Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR)

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Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) was in 33 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. CAR investors should be aware of an increase in hedge fund sentiment of late. There were 25 hedge funds in our database with CAR positions at the end of the previous quarter.

To the average investor, there are tons of methods investors can use to track publicly traded companies. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can outpace the broader indices by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Crispin OdeyJust as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of motivations for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a glance at the latest action surrounding Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR).

What does the smart money think about Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 33 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 32% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

Of the funds we track, PAR Capital Management, managed by Paul Reeder and Edward Shapiro, holds the biggest position in Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR). PAR Capital Management has a $205.3 million position in the stock, comprising 6.5% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by David Cohen and Harold Levy of Iridian Asset Management, with a $127.5 million position; the fund has 1.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors, Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management Group and Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital Management.

Now, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Soros Fund Management, managed by George Soros, created the biggest position in Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR). Soros Fund Management had 19.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital also initiated a $14.7 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital, Ken Heebner’s Capital Growth Management, and Malcolm Fairbairn’s Ascend Capital.

How have insiders been trading Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time frame, Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 9 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 Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR). These stocks are GATX Corporation (NYSE:GMT), AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL), Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R), , and Air Lease Corp (NYSE:AL). This group of stocks are in the rental & leasing services industry and their market caps resemble CAR’s market cap.

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