Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Hancock Holding Company (HBHC)?

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Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) was in 5 hedge funds' portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. HBHC shareholders have witnessed a decrease in support from the world's most elite money managers of late. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with HBHC holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

At the moment, there are dozens of indicators investors can use to monitor Mr. Market. A pair of the most innovative 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 best money managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. Just as you'd expect, there are many stimuli for an upper level exec to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

With these "truths" under our belt, we're going to take a gander at the latest action encompassing Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC).

Hedge fund activity in Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -38% from the previous quarter. With hedgies' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Dreman Value Management, managed by David Dreman, holds the largest position in Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC). Dreman Value Management has a $30.9 million position in the stock, comprising 0.9% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $7.9 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that are bullish include Ken Gray and Steve Walsh's Bryn Mawr Capital, Mike Vranos's Ellington and Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies.

Seeing as Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) has witnessed falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's safe to say that there is a sect of funds who sold off their full holdings in Q4. Interestingly, Israel Englander's Millennium Management sold off the biggest stake of the "upper crust" of funds we monitor, comprising an estimated $3.4 million in stock.. Neil Chriss's fund, Hutchin Hill Capital, also said goodbye to its stock, about $1.6 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds in Q4.

How have insiders been trading Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let's also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC). These stocks are Bank Of The Ozarks Inc (NASDAQ:OZRK), Trustmark Corp (NASDAQ:TRMK), F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB), EverBank Financial Corp (NYSE:EVER), and First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN). This group of stocks are in the regional - southeast banks industry and their market caps are similar to HBHC's market cap.

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