Hedge Funds Are Crazy About South State Corporation (SSB)

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We have processed the filings of the more than 866 world-class investment firms that we track and now have access to the collective wisdom contained in these filings, which are based on their March 31st holdings, data that is available nowhere else. Should you consider South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) for your portfolio? We’ll look to this invaluable collective wisdom for the answer.

Is South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) going to take off soon? The best stock pickers were becoming hopeful. The number of long hedge fund bets rose by 7 recently. South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) was in 24 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2021. The all time high for this statistic is 24. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that SSB isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

To most traders, hedge funds are perceived as underperforming, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, We choose to focus on the leaders of this group, approximately 850 funds. These investment experts manage the lion’s share of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by tracking their top investments, Insider Monkey has uncovered numerous investment strategies that have historically exceeded the broader indices. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy outstripped 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 206.8% since March 2017 (through May 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 115 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital

Matthew Lindenbaum of Basswood Capital

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Chuck Schumer recently stated that marijuana legalization will be a Senate priority. So, we are checking out this under the radar stock that will benefit from this. 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. Now let’s take a look at the fresh hedge fund action surrounding South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB).

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

At first quarter’s end, a total of 24 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 41% from the fourth quarter of 2020. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards SSB over the last 23 quarters. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

More specifically, Select Equity Group was the largest shareholder of South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB), with a stake worth $206.9 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Select Equity Group was Citadel Investment Group, which amassed a stake valued at $9.2 million. Royce & Associates, Millennium Management, and Basswood Capital 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 JCSD Capital allocated the biggest weight to South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB), around 1.35% of its 13F portfolio. Forest Hill Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.97 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to SSB.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names have jumped into South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) headfirst. Holocene Advisors, managed by Brandon Haley, initiated the most valuable position in South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB). Holocene Advisors had $2.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Prelude Capital (previously Springbok Capital) also initiated a $2.4 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new SSB positions are Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital, Greg Eisner’s Engineers Gate Manager, and Jinghua Yan’s TwinBeech Capital.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Valley National Bancorp (NASDAQ:VLY), Q2 Holdings Inc (NYSE:QTWO), Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS), Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE:AYX), Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM), Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), and Evercore Inc. (NYSE:EVR). This group of stocks’ market values match SSB’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
VLY 17 87726 0
QTWO 26 248123 3
ADS 36 1420743 4
AYX 35 749927 -7
IRDM 22 605499 4
THC 39 1515145 5
EVR 31 365300 3
Average 29.4 713209 1.7

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 29.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $713 million. That figure was $252 million in SSB’s case. Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Valley National Bancorp (NASDAQ:VLY) is the least popular one with only 17 bullish hedge fund positions. South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for SSB is 55.9. 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 negative signal and 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 23.8% in 2021 through July 16th and surpassed the market again by 7.7 percentage points. Unfortunately SSB wasn’t nearly as popular as these 5 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); SSB investors were disappointed as the stock returned -2.2% since the end of March (through 7/16) 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 most of these stocks already outperformed the market in 2021.

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