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Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About United Community Banks Inc (UCBI) Anymore

The government requires hedge funds and wealthy investors with over a certain portfolio size to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn’t the intention, these filings level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F filings discloses the funds’ positions on September 30. We at Insider Monkey have made an extensive database of more than 700 of those elite funds and prominent investors’ filings. In this article, we analyze how these elite funds and prominent investors traded United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) based on those filings.

United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) has experienced a decrease in hedge fund interest in recent months. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT), Multi-Color Corporation (NASDAQ:LABL), and M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MDC) to gather more data points.

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To the average investor, there are tons of indicators stock traders use to analyze their stock investments. A couple of the most innovative indicators are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can outperform the market by a superb margin (see the details here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to check out the key action regarding United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI).

How are hedge funds trading United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)?

Heading into Q4, a total of 15 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -21% from the second quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Corsair Capital LLC, managed by D.T. Ignacio Jayanti, holds the most valuable position in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). Corsair Capital LLC has a $210.5 million position in the stock, comprising 53.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, with a $38.8 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. The remaining members of the smart money with similar optimism comprise Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management.

Judging by the fact that United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) has witnessed a declination in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there exists a select few money managers who sold off their entire stakes last quarter. Intriguingly, Porter Collins, Daniel Moses, and Vincent Daniel’s Seawolf Capital sold off the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds followed by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $4.2 million in stock, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $3.3 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 4 funds last quarter.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). We will take a look at Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT), Multi-Color Corporation (NASDAQ:LABL), M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MDC), and Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS). This group of stocks’ market values are closest to UCBI’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
GBT 14 182306 14
LABL 12 45385 2
MDC 11 66659 -4
PFS 10 22776 4

As you can see these stocks had an average of 12 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $79 million. That figure was $293 million in UCBI’s case. Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT) is the most popular stock in this table with a total of 14 funds reporting long positions, while Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) is the least popular one. Compared to these stocks United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) is more popular among hedge funds. Considering that hedge funds are fond of this stock in relation to its market cap peers, it may be a good idea to analyze it in detail and potentially include it in your portfolio.

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