Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Coinstar, Inc. (CSTR)?

Is Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) the right investment to pursue these days? The smart money is taking a bullish view. The number of long hedge fund positions inched up by 4 lately.

Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR)

In today’s marketplace, there are many methods investors can use to watch publicly traded companies. Some of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top investment managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the stock market universe. There are a variety of stimuli for a corporate insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if investors know where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the recent action encompassing Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR).

How have hedgies been trading Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 36 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 13% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, David Cohen and Harold Levy’s Iridian Asset Management had the most valuable position in Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR), worth close to $87.6 million, accounting for 1.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Fine Capital Partners, managed by Debra Fine, which held a $71 million position; the fund has 7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Peter S. Park’s Park West Asset Management, Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management and Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management.

Now, key money managers have jumped into Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) headfirst. Iridian Asset Management, managed by David Cohen and Harold Levy, created the most valuable position in Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR). Iridian Asset Management had 87.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jeffrey Altman’s Owl Creek Asset Management also initiated a $65.4 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new CSTR investors: Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, Yale M. Fergang and Robert W. Medway’s Royal Capital, and Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates LP.

How have insiders been trading Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time frame, Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR). These stocks are Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ:EZPW), Francesca’s Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:FRAN), Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE), and Vitamin Shoppe Inc (NYSE:VSI). All of these stocks are in the specialty retail, other industry and their market caps match CSTR’s market cap.