Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN): Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Bullish, What Should You Do?

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Is Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN) a buy right now? The smart money is becoming more confident. The number of bullish hedge fund bets increased by 1 recently.

In the financial world, there are dozens of indicators investors can use to track Mr. Market. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best money managers can outpace the S&P 500 by a significant margin (see just how much).

Just as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. There are a variety of incentives for an upper level exec to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a look at the recent action surrounding Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN).

What have hedge funds been doing with Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 24 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 4% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes meaningfully.

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN)According to our comprehensive database, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the most valuable position in Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN), worth close to $46.2 million, comprising 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Carlson Capital, managed by Clint Carlson, which held a $38.6 million position; 0.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers with similar optimism include Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, established the most valuable position in Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN). Renaissance Technologies had 17.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management also initiated a $17.2 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new HBAN investors: Ben Levine, Andrew Manuel and Stefan Renold’s LMR Partners, Robert Emil Zoellner’s Alpine Associates, and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital.

What have insiders been doing with Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time period, Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN) has experienced 7 unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN). These stocks are Firstmerit Corp (NASDAQ:FMER), Associated Banc Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC), Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB), TFS Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:TFSL), and Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA). All of these stocks are in the regional – midwest banks industry and their market caps are similar to HBAN’s market cap.

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