Many prominent investors, including Warren Buffett, David Tepper and Stan Druckenmiller, have been cautious regarding the current bull market and missed out as the stock market reached another high in recent weeks. On the other hand, technology hedge funds weren’t timid and registered double digit market beating gains. Financials, energy and industrial stocks aren’t doing great but many of the stocks that delivered strong returns since March are still going very strong and hedge funds actually increased their positions in these stocks. In this article we will find out how hedge fund sentiment to County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK) changed recently.
Is County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK) worth your attention right now? Hedge funds were becoming less confident. The number of long hedge fund positions were trimmed by 1 in recent months. County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK) was in 3 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistics is 7. Our calculations also showed that ICBK isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 4 hedge funds in our database with ICBK holdings at the end of June.
Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.
In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, outdated investment tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation today, We look at the moguls of this club, about 850 funds. These investment experts oversee most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by following their matchless picks, Insider Monkey has unsheathed many investment strategies that have historically exceeded the market. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points a year since its inception in March 2017. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 13% since February 2017 (through November 17th) even though the market was up 65% during the same period. We just shared a list of 6 short targets in our latest quarterly update .
At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Keeping this in mind let’s take a gander at the fresh hedge fund action encompassing County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK).
Hedge fund activity in County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK)
Heading into the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 3 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -25% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in ICBK over the last 21 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
More specifically, Royce & Associates was the largest shareholder of County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK), with a stake worth $2.7 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Royce & Associates was Renaissance Technologies, which amassed a stake valued at $0.7 million. Ancora Advisors was 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 Royce & Associates allocated the biggest weight to County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK), around 0.03% of its 13F portfolio. Ancora Advisors is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.01 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to ICBK.
We view hedge fund activity in the stock unfavorable, but in this case there was only a single hedge fund selling its entire position: Tontine Asset Management. One hedge fund selling its entire position doesn’t always imply a bearish intent. Theoretically a hedge fund may decide to sell a promising position in order to invest the proceeds in a more promising idea. However, we don’t think this is the case in this case because none of the 750+ hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey identified ICBK as a viable investment and initiated a position in the stock.
Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Ardmore Shipping Corp (NYSE:ASC), Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CATB), LEAP THERAPEUTICS, INC. (NASDAQ:LPTX), First Guaranty Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FGBI), Champions Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSBR), Laredo Petroleum Inc (NYSE:LPI), and Genocea Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:GNCA). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble ICBK’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 7.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $13 million. That figure was $4 million in ICBK’s case. Ardmore Shipping Corp (NYSE:ASC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand First Guaranty Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FGBI) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICBK) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for ICBK is 25.9. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 28.1% in 2020 through November 23rd and still beat the market by 15.4 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on ICBK as the stock returned 8.8% since the end of the third quarter (through 11/23) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.
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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.