Should You Buy Hancock Holding Company (HBHC)?

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Is Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) a splendid investment today? Money managers are turning bullish. The number of long hedge fund positions moved up by 5 lately.

To most market participants, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, old financial tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we choose to focus on the masters of this club, close to 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by keeping an eye on their best investments, we have found a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat 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 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are a number of stimuli for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a look at the latest action encompassing Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC).

What have hedge funds been doing with Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 83% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably.

Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)According to our comprehensive database, Dreman Value Management, managed by David Dreman, holds the biggest position in Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC). Dreman Value Management has a $29.8 million position in the stock, comprising 0.8% of its 13F portfolio. On Dreman Value Management’s heels is Bryn Mawr Capital, managed by Ken Gray and Steve Walsh, which held a $14.6 million position; 1.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds with similar optimism include John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Now, some big names have jumped into Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) headfirst. Two Sigma Advisors, managed by John Overdeck and David Siegel, established the most valuable position in Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC). Two Sigma Advisors had 5.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also initiated a $2.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new HBHC positions are D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management, and Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital.

How are insiders trading Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC)?

Bullish insider trading is best served when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time period, Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC) has experienced 1 unique insiders buying, 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 Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ:HBHC). These stocks are Bank Of The Ozarks Inc (NASDAQ:OZRK), Trustmark Corp (NASDAQ:TRMK), F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB), EverBank Financial Corp (NYSE:EVER), and First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN). This group of stocks are the members of the regional – southeast banks industry and their market caps are similar to HBHC’s market cap.

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