasons for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if you know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the latest action surrounding EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW).

Hedge fund activity in EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW)

Heading into Q2, a total of 15 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -12% from the first quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW)Of the funds we track, Thomas E. Claugus’s GMT Capital had the biggest position in EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW), worth close to $45.3 million, accounting for 1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Gregg J. Powers of Private Capital Management, with a $33.7 million position; the fund has 3.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies with similar optimism include Peter S. Park’s Park West Asset Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management.

Due to the fact that EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW) has experienced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of hedge funds that elected to cut their entire stakes at the end of the first quarter. Interestingly, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies said goodbye to the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we track, worth close to $2.8 million in stock.. Glenn Russell Dubin’s fund, Highbridge Capital Management, also dumped its call options., about $0.7 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds at the end of the first quarter.

How are insiders trading EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time frame, EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW) has experienced 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 EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW). These stocks are Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL), OfficeMax Inc (NYSE:OMX), Francesca’s Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:FRAN), and Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP). This group of stocks are in the specialty retail, other industry and their market caps are closest to EZPW’s market cap.

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