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Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (UBNK)?: Bank Mutual Corporation (BKMU), Waterstone Financial, Inc. (WSBF)

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United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months.


According to most investors, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, old investment tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at present, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the leaders of this club, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by paying attention to their best stock picks, we have figured out a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see all of our picks from August).

Just as integral, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the financial markets. Obviously, there are many stimuli for an upper level exec to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the key action regarding United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK).

Hedge fund activity in United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -17% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the most valuable position in United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK). Renaissance Technologies has a $2.9 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is Howard Guberman of Gruss Asset Management, with a $2.5 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers with similar optimism include John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Amy Minella’s Cardinal Capital and Bernard Horn’s Polaris Capital Management.

Seeing as United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK) has experienced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few fund managers that slashed their positions entirely heading into 2013. It’s worth mentioning that Israel Englander’s Millennium Management dropped the largest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we track, valued at an estimated $0.3 million in stock., and D. E. Shaw of D E Shaw was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $0.2 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 1 funds heading into 2013.

What have insiders been doing with United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time frame, United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK). These stocks are Bank Mutual Corporation (NASDAQ:BKMU), Waterstone Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBF), First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH), Clifton Savings Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSBK), and HomeStreet Inc (NASDAQ:HMST). This group of stocks belong to the savings & loans industry and their market caps resemble UBNK’s market cap.

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