Central Garden & Pet Co (CENT): Hedge Funds Are Bullish and Insiders Are Bearish, What Should You Do?

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Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT) was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. CENT shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. There were 7 hedge funds in our database with CENT holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT)

At the moment, there are dozens of methods investors can use to track their holdings. Some of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the financial markets. There are a number of incentives for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a glance at the key action surrounding Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT).

How have hedgies been trading Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 86% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the most valuable position in Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT), worth close to $8 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Jason F. Harris of Kendall Square Capital, with a $5.8 million position; 3.9% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other hedgies that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Peter S. Park’s Park West Asset Management and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. Kendall Square Capital, managed by Jason F. Harris, initiated the biggest position in Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT). Kendall Square Capital had 5.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management.

How have insiders been trading Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time frame, Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENT). These stocks are Cal-Maine Foods Inc (NASDAQ:CALM), Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE), Annies Inc (NYSE:BNNY), Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI), and ZHONGPIN INC. (NASDAQ:HOGS). This group of stocks are the members of the food – major diversified industry and their market caps resemble CENT’s market cap.

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