The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. In this article we are going to take a look at smart money sentiment towards Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC).
Hedge fund interest in Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. 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 Banc of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:BANC), Crescent Point Energy Corp (NYSE:CPG), and Green Brick Partners Inc (NASDAQ:GRBK) to gather more data points. Our calculations also showed that BMRC isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 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 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 58 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.
At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, 2020’s unprecedented market conditions provide us with the highest number of trading opportunities in a decade. So we are checking out stocks recommended/scorned by legendary Bill Miller. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind let’s go over the fresh hedge fund action surrounding Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC).
Hedge fund activity in Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC)
At the end of the first quarter, a total of 6 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 0% from the fourth quarter of 2019. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in BMRC over the last 18 quarters. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).
More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC), with a stake worth $8.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Millennium Management, which amassed a stake valued at $2.1 million. Winton Capital Management, Citadel Investment Group, and Two Sigma Advisors were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Winton Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC), around 0.03% of its 13F portfolio. Renaissance Technologies is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.01 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BMRC.
Earlier we told you that the aggregate hedge fund interest in the stock was unchanged and we view this as a negative development. Even though there weren’t any hedge funds dumping their holdings during the first quarter, there weren’t any hedge funds initiating brand new positions. This indicates that hedge funds, at the very best, perceive this stock as dead money and they haven’t identified any viable catalysts that can attract investor attention.
Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Banc of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:BANC), Crescent Point Energy Corp (NYSE:CPG), Green Brick Partners Inc (NASDAQ:GRBK), and Cadiz Inc (NASDAQ:CDZI). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to BMRC’s market cap.
|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 11.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $72 million. That figure was $13 million in BMRC’s case. Green Brick Partners Inc (NASDAQ:GRBK) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Cadiz Inc (NASDAQ:CDZI) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC) is even less popular than CDZI. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards BMRC. Our calculations showed that the top 10 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 13.9% in 2020 through June 10th but managed to beat the market by 14.2 percentage points. Unfortunately BMRC wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); BMRC investors were disappointed as the stock returned 13% during the second quarter (through June 10th) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2020.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.