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Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (CRBC): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?: Chemical Financial Corporation (CHFC), Park National Corporation (PRK)

Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC) has experienced a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently.

Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC)In today’s marketplace, there are dozens of methods market participants can use to analyze publicly traded companies. A duo of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best hedge fund managers can outperform their index-focused peers by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are many motivations for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if piggybackers understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a glance at the latest action surrounding Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC).

What does the smart money think about Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -25% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management had the largest position in Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC), worth close to $50 million, accounting for 0.2% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Robert Emil Zoellner of Alpine Associates, with a $28 million position; the fund has 1.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish include Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Sander Gerber’s Hudson Bay Capital Management.

Due to the fact that Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC) has faced bearish sentiment from the smart money, we can see that there were a few fund managers who were dropping their entire stakes in Q4. It’s worth mentioning that Debra Fine’s Fine Capital Partners cut the biggest position of the 450+ funds we track, worth close to $7 million in stock.. Robert Millard’s fund, Realm Partners, also said goodbye to its stock, about $2 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 3 funds in Q4.

How have insiders been trading Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC). These stocks are Chemical Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CHFC), Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK), First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI), National Bank Holdings Corp (NYSE:NBHC), and First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). All of these stocks are in the regional – midwest banks industry and their market caps match CRBC’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Chemical Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CHFC) 5 4 0
Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK) 4 2 0
First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI) 13 0 1
National Bank Holdings Corp (NYSE:NBHC) 19 0 0
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) 5 9 2

With the results demonstrated by the aforementioned studies, everyday investors must always watch hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CRBC) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds