Is Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (BHLB) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

Insider Monkey finished processing more than 700 13F filings made by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds’ portfolio positions as of September 30th. In this article we are going to take a look at smart money sentiment towards Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB).

Is Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB) undervalued? Investors who are in the know are getting more optimistic. The number of long hedge fund positions has risen by two lately. At the end of this article, we will also compare Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB) to other stocks, including TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO), BNC Bancorp (NASDAQ:BNCN), and Civitas Solutions Inc (NYSE:CIVI) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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According to most investors, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated investment tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds trading at present, we hone in on the leaders of this group, around 700 funds. These money managers preside over most of the smart money’s total capital, and by observing their highest performing equity investments, Insider Monkey has formulated a number of investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points annually for a decade in their back tests.

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to view the key action regarding Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB).

How have hedgies been trading Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB)?

Heading into Q4, a total of 14 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, an increase of 17% from the second quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Millennium Management, led by Israel Englander, holds the largest position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB). Millennium Management has a $12.7 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Renaissance Technologies, which holds a $5.6 million position; less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other members of the smart money that hold long positions contain Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital, Porter Collins, Daniel Moses, and Vincent Daniel’s Seawolf Capital and Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates.

As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Nine Chapters Capital Management, managed by Chao Ku, assembled the most valuable position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB). Nine Chapters Capital Management had $0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management also initiated a $0.3 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new BHLB position is Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB). We will take a look at TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO), BNC Bancorp (NASDAQ:BNCN), Civitas Solutions Inc (NYSE:CIVI), and E-House (China) Holdings Limited (ADR) (NYSE:EJ). All of these stocks’ market caps match Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB)’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
TIVO 16 97917 -2
BNCN 13 97103 -1
CIVI 7 22454 -3
EJ 15 50257 0

As you can see, these stocks had an average of 13 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $67 million. In Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB)’s case, this figure stands at $36 million. TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) is the most popular stock in this table with 16 funds owning shares, while Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB), even though it is not the most popular stock in this group, registers a hedge fund interest above average. This is a slightly positive signal, but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) or E-House (China) Holdings Limited (ADR) (NYSE:EJ) might be better candidates to consider for a long position.