Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (ABTX)

We at Insider Monkey have gone over 752 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of September 30th. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX) based on that data.

Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX) was in 8 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2019. ABTX shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. There were 6 hedge funds in our database with ABTX positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that ABTX isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings).
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

According to most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds in operation today, Our researchers choose to focus on the masters of this group, about 750 funds. These money managers direct bulk of the smart money’s total asset base, and by monitoring their inimitable equity investments, Insider Monkey has deciphered various investment strategies that have historically exceeded Mr. Market. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy outrun the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per year since its inception in May 2014. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.8% since February 2017 (through November 21st) even though the market was up more than 39% during the same period. We just shared a list of 7 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

Chuck Royce

Chuck Royce of Royce & Associates

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. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, “I’m investing more today than I did back in early 2009.” So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We also rely on the best performing hedge funds‘ buy/sell signals. We’re going to take a gander at the recent hedge fund action surrounding Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX).

What have hedge funds been doing with Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2019, a total of 8 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 33% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 7 hedge funds with a bullish position in ABTX a year ago. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

Is ABTX A Good Stock To Buy?

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, holds the most valuable position in Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX). Royce & Associates has a $7.6 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Israel Englander of Millennium Management, with a $3.3 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish encompass Renaissance Technologies, Emanuel J. Friedman’s EJF Capital and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position EJF Capital allocated the biggest weight to Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX), around 0.33% of its 13F portfolio. Royce & Associates is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 0.07 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to ABTX.

Consequently, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. EJF Capital, managed by Emanuel J. Friedman, established the most outsized position in Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX). EJF Capital had $2.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Harding’s Winton Capital Management also made a $0.8 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Peter Muller’s PDT Partners and David E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX). We will take a look at LeMaitre Vascular Inc (NASDAQ:LMAT), Principia Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ:PRNB), Genfit SA (NASDAQ:GNFT), and Amerant Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:AMTB). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to ABTX’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LMAT 10 12279 -1
PRNB 12 196940 0
GNFT 4 19777 -2
AMTB 4 7814 2
Average 7.5 59203 -0.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 7.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $59 million. That figure was $19 million in ABTX’s case. Principia Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ:PRNB) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Genfit SA (NASDAQ:GNFT) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Allegiance Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTX) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on ABTX as the stock returned 11.8% during the fourth quarter (through the end of November) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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