First Bancorp (FBP): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

The 800+ hedge funds and famous money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the first quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of March 31st. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund portfolios. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP).

Is First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) a cheap investment now? The smart money was buying. The number of bullish hedge fund bets advanced by 2 in recent months. First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) was in 25 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The all time high for this statistic is 32. Our calculations also showed that FBP isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings). There were 23 hedge funds in our database with FBP holdings at the end of December.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Hedge funds have more than $3.5 trillion in assets under management, so you can’t expect their entire portfolios to beat the market by large margins. Our research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). So you can still find a lot of gems by following hedge funds’ moves today.


Louis Navellier of Navellier & Associates

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, economists warn of inflation flare up. So, we are checking out this backdoor gold play that has hit peak gains of 718% in a little over a year. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a glance at the key hedge fund action surrounding First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP).

Do Hedge Funds Think FBP Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At Q1’s end, a total of 25 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 9% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 24 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in FBP a year ago. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Among these funds, Arctis Global held the most valuable stake in First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP), which was worth $75.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was EJF Capital which amassed $46 million worth of shares. Alyeska Investment Group, Rubric Capital Management, and Point72 Asset Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Arctis Global allocated the biggest weight to First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP), around 10.71% of its 13F portfolio. Mendon Capital Advisors is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 3.77 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to FBP.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names were breaking ground themselves. ExodusPoint Capital, managed by Michael Gelband, established the most valuable position in First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP). ExodusPoint Capital had $1.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp also made a $0.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new FBP investors: Louis Navellier’s Navellier & Associates and Matthew L Pinz’s Pinz Capital.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) but similarly valued. These stocks are Academy Sports and Outdoors, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASO), Telos Corporation (NASDAQ:TLS), Green Dot Corporation (NYSE:GDOT), Aeva Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AEVA), Trinseo S.A. (NYSE:TSE), IGM Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:IGMS), and Forward Air Corporation (NASDAQ:FWRD). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to FBP’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
ASO 37 409605 11
TLS 15 151370 -13
GDOT 26 513759 -6
AEVA 16 378663 0
TSE 17 51427 1
IGMS 18 759325 0
FWRD 13 285958 2
Average 20.3 364301 -0.7

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 20.3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $364 million. That figure was $295 million in FBP’s case. Academy Sports and Outdoors, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Forward Air Corporation (NASDAQ:FWRD) is the least popular one with only 13 bullish hedge fund positions. First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for FBP is 55.4. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 24% in 2021 through July 9th and beat the market again by 6.7 percentage points. Unfortunately FBP wasn’t nearly as popular as these 5 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on FBP were disappointed as the stock returned 5.6% since the end of March (through 7/9) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.