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Hedge Funds Never Been This Bullish On Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (GBCI)

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the second quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) based on that data and determine whether they were really smart about the stock.

Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) has experienced an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) was in 20 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the second quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 17. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with GBCI positions at the end of the first quarter. Our calculations also showed that GBCI isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

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

So, why do we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment before making any investment decisions? Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 56 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter. Even if you aren’t comfortable with shorting stocks, you should at least avoid initiating long positions in stocks that are in our short portfolio.

FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENT

Ken Fisher of Fisher Asset Management

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we are checking out this junior gold mining stock and we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website to get excerpts of these letters in your inbox. With all of this in mind let’s take a look at the recent hedge fund action encompassing Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI).

How are hedge funds trading Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI)?

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 20 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 67% from the first quarter of 2020. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in GBCI over the last 20 quarters. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has the biggest position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), worth close to $20.6 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Israel Englander of Millennium Management, with a $10.5 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining members of the smart money with similar optimism encompass Mark Lee’s Forest Hill Capital, Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace LLP and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Forest Hill Capital allocated the biggest weight to Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), around 2.91% of its 13F portfolio. Neo Ivy Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.46 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to GBCI.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers have jumped into Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) headfirst. Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, established the largest position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). Marshall Wace LLP had $4.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw also initiated a $2.8 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital, Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp, and Benjamin A. Smith’s Laurion Capital Management.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM), World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE), W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA), Nextera Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NEP), Envista Holdings Corporation (NYSE:NVST), RBC Bearings Incorporated (NASDAQ:ROLL), and Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT). This group of stocks’ market caps are similar to GBCI’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
IRDM 19 223663 -1
WWE 29 390419 -2
GRA 39 1296937 4
NEP 21 125356 0
NVST 21 395641 -1
ROLL 17 61588 8
MAT 25 595357 8
Average 24.4 441280 2.3

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 24.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $441 million. That figure was $62 million in GBCI’s case. W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand RBC Bearings Incorporated (NASDAQ:ROLL) is the least popular one with only 17 bullish hedge fund positions. Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for GBCI is 40. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 24.8% in 2020 through the end of September and still beat the market by 19.3 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on GBCI as the stock returned 32.9% in the third quarter and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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