This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Banner Corporation (BANR)

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Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) was in 10 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. BANR investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund sentiment recently. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with BANR holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

According to most traders, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, outdated financial tools of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at present, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, around 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the majority of the smart money’s total asset base, and by tracking their highest performing stock picks, we have figured out a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a 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 beaten the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as important, optimistic insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are a number of motivations for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if shareholders know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action encompassing Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR).

What does the smart money think about Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -17% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR)Of the funds we track, Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, holds the most valuable position in Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR). Renaissance Technologies has a $5.5 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is Basswood Capital, managed by Matthew Lindenbaum, which held a $4.4 million position; 0.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Because Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) has witnessed a declination in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few fund managers who sold off their entire stakes heading into Q2. It’s worth mentioning that Tom Brown’s Second Curve Capital cut the biggest stake of the 450+ funds we watch, valued at close to $22.5 million in stock., and Richard Driehaus of Driehaus Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $2.8 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds heading into Q2.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time frame, Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR). These stocks are Dime Community Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:DCOM), Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC), Kearny Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:KRNY), Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB), and Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL). This group of stocks belong to the savings & loans industry and their market caps are similar to BANR’s market cap.

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