Hedge Funds Are Crazy About SCBT Financial Corporation (SCBT)

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SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT) investors should pay attention to an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months.

According to most market participants, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated investment tools of the past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation today, we look at the leaders of this group, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group has its hands on the majority of the smart money’s total capital, and by paying attention to their top stock picks, we have determined a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the market. 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 topped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see all of our picks from August).

Chuck Royce

Just as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the financial markets. As the old adage goes: there are lots of incentives for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if “monkeys” know where to look (learn more here).

Now, it’s important to take a peek at the latest action surrounding SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT).

What have hedge funds been doing with SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 75% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings considerably.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Hutchin Hill Capital, managed by Neil Chriss, holds the largest position in SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT). Hutchin Hill Capital has a $5.3 million position in the stock, comprising 0.4% of its 13F portfolio. On Hutchin Hill Capital’s heels is Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates, with a $4.3 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies with similar optimism include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, assembled the largest position in SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT). Royce & Associates had 4.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also made a $1.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new SCBT positions are Mike Vranos’s Ellington and Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp.

How are insiders trading SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time period, SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT) has experienced 1 unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT). These stocks are The Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:TBBK), United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBSI), City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO), United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI), and WesBanco, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBC). This group of stocks are the members of the regional – mid-atlantic banks industry and their market caps resemble SCBT’s market cap.

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