Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Investors Bancorp, Inc. (ISBC)?

Is Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) a buy here? The smart money is turning less bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions stayed the same which is a slightly negative development in our experience

To the average investor, there are dozens of indicators shareholders can use to track Mr. Market. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can beat the broader indices by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC)

Equally as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of stimuli for an upper level exec to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a peek at the recent action surrounding Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC).

Hedge fund activity in Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the largest position in Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC), worth close to $16.2 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Michael Price of MFP Investors, with a $1.8 million position; the fund has 0.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish include Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Stephen J. Errico’s Locust Wood Capital Advisers.

Due to the fact that Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) has faced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there is a sect of fund managers that decided to sell off their full holdings in Q4. Interestingly, Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp dropped the biggest stake of all the hedgies we monitor, comprising about $0.6 million in stock., and Israel Englander of Millennium Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.3 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How have insiders been trading Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC). These stocks are Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI), Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA), First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG), Capitol Federal Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFFN), and Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD). All of these stocks are in the savings & loans industry and their market caps resemble ISBC’s market cap.