Hedge Funds Are Selling Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI)

Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI)Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) has experienced a decrease in hedge fund interest of late.

To most traders, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, outdated investment tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds trading today, we hone in on the elite of this group, close to 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group has its hands on the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing equity investments, we have deciphered a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Just as key, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. There are lots of motivations for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if investors know what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, it’s important to take a gander at the recent action surrounding Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI).

How are hedge funds trading Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI)?

At year’s end, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

Of the funds we track, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the biggest position in Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI), worth close to $2.4 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is Israel Englander of Millennium Management, with a $1.5 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds with similar optimism include Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

Since Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) has witnessed declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there was a specific group of money managers that elected to cut their full holdings at the end of the year. It’s worth mentioning that Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital sold off the largest position of the 450+ funds we track, worth an estimated $4.1 million in stock. These transactions are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How are insiders trading Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time period, Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) has experienced 5 unique insiders purchasing, and 2 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 Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI). These stocks are TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN), WSFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WSFS), First Community Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FCBC), Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB), and Stellarone Corp (NASDAQ:STEL). This group of stocks are the members of the regional – mid-atlantic banks industry and their market caps resemble SBSI’s market cap.