Is Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (UBSH) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH) has seen an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months.

Tom Gayner

At the moment, there are tons of methods shareholders can use to analyze the equity markets. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can outclass the market by a solid margin (see just how much).

Just as integral, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: 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 initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if you know where to look (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a gander at the recent action surrounding Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH).

What does the smart money think about Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 75% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Markel Gayner Asset Management, managed by Tom Gayner, holds the largest position in Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH). Markel Gayner Asset Management has a $41.4 million position in the stock, comprising 1.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, which held a $0.6 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include David Cohen and Harold Levy’s Iridian Asset Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Gregory Fraser, Rudolph Kluiber, and Timothy Kroch’s GRT Capital Partners.

Now, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. GRT Capital Partners, managed by Gregory Fraser, Rudolph Kluiber, and Timothy Kroch, created the most outsized position in Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH). GRT Capital Partners had 0.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also made a $0.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The only other fund with a new position in the stock is D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

What have insiders been doing with Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH)?

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time period, Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 2 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 Union First Market Bankshares Corp. (NASDAQ:UBSH). These stocks are TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN), Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:VCBI), The Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:TBBK), Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN), and Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:SASR). All of these stocks are in the regional – mid-atlantic banks industry and their market caps resemble UBSH’s market cap.

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