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Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (PIR)

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Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR) investors should pay attention to an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months.

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR)To most traders, hedge funds are assumed to be worthless, old financial tools of the past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we choose to focus on the aristocrats of this group, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group controls most of the smart money’s total capital, and by watching their highest performing picks, we have unearthed a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outclassed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of reasons for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a glance at the latest action regarding Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR).

How have hedgies been trading Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 16 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 14% from the first quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Columbus Circle Investors, managed by Donald Chiboucis, holds the largest position in Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR). Columbus Circle Investors has a $66.5 million position in the stock, comprising 0.5% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Patrick McCormack of Tiger Consumer Management, with a $49.5 million position; the fund has 2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers have jumped into Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR) headfirst. Tiger Consumer Management, managed by Patrick McCormack, assembled the biggest position in Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR). Tiger Consumer Management had 49.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management also made a $3.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new PIR positions are Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management, Mike Vranos’s Ellington, and J. Alan Reid, Jr.’s Forward Management.

Insider trading activity in Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR)

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 9 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR). These stocks are Gordmans Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMAN), Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY), Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc. (NYSE:HVT), Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM), and Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc (NYSE:RH). This group of stocks are in the home furnishing stores industry and their market caps are similar to PIR’s market cap.

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