First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (FIBK): Insiders Are Buying, Should You?

First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK) was in 6 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. FIBK investors should pay attention to an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 4 hedge funds in our database with FIBK holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Bill Miller

To most investors, hedge funds are viewed as underperforming, old financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we choose to focus on the elite of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on most of the smart money’s total capital, and by paying attention to their highest performing equity investments, we have discovered a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have trumped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).

Equally as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the world of equities. There are many incentives for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a gander at the recent action surrounding First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK).

What does the smart money think about First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 50% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Bill Miller’s Legg Mason Capital Management had the most valuable position in First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK), worth close to $14.6 million, comprising 0.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Crispin Odey of Odey Asset Management Group, with a $5.4 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Now, specific money managers have jumped into First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK) headfirst. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, initiated the most valuable position in First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK). Renaissance Technologies had 0.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw also made a $0.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time frame, First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK) has seen 2 unique insiders purchasing, and 9 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 First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK). These stocks are Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL), CVB Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CVBF), PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW), BBCN Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBCN), and Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF). This group of stocks are the members of the regional – pacific banks industry and their market caps match FIBK’s market cap.