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Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock? – Oritani Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ORIT), NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB)

Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH) shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund sentiment lately.

Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH)

To most investors, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old investment tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at present, we at Insider Monkey choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, close to 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing equity investments, we have identified a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the S&P 500 index. 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 started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have trumped the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the financial markets. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of incentives for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if piggybackers understand where to look (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a gander at the recent action encompassing Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH).

What have hedge funds been doing with Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH)?

At year’s end, a total of 14 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 27% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH). Royce & Associates has a $12 million position in the stock, comprising 0% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Hutchin Hill Capital, managed by Neil Chriss, which held a $2 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds with similar optimism include Philippe Jabre’s Jabre Capital Partners, Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Highbridge Capital Management, managed by Glenn Russell Dubin, assembled the biggest position in Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH). Highbridge Capital Management had 1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors also made a $0 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new BPFH positions are Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

How are insiders trading Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

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

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Oritani Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ORIT) 6 0 1
First Commonwealth Financial (NYSE:FCF) 3 3 0
Independent Bank Corp (NASDAQ:INDB) 4 2 5
Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:BNCL) 5 0 0
NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB) 5 1 5

With the results shown by Insider Monkey’s tactics, everyday investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Boston Private Financial Hldg Inc (NASDAQ:BPFH) applies perfectly to this mantra.

Click here to learn more about Insider Monkey’s Hedge Fund Newsletter

Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 37% between September 2012 and March 2013 versus 12.9% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.

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