This week, several noted investment funds were increasing their already substantial positions in certain companies. Often, many of these investors are merely taking a passive approach and simply buying into an attractively priced business. In any case, by holding such a meaningful position, these large investors can become excellent catalysts for change if things aren't going right. As such, individual investors might want to consider the following list of ideas.

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Diverse Group
After recently filing a 13D disclosing an initial stake in auto rental chain Dollar Thrifty (NYSE:DTG), Steven Cohen's SAC Capital lifted its position to nearly 9% by buying another 850,000 shares last week. SAC Capital is a successful hedge fund that prefers to operate very quietly. It is also known for a lot of trading, so this continued accumulation in DTG may be a sign of something else. Dollar Thrifty shares trade for a very digestible 12-times earnings and generates a very healthy 31% return on equity. (For related reading, see What is the significance of a schedule 13D?)

Big Five Sporting Goods (Nasdaq:BGFV), an operator of nearly 400 sporting goods stores in the western part of the United States is now 8.7% owned by Sagard Capital Partners. Big Five is a $260 million company that's been in business since 1955. Shares trade for respectable 11-times earnings and boast a 18% return on equity. The company is indeed profitable today, - not an easy task for a specialty retailer these days. Larger rival Dicks Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), which operates 419 Dick's stores and 91 Golf Galaxy stores, is currently sporting a P/E of 20.

One to Watch
Southeastern Asset Management, run by value legend Mason Hawkins, oversees the Longleaf family of mutual funds. Longleaf has earned a tremendous track record over decades not just for outperforming the benchmark, but as an excellent steward of its partners capital. Southeastern recently added to its stake in Texas Industries (NYSE:TXI) and now owns over 16% of the company's shares. Texas Industries is a producer of heavy construction materials, namely cement and aggregates. While the decline in U.S. construction activity has hurt the operations of Texas Industries, it remains as one of the lowest cost producers in the industry. The current distaste for these businesses today has likely led to a mispricing in the shares, a fact that Longleaf has exploited to its advantage for decades. Today, shares in Texas Industries can be bought for roughly book value.

Different Minds, One Goal
No two investors will think exactly the same. Yet when large investors begin taking meaningful stakes in businesses, the ultimate reason is the same: the share price, for one reason or another, offers an attractive upside probability. (For more, see Digging Into 13D Disclosures.)

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Tickers in this Article: DKS, TXI, BGFV, DTG

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