Hedge Funds Are Coming Back To People’s United Financial, Inc. (PBCT)

In this article you are going to find out whether hedge funds think People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) is a good investment right now. We like to check what the smart money thinks first before doing extensive research on a given stock. Although there have been several high profile failed hedge fund picks, the consensus picks among hedge fund investors have historically outperformed the market after adjusting for known risk attributes. It’s not surprising given that hedge funds have access to better information and more resources to predict the winners in the stock market.

Is People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) an outstanding investment today? Investors who are in the know were in a bullish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets advanced by 4 in recent months. People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) was in 24 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistic is 29. Our calculations also showed that PBCT isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings). There were 20 hedge funds in our database with PBCT positions at the end of the first quarter.

In the eyes of most market participants, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, Our researchers hone in on the aristocrats of this club, about 850 funds. These hedge fund managers watch over most of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by monitoring their finest equity investments, Insider Monkey has spotted a number of investment strategies that have historically outrun the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points annually since its inception in March 2017. Also, our monthly newsletter’s portfolio of long stock picks returned 185.4% since March 2017 (through August 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 79 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website.

Matthew Halbower Pentwater Capital

Matthew Halbower of Pentwater Capital

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium mining is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like this emerging lithium stock. We go through lists like the 10 best EV 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 analyze the recent hedge fund action surrounding People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT).

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

At Q2’s end, a total of 24 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 20% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards PBCT over the last 24 quarters. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital has the biggest position in People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT), worth close to $106.8 million, amounting to 1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Alpine Associates, led by Robert Emil Zoellner, holding a $21.7 million position; the fund has 0.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish consist of Matthew Halbower’s Pentwater Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position One Fin Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT), around 4.25% of its 13F portfolio. Hourglass Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 1.22 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to PBCT.

Now, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, assembled the most outsized position in People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT). Balyasny Asset Management had $1.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ryan Tolkin (CIO)’s Schonfeld Strategic Advisors also initiated a $0.4 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new PBCT investors: Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management, and Renee Yao’s Neo Ivy Capital.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY), Coty Inc (NYSE:COTY), Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ:STAA), Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:EEFT), Change Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ:CHNG), and Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA). All of these stocks’ market caps are closest to PBCT’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CASY 24 130468 13
COTY 30 381601 5
THC 39 1860668 0
STAA 26 1637023 10
EEFT 40 368945 0
CHNG 51 1839614 -5
NKLA 12 389494 -7
Average 31.7 943973 2.3

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 31.7 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $944 million. That figure was $219 million in PBCT’s case. Change Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ:CHNG) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for PBCT is 49.2. 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. 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 October 22nd and still beat the market by 1.6 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on PBCT as the stock returned 10.5% since the end of the second quarter (through 10/22) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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