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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Buy JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU)

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JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) was in 17 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. JBLU shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. There were 15 hedge funds in our database with JBLU holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU)

To most shareholders, hedge funds are perceived as unimportant, old investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at present, we choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by monitoring their top picks, we have figured out a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced Mr. 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see all of our picks from August).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are lots of incentives for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if you understand where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a glance at the key action regarding JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU).

What have hedge funds been doing with JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 17 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 13% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Matt Sirovich and Jeremy Mindich’s Scopia Capital had the largest position in JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU), worth close to $76.4 million, accounting for 2.6% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $59 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other peers that hold long positions include Claes Fornell’s CSat Investment Advisory, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Michael Karsch’s Karsch Capital Management.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. Karsch Capital Management, managed by Michael Karsch, initiated the most outsized position in JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU). Karsch Capital Management had 10 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Keidan’s Buckingham Capital Management also made a $5.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new JBLU positions are Thomas E. Claugus’s GMT Capital, Michael Johnston’s Steelhead Partners, and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.

Insider trading activity in JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time period, JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU). These stocks are Copa Holdings, S.A. (NYSE:CPA), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW), Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA (ADR) (NYSE:GOL), and Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ:ALGT). This group of stocks are in the regional airlines industry and their market caps are similar to JBLU’s market cap.

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