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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About First Midwest Bancorp Inc (FMBI)

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First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI) investors should be aware of an increase in enthusiasm from smart money recently.

To most investors, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old financial tools of the past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open today, we look at the moguls of this group, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group oversees the lion’s share of the smart money’s total capital, and by paying attention to their top equity investments, we have found 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 annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started 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).

First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI)Equally as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the marketplace. There are a number of stimuli for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

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

Hedge fund activity in First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI)

In preparation for this year, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 8% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, holds the most valuable position in First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI). Fisher Asset Management has a $24.3 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $11.2 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies that are bullish include David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management, Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Ellington, managed by Mike Vranos, created the biggest position in First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI). Ellington had 0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time frame, First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI). These stocks are MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI), Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC), Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK), First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC), and National Bank Holdings Corp (NYSE:NBHC). All of these stocks are in the regional – midwest banks industry and their market caps are closest to FMBI’s market cap.

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