The 700+ hedge funds and famous money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the first quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of March 31. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund portfolios. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC).
Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC) shares haven’t seen a lot of action during the first quarter. Overall, hedge fund sentiment was unchanged. The stock was in 15 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as First Hawaiian, Inc. (NASDAQ:FHB), Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALLO), and Regal Beloit Corporation (NYSE:RBC) to gather more data points.
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 has shown that hedge funds’ large-cap stock picks indeed failed to beat the market between 1999 and 2016. However, we were able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (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 30.9% through May 30, 2019. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.
We’re going to view the recent hedge fund action encompassing Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC).
What does smart money think about Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC)?
At Q1’s end, a total of 15 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, 17 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in HWC a year ago. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
More specifically, Basswood Capital was the largest shareholder of Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC), with a stake worth $19 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Basswood Capital was Renaissance Technologies, which amassed a stake valued at $19 million. Forest Hill Capital, Interval Partners, and D E Shaw were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.
Due to the fact that Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of money managers who were dropping their positions entirely heading into Q3. Interestingly, Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace LLP dumped the biggest stake of all the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, valued at close to $8.6 million in stock, and David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $1.3 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).
Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC) but similarly valued. We will take a look at First Hawaiian, Inc. (NASDAQ:FHB), Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALLO), Regal Beloit Corporation (NYSE:RBC), and Chimera Investment Corporation (NYSE:CIM). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble HWC’s market valuation.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 14.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $188 million. That figure was $112 million in HWC’s case. First Hawaiian, Inc. (NASDAQ:FHB) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALLO) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Hancock Whitney Corporation (NASDAQ:HWC) 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 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Unfortunately HWC wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on HWC were disappointed as the stock returned -0.8% during the same period 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 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q2.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.