Hedge Funds Aren’t Impressed By Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (BRKL)

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. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. What do these smart investors think about Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL)?

Is Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) a buy here? The best stock pickers are in a pessimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets dropped by 3 in recent months. Our calculations also showed that BRKL isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). BRKL was in 8 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. There were 11 hedge funds in our database with BRKL holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

To the average investor there are plenty of gauges stock traders can use to analyze their stock investments. A couple of the most under-the-radar gauges are hedge fund and insider trading interest. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite money managers can outclass the broader indices by a superb margin (see the details here).


Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world’s largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind let’s take a gander at the recent hedge fund action encompassing Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL).

What have hedge funds been doing with Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 8 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -27% from the fourth quarter of 2019. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards BRKL over the last 18 quarters. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL), with a stake worth $23.7 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Polaris Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $13.3 million. Prospector Partners, Millennium Management, and Citadel Investment Group 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 Prospector Partners allocated the biggest weight to Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL), around 1.12% of its 13F portfolio. Polaris Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 0.8 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BRKL.

Due to the fact that Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) has faced falling interest from hedge fund managers, it’s safe to say that there were a few hedgies that decided to sell off their positions entirely heading into Q4. At the top of the heap, Ryan Tolkin (CIO)’s Schonfeld Strategic Advisors dropped the largest investment of the “upper crust” of funds watched by Insider Monkey, worth an estimated $0.2 million in stock, and Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $0.2 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds heading into Q4.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL). We will take a look at Perficient, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRFT), Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (NYSE:SAND), BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:BGCP), and Beam Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAM). This group of stocks’ market caps are similar to BRKL’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
PRFT 21 58816 -2
SAND 13 64388 0
BGCP 31 142549 4
BEAM 11 157065 11
Average 19 105705 3.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 19 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $106 million. That figure was $45 million in BRKL’s case. BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:BGCP) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Beam Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAM) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) is even less popular than BEAM. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards BRKL. Our calculations showed that the top 10 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 12.2% in 2020 through June 17th but managed to beat the market by 14.8 percentage points. Unfortunately BRKL wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); BRKL investors were disappointed as the stock returned -13.4% during the second quarter (through June 17th) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2020.

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