Adage Capital Loads More Cash On the Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (EBSB) Wagon, Should You?

Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson‘s Adage Capital Management has inched up its stake in Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) by acquiring some 141,900 shares according to a new 13G filing. The stake now consists of 2.79 million shares valued at $36.40 million, based on current trading levels, and represents 5.07% of the company’s outstanding stock.

Phill Gross

The Gross and Atchinson duo was a star performer at the Harvard Management Company (HMC) before launching their own fund in 2001. Gross, who spent 18 years at HMC, started out as a healthcare and retail analyst and later became a partner. Adage currently has about $48.2 billion worth of assets under management and the market value of its public equity portfolio stood at $41.02 billion at the end of the first quarter. The portfolio is fairly diversified with its top ten holdings constituting about 13.8% of the portfolio value. The finance sector accounted for 13% of the holdings, with the fund’s other top finance picks being JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), which we’ll get to later. So far this year, the sector is up by more than 10%.

Phill Gross And Robert Atchinson
Phill Gross And Robert Atchinson
Adage Capital Management

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Adage has held a position in Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) since the third quarter of 2014. The $712 million company is a holding company for East Boston Savings Bank and held its IPO in July of last year. The savings bank founded in 1848 is a Massachusetts chartered stock savings bank. Currently the company operates 27 service branches. In its latest financial results, Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) delivered an EPS which was in-line with the estimates and revenues that beat expectations. Since its IPO, the stock has climbed by more than 23%. In comparison, the savings & cooperative banks industry has risen by about 16% during the same period. Among Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB)’s investors among the funds we track is Emanuel J. Friedman‘s EJF Capital, which is the second-largest stockholder of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) after Adage Capital, holding about 2.0 million shares valued at $26.34 million.