Do Hedge Funds Love NBT Bancorp Inc. (NBTB)?

The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the September quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors endured a torrid quarter, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB).

NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB) shareholders have witnessed a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately. NBTB was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2015. There were 6 hedge funds in our database with NBTB positions at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as THE CHEMOURS COMPANY (BMV:CC), Granite Construction Inc. (NYSE:GVA), and Potlatch Corporation (NASDAQ:PCH) to gather more data points.

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If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, old financial tools of years past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at present, Our experts look at the masters of this group, about 700 funds. These money managers have their hands on the majority of the smart money’s total asset base, and by keeping track of their unrivaled stock picks, Insider Monkey has revealed a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy defeated the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points per year for a decade in their back tests.

Now, we’re going to take a look at the latest action encompassing NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB).

What does the smart money think about NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -17% from the second quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exist a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, holds the largest position in NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB). AQR Capital Management has an $5.6 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with an $2.8 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism comprise Anton Schutz’s Mendon Capital Advisors, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital and Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management.

Seeing as NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB) has faced falling interest from hedge fund managers, we can see that there is a sect of hedge funds that decided to sell off their positions entirely last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management dropped the biggest position of the 700 funds followed by Insider Monkey, comprising close to $3.1 million in stock. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s fund, Two Sigma Advisors, also cut its stock, about $0.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 fund last quarter.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB). These stocks are THE CHEMOURS COMPANY (BMV:CC), Granite Construction Inc. (NYSE:GVA), Potlatch Corporation (NASDAQ:PCH), and Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc (NYSE:HY). All of these stocks’ market caps are closest to NBTB’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CC 24 171776 14
GVA 17 58763 3
PCH 13 64274 3
HY 13 40645 0

As you can see these stocks had an average of 17 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $84 million. That figure was $11 million in NBTB’s case. THE CHEMOURS COMPANY (BMV:CC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand, Potlatch Corporation (NASDAQ:PCH) is the least popular one. In comparison, with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions NBT Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NBTB) is even less popular than PCH. Although, this may imply that it is not a good stock to buy, it is also possible that investors find it overvalued because they are not familiar with the bullish thesis. In order to comprehend why smart money isn’t behind this stock, more research and analysis are needed.