Do Hedge Funds Love Park National Corporation (PRK)?

How do we determine whether Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK) makes for a good investment at the moment? We analyze the sentiment of a select group of the very best investors in the world, who spend immense amounts of time and resources studying companies. They may not always be right (no one is), but data shows that their consensus long positions have historically outperformed the market when we adjust for known risk factors.

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Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK) investors should pay attention to a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money recently. PRK was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the third quarter of 2015. There were 6 hedge funds in our database with PRK positions at the end of the previous quarter. At the end of this article we will also compare PRK to other stocks, including Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDR), Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ:KALU), and Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HMIN) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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Today there are several methods that stock traders put to use to analyze their stock investments. A duo of the best methods are hedge fund and insider trading interest. Hedge fund experts at Insider Monkey have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can outpace the S&P 500 by a very impressive margin (see the details here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a peek at the fresh action regarding Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK).

How are hedge funds trading Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 5 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -17% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings substantially.

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the number one position in Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK), worth close to $3.1 million, corresponding to less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish hedge fund manager is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $1.6 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining members of the smart money that hold long positions contain John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

Judging by the fact that Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of hedgies that elected to cut their full holdings at the end of the third quarter. Interestingly, Peter Muller’s PDT Partners dumped the largest investment of the “upper crust” of funds monitored by Insider Monkey, worth about $0.4 million in stock, and Matthew Hulsizer of PEAK6 Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0.1 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds at the end of the third quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK). We will take a look at Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDR), Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ:KALU), Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HMIN), and AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAG). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble PRK’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
BLDR 39 231623 14
KALU 19 160762 4
HMIN 7 73710 2
AMAG 29 388825 0

As you can see these stocks had an average of 24 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $214 million. Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HMIN) is the least popular one with only 7 hedge funds bullish on the stock. Compared to these stocks Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK) is even less popular than HMIN, which should raise some questions regarding PRK’s potential. It does not necessarily mean that PRK is not a good investment, but rather than it requires a more detailed analysis before one considers buying the stock.