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Hedge Funds Are Selling West Coast Bancorp (WCBO) – TriCo Bancshares (TCBK), Cascade Bancorp (CACB)

West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) was in 9 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. WCBO has experienced a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money of late. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with WCBO holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

At the moment, there are many metrics shareholders can use to analyze stocks. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can beat the S&P 500 by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Michael Price

Just as key, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the financial markets. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of motivations for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this method if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a gander at the key action encompassing West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO).

Hedge fund activity in West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO)

In preparation for this year, a total of 9 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -31% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, MFP Investors, managed by Michael Price, holds the most valuable position in West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO). MFP Investors has a $37.8 million position in the stock, comprising 5.4% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management, with a $29.4 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other hedgies that hold long positions include Robert Emil Zoellner’s Alpine Associates, Sander Gerber’s Hudson Bay Capital Management and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Judging by the fact that West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) has witnessed declining sentiment from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few hedge funds who were dropping their entire stakes last quarter. Interestingly, Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital cut the largest position of the 450+ funds we key on, totaling about $9.7 million in stock.. Robert Millard’s fund, Realm Partners, also cut its stock, about $3.3 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 4 funds last quarter.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time period, West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to West Coast Bancorp (NASDAQ:WCBO). These stocks are First Interstate Bancsystem Inc (NASDAQ:FIBK), TriCo Bancshares (NASDAQ:TCBK), Cascade Bancorp (NASDAQ:CACB), Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF), and Hanmi Financial Corp (NASDAQ:HAFC). This group of stocks belong to the regional – pacific banks industry and their market caps match WCBO’s market cap.

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