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Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (BRKL): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) a buy here? The best stock pickers are getting less bullish. The number of long hedge fund bets shrunk by 2 lately.

In today’s marketplace, there are tons of metrics market participants can use to monitor Mr. Market. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best investment managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Just as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a variety of stimuli for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a peek at the recent action regarding Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL).

How are hedge funds trading Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -20% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.

Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL)Of the funds we track, Bernard Horn’s Polaris Capital Management had the most valuable position in Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL), worth close to $13.5 million, comprising 0.8% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, which held a $4.4 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining peers that are bullish include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Since Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) has experienced declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s safe to say that there exists a select few hedge funds that slashed their full holdings last quarter. At the top of the heap, Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp dumped the biggest position of all the hedgies we track, worth about $0.4 million in stock.. Steven Cohen’s fund, SAC Capital Advisors, also dumped its stock, about $0.1 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds last quarter.

How are insiders trading Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) has seen 4 unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL). These stocks are Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC), Flagstar Bancorp Inc (NYSE:FBC), Kearny Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:KRNY), Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR), and Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB). This group of stocks belong to the savings & loans industry and their market caps resemble BRKL’s market cap.

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