Here is What Hedge Funds Think About FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (FFNW)

The financial regulations require hedge funds and wealthy investors that exceeded the $100 million equity holdings threshold to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn’t the intention, these filings to a certain extent level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F filings disclosed the funds’ positions on September 30th, about a month before the elections. We at Insider Monkey have made an extensive database of more than 817 of those established hedge funds and famous value investors’ filings. In this article, we analyze how these elite funds and prominent investors traded FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW) based on those filings.

FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW) was in 4 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 7. FFNW has experienced a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately. There were 6 hedge funds in our database with FFNW holdings at the end of June. Our calculations also showed that FFNW isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 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.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 66 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’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 13% through November 17th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Arbiter Partners Capital Management's Returns, AUM and Holdings

Paul Isaac of Arbiter Partners Capital 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 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. Keeping this in mind we’re going to take a glance at the latest hedge fund action encompassing FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW).


At third quarter’s end, a total of 4 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -33% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards FFNW over the last 21 quarters. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies has the most valuable position in FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW), worth close to $6.2 million, amounting to less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Fourthstone LLC, managed by Phil Stone, which holds a $2.9 million position; 2.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism contain Paul J. Isaac’s Arbiter Partners Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and . In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Fourthstone LLC allocated the biggest weight to FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW), around 2.4% of its 13F portfolio. Arbiter Partners Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 0.02 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to FFNW.

Judging by the fact that FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW) has witnessed declining sentiment from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there lies a certain “tier” of funds who were dropping their entire stakes by the end of the third quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners said goodbye to the largest investment of all the hedgies watched by Insider Monkey, valued at close to $0.1 million in stock, and Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Springbok Capital was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $0 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 2 funds by the end of the third quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW). These stocks are IEC Electronics Corp. (NASDAQ:IEC), Union Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNB), Genesis Healthcare Inc (NYSE:GEN), Potbelly Corp (NASDAQ:PBPB), Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NASDAQ:OAS), Amesite Inc. (NASDAQ:AMST), and Malvern Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLVF). This group of stocks’ market values are closest to FFNW’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
IEC 2 7039 0
UNB 3 1846 -1
GEN 6 3979 -2
PBPB 7 20437 -2
OAS 10 5446 -7
AMST 1 293 1
MLVF 7 21196 -3
Average 5.1 8605 -2

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 5.1 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $9 million. That figure was $10 million in FFNW’s case. Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NASDAQ:OAS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Amesite Inc. (NASDAQ:AMST) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. (NASDAQ:FFNW) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for FFNW is 36.8. 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 30.7% in 2020 through November 27th and still beat the market by 16.1 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on FFNW as the stock returned 26.4% since the end of the third quarter (through 11/27) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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