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Should You Buy S & T Bancorp Inc (STBA)?: Oritani Financial Corp. (ORIT), Washington Trust Bancorp (WASH)

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S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA) was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. STBA has seen an increase in hedge fund interest recently. There were 3 hedge funds in our database with STBA positions at the end of the previous quarter.

S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA)At the moment, there are a multitude of methods investors can use to watch publicly traded companies. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best hedge fund managers can outperform the market by a solid amount (see just how much).

Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are lots of motivations for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a gander at the latest action regarding S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA).

What does the smart money think about S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 67% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially.

Of the funds we track, Bryn Mawr Capital, managed by Ken Gray and Steve Walsh, holds the biggest position in S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA). Bryn Mawr Capital has a $3.3 million position in the stock, comprising 0.3% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $0.6 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, created the biggest position in S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA). Citadel Investment Group had 0.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also initiated a $0.6 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new STBA position is Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

How have insiders been trading S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time period, S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 6 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 S & T Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:STBA). These stocks are Oritani Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ORIT), Washington Trust Bancorp (NASDAQ:WASH), Northfield Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:NFBK), Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSEAMEX:TMP), and TrustCo Bank Corp NY (NASDAQ:TRST). This group of stocks belong to the regional – northeast banks industry and their market caps resemble STBA’s market cap.

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