Hedge Funds Are Crazy About John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT) – Thermon Group Holdings Inc (THR), The Gorman-Rupp Company (GRC)

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John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund sentiment recently.

In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds in operation at the moment, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the leaders of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by paying attention to their best stock picks, we have unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 24 percentage points in 7 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as key, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the world of equities. There are lots of stimuli for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, it’s important to take a look at the key action surrounding John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT).

What have hedge funds been doing with John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT)?

At year’s end, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 20% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the most valuable position in John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT), worth close to $6.6 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. On Royce & Associates’s heels is Gotham Asset Management, managed by Joel Greenblatt, which held a $1.6 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish include D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

As industrywide interest jumped, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, established the most valuable position in John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT). Citadel Investment Group had 0.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Douglas W. Case’s Advanced Investment Partners also initiated a $0.5 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new JBT position is Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Insider trading activity in John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time period, John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT). These stocks are ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE), TMS International Corp. (NYSE:TMS), Thermon Group Holdings Inc (NYSE:THR), The Gorman-Rupp Company (NYSEAMEX:GRC), and China Yuchai International Limited (NYSE:CYD). This group of stocks belong to the diversified machinery industry and their market caps resemble JBT’s market cap.

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