Is TriMas Corp (TRS) A Good Stock To Buy?

Is TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS) a good bet right now? We like to analyze hedge fund sentiment before doing days of in-depth research. We do so because hedge funds and other elite investors have numerous Ivy League graduates, expert network advisers, and supply chain tipsters working or consulting for them. There is not a shortage of news stories covering failed hedge fund investments (for some reason media paid a ton of attention to Ackman’s gigantic JC Penney and Valeant failures) and it is a fact that hedge funds’ picks don’t beat the market 100% of the time, but their consensus picks have historically done very well and have outperformed the market after adjusting for risk.

Is TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS) the right pick for your portfolio? The best stock pickers are selling. The number of bullish hedge fund positions shrunk by 8 recently. TRS was in 14 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2015. There were 22 hedge funds in our database with TRS positions at the end of the previous quarter. At the end of this article we will also compare TRS to other stocks, including Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE), Cardinal Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CFNL), and State Bank Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STBZ) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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With all of this in mind, we’re going to review the recent action encompassing TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS).

Hedge fund activity in TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS)

At Q3’s end, a total of 14 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a decrease of 36% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Dan Friedberg’s Sagard Capital Partners Management Corp has the biggest position in TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS), worth close to $20.6 million, accounting for 7.2% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Lee Munder Capital Group, managed by Lee Munder, which holds a $16.6 million position; 0.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other professional money managers with similar optimism include Glenn W. Welling’s Engaged Capital, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management and Amy Minella’s Cardinal Capital.

Because TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS) has faced declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few money managers who sold off their entire stakes by the end of the third quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management reported the largest position reduction of the 700 funds monitored by Insider Monkey, totaling an estimated $12.1 million in stock. Eric Edidin and Josh Lobel’s fund, Archer Capital Management, also said goodbye to a big chunk of their holding, about $5.9 million worth of TRS shares. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 8 funds by the end of the third quarter.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS). We will take a look at Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE), Cardinal Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CFNL), State Bank Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STBZ), and Navigator Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NVGS). This group of stocks’ market valuations are similar to TRS’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
GPRE 17 172240 -10
CFNL 11 68003 -3
STBZ 11 93618 -5
NVGS 11 343478 -4

As you can see these stocks had an average of approximately 13 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $169 million. That figure was $86 million in TRS’s case. Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Cardinal Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CFNL) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. TriMas Corp (NASDAQ:TRS) is not the most popular stock in this group, but hedge fund interest is still above average. While this is a slightly positive signal, we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard GPRE might be a better candidate to consider a long position.