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Should You Buy Central Pacific Financial Corp. (CPF)?

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Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF) shareholders have witnessed an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months.

To the average investor, there are tons of methods market participants can use to watch Mr. Market. Some of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top hedge fund managers can trounce the market by a superb amount (see just how much).

Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF)

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of reasons for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the key action regarding Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF).

What have hedge funds been doing with Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 29% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Kevin Michael Ulrich’s Anchorage Advisors had the largest position in Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF), worth close to $147.5 million, comprising 5.4% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, with a $28.1 million position; the fund has 0.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Doug Silverman’s Senator Investment Group, Jonathan Kolatch’s Redwood Capital Management and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

As industrywide interest jumped, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Advanced Investment Partners, managed by Douglas W. Case, created the most valuable position in Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF). Advanced Investment Partners had 0.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management also made a $0.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

How are insiders trading Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time period, Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero 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 Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF). These stocks are PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW), BBCN Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBCN), West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO), Hanmi Financial Corp (NASDAQ:HAFC), and First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK). All of these stocks are in the regional – pacific banks industry and their market caps match CPF’s market cap.

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