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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Marriott International Inc (MAR)

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Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months.

If you’d ask most stock holders, hedge funds are seen as worthless, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the bigwigs of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total capital, and by monitoring their highest performing stock picks, we have deciphered a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year 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).

Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR)Equally as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a number of stimuli for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Various academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a glance at the recent action encompassing Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR).

How are hedge funds trading Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 22 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the first quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Malcolm Fairbairn’s Ascend Capital had the largest position in Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR), worth close to $78.5 million, accounting for 2.7% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Tom Gayner of Markel Gayner Asset Management, with a $57.8 million position; the fund has 2.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

Judging by the fact that Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR) has witnessed falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there were a few hedgies who sold off their positions entirely heading into Q2. It’s worth mentioning that Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management sold off the largest stake of the 450+ funds we key on, comprising about $8.7 million in stock.. Ray Dalio’s fund, Bridgewater Associates, also sold off its stock, about $8.4 million worth. These moves are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What have insiders been doing with Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR)?

Insider buying is best served when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last six-month time frame, Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 13 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Marriott International Inc (NYSE:MAR). These stocks are Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H), Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:IHG), Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN), and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (NYSE:HOT). This group of stocks are the members of the lodging industry and their market caps match MAR’s market cap.

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