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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Associated Banc Corp (ASBC)

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Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. ASBC has seen an increase in hedge fund interest lately. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with ASBC positions at the end of the previous quarter.

To the average investor, there are many gauges shareholders can use to monitor their holdings. A couple 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 hedge fund managers can beat their index-focused peers by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC)Just as key, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the world of equities. There are a variety of stimuli for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Many academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if you know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a glance at the latest action regarding Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC).

What have hedge funds been doing with Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 13% from the first quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

Of the funds we track, David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management had the biggest position in Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC), worth close to $46.1 million, comprising 1.2% of its total 13F portfolio. On Dreman Value Management’s heels is Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $28.5 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Bryn Mawr Capital, managed by Ken Gray and Steve Walsh, initiated the most outsized position in Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC). Bryn Mawr Capital had 0.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also initiated a $0.5 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new ASBC position is Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

What have insiders been doing with Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last half-year time frame, Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC) has experienced 3 unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC). These stocks are Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC), Old National Bancorp (NYSE:ONB), PrivateBancorp Inc (NASDAQ:PVTB), Firstmerit Corp (NASDAQ:FMER), and TFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:TFSL). This group of stocks are in the regional – midwest banks industry and their market caps resemble ASBC’s market cap.

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