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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Flushing Financial Corporation (FFIC)

We are still in an overall bull market and many stocks that smart money investors were piling into surged through the end of November. Among them, Facebook and Microsoft ranked among the top 3 picks and these stocks gained 54% and 51% respectively. Hedge funds’ top 3 stock picks returned 41.7% this year and beat the S&P 500 ETFs by 14 percentage points. Investing in index funds guarantees you average returns, not superior returns. We are looking to generate superior returns for our readers. That’s why we believe it isn’t a waste of time to check out hedge fund sentiment before you invest in a stock like Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC).

Is Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) a sound investment today? The smart money is turning bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went up by 4 recently. Our calculations also showed that FFIC isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings). FFIC was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with FFIC positions at the end of the previous quarter.
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

If you’d ask most shareholders, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds trading at present, Our experts choose to focus on the leaders of this group, about 750 funds. These hedge fund managers shepherd bulk of the smart money’s total capital, and by observing their matchless picks, Insider Monkey has unearthed many investment strategies that have historically beaten the market. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per annum 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 .

Paul Marshall Marshall Wace

Paul Marshall of Marshall Wace

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 peek at the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC).

How have hedgies been trading Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 12 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 50% from the second quarter of 2019. On the other hand, there were a total of 8 hedge funds with a bullish position in FFIC a year ago. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

The largest stake in Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) was held by GAMCO Investors, which reported holding $21.6 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Renaissance Technologies with a $12.7 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Millennium Management, D E Shaw, and AQR Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position GAMCO Investors allocated the biggest weight to Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC), around 0.18% of its 13F portfolio. Weld Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.08 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to FFIC.

Consequently, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, created the most valuable position in Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC). Arrowstreet Capital had $0.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Minhua Zhang’s Weld Capital Management also initiated a $0.4 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp, David Harding’s Winton Capital Management, and Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace.

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC). We will take a look at Dorian LPG Ltd (NYSE:LPG), Borr Drilling Limited (NYSE:BORR), UMH Properties, Inc (NYSE:UMH), and Textainer Group Holdings Limited (NYSE:TGH). This group of stocks’ market valuations are similar to FFIC’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
LPG 19 141816 9
BORR 5 35995 5
UMH 8 13726 -1
TGH 9 20758 2
Average 10.25 53074 3.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 10.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $53 million. That figure was $44 million in FFIC’s case. Dorian LPG Ltd (NYSE:LPG) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Borr Drilling Limited (NYSE:BORR) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. 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. Unfortunately FFIC wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on FFIC were disappointed as the stock returned 5% during the fourth quarter (through the end of November) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

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

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