Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (BNCL): Hedge Funds Are Bullish and Insiders Are Bearish, What Should You Do?: Oritani Financial Corp. (ORIT), First Commonwealth Financial (FCF)

Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL) investors should be aware of an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late.

Jonathon Jacobson

If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, old financial tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds trading at present, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the masters of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the lion’s share of the smart money’s total capital, and by tracking their highest performing equity investments, we have uncovered a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are a number of reasons for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a peek at the key action encompassing Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL).

How are hedge funds trading Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 25% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Highfields Capital Management, managed by Jonathon Jacobson, holds the biggest position in Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL). Highfields Capital Management has a $9.5 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Eric D. Hovde of Hovde Capital, with a $1.4 million position; the fund has 1.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Two Sigma Advisors, managed by John Overdeck and David Siegel, initiated the most valuable position in Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL). Two Sigma Advisors had 0.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

How have insiders been trading Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last half-year time frame, Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL). These stocks are Oritani Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ORIT), First Commonwealth Financial (NYSE:FCF), Independent Bank Corp (NASDAQ:INDB), NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB), and Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH). All of these stocks are in the regional – northeast banks industry and their market caps are closest to BNCL’s market cap.