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Spartan Motors Inc (SPAR): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR) was in 8 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. SPAR has experienced an increase in hedge fund interest lately. There were 7 hedge funds in our database with SPAR holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

In today’s marketplace, there are tons of metrics investors can use to watch their holdings. A couple of the best are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can trounce the market by a superb margin (see just how much).

Just as key, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a number of stimuli for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if shareholders know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a look at the key action surrounding Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR).

What have hedge funds been doing with Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 14% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR)When looking at the hedgies we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the biggest position in Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR), worth close to $5.3 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ariel Investments, managed by John W. Rogers, which held a $4.2 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds that are bullish include Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors, Mark Broach’s Manatuck Hill Partners and Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors.

Now, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Ariel Investments, managed by John W. Rogers, assembled the most valuable position in Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR). Ariel Investments had 4.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Mark Broach’s Manatuck Hill Partners also initiated a $0.5 million position during the quarter.

Insider trading activity in Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Spartan Motors Inc (NASDAQ:SPAR). These stocks are Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV), Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc (NYSE:HY), Wabash National Corporation (NYSE:WNC), Supreme Industries, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:STS), and Accuride Corporation (NYSE:ACW). This group of stocks are the members of the trucks & other vehicles industry and their market caps resemble SPAR’s market cap.

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