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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love United Community Banks Inc (UCBI)?

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United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. UCBI has experienced an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers lately. There were 11 hedge funds in our database with UCBI holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

In today’s marketplace, there are a multitude of gauges investors can use to watch the equity markets. A duo of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outclass the market by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are a number of stimuli for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, we’re going to take a gander at the latest action encompassing United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI).

Hedge fund activity in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 9% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)Of the funds we track, Second Curve Capital, managed by Tom Brown, holds the most valuable position in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). Second Curve Capital has a $27.4 million position in the stock, comprising 7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Bryn Mawr Capital, managed by Ken Gray and Steve Walsh, which held a $23.6 million position; the fund has 1.7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include Brian J. Higgins’s King Street Capital, Matthew Lindenbaum’s Basswood Capital and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers have jumped into United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) headfirst. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, established the most valuable position in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). Arrowstreet Capital had 0.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors also initiated a $0.2 million position during the quarter.

Insider trading activity in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)

Insider buying is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time period, United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). These stocks are SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT), Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN), The Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:TBBK), WesBanco, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBC), and City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO). This group of stocks are the members of the regional – mid-atlantic banks industry and their market caps resemble UCBI’s market cap.

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