Is Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (BDGE) A Good Stock To Buy?

A market surge in the first quarter, spurred by easing global macroeconomic concerns and Powell’s pivot ended up having a positive impact on the markets and many hedge funds as a result. The stocks of smaller companies which were especially hard hit during the fourth quarter slightly outperformed the market during the first quarter. Unfortunately, Trump is unpredictable and volatility returned in the second quarter and smaller-cap stocks went back to selling off. We finished compiling the latest 13F filings to get an idea about what hedge funds are thinking about the overall market as well as individual stocks. In this article we will study the hedge fund sentiment to see how those concerns affected their ownership of Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE) during the quarter.

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE) has seen an increase in hedge fund sentiment of late. BDGE was in 11 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with BDGE holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that bdge isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

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.

Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital

Let’s go over the latest hedge fund action surrounding Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE).

How are hedge funds trading Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE)?

Heading into the second quarter of 2019, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 22% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 10 hedge funds with a bullish position in BDGE a year ago. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with BDGE Positions

More specifically, Basswood Capital was the largest shareholder of Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE), with a stake worth $64.8 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Basswood Capital was Ulysses Management, which amassed a stake valued at $11.1 million. Renaissance Technologies, Millennium Management, and EJF Capital were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

Now, specific money managers have jumped into Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE) headfirst. Castine Capital Management, managed by Paul Magidson, Jonathan Cohen. And Ostrom Enders, assembled the most valuable position in Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE). Castine Capital Management had $2.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also initiated a $0.2 million position during the quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE) but similarly valued. We will take a look at KLX Energy Services Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:KLXE), Quanterix Corporation (NASDAQ:QTRX), BBX Capital Corporation (NYSE:BBX), and William Lyon Homes (NYSE:WLH). This group of stocks’ market values match BDGE’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
KLXE 10 36928 1
QTRX 7 29836 0
BBX 16 43192 1
WLH 23 139014 3
Average 14 62243 1.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 14 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $62 million. That figure was $98 million in BDGE’s case. William Lyon Homes (NYSE:WLH) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Quanterix Corporation (NASDAQ:QTRX) is the least popular one with only 7 bullish hedge fund positions. Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDGE) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and 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 BDGE wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); BDGE investors were disappointed as the stock returned -2.5% during the same time 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.