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Should You Avoid AMERCO (UHAL)?

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AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund sentiment lately.

AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL)According to most shareholders, hedge funds are viewed as unimportant, old financial tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds trading at present, we hone in on the moguls of this group, around 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees most of the smart money’s total capital, and by tracking their highest performing picks, we have determined a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the financial markets. There are a number of stimuli for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, let’s take a glance at the recent action surrounding AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL).

How are hedge funds trading AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -30% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the most valuable position in AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL). Renaissance Technologies has a $7.5 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell of Arrowstreet Capital, with a $7.1 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds with similar optimism include David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Andy Redleaf’s Whitebox Advisors.

Since AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) has faced declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of hedgies that decided to sell off their full holdings last quarter. At the top of the heap, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management cut the largest position of the 450+ funds we key on, comprising about $0.6 million in stock.. D. E. Shaw’s fund, D E Shaw, also sold off its stock, about $0.5 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds last quarter.

How are insiders trading AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time frame, AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL). These stocks are GATX Corporation (NYSE:GMT), Air Lease Corp (NYSE:AL), Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR), , and Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R). This group of stocks are in the rental & leasing services industry and their market caps match UHAL’s market cap.

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