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Is F.N.B. Corporation (FNB) A Good Stock To Buy?

Is F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB) a good place to invest some of your money right now? We can gain invaluable insight to help us answer that question by studying the investment trends of top investors, who employ world-class Ivy League graduates, who are given immense resources and industry contacts to put their financial expertise to work. The top picks of these firms have historically outperformed the market when we account for known risk factors, making them very valuable investment ideas.

Is F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB) a cheap investment today? Money managers are taking a bearish view. The number of bullish hedge fund positions fell by 4 recently. Our calculations also showed that FNB isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (view the video below).
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 25.8% year to date (through May 30th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital

Unlike former hedge manager, Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, who is convinced Dow will soar past 40000, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on hedge fund buy/sell signals. Let’s go over the key hedge fund action encompassing F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB).

What does smart money think about F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB)?

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 19 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -17% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in FNB over the last 16 quarters. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with FNB Positions

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies holds the biggest position in F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB). Renaissance Technologies has a $36.1 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Emanuel J. Friedman of EJF Capital, with a $16.7 million position; the fund has 2.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish contain Matthew Lindenbaum’s Basswood Capital, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Due to the fact that F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB) has witnessed declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, it’s safe to say that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers who sold off their positions entirely by the end of the second quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Noam Gottesman’s GLG Partners dumped the biggest stake of all the hedgies watched by Insider Monkey, worth an estimated $9.3 million in stock, and Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $2.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds by the end of the second quarter.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB) but similarly valued. These stocks are Perspecta Inc. (NYSE:PRSP), FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ:FSV), China Biologic Products Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBPO), and Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ:TECD). This group of stocks’ market values resemble FNB’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
PRSP 40 776252 6
FSV 10 140690 -1
CBPO 9 144845 1
TECD 18 281786 -1
Average 19.25 335893 1.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 19.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $336 million. That figure was $86 million in FNB’s case. Perspecta Inc. (NYSE:PRSP) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand China Biologic Products Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBPO) is the least popular one with only 9 bullish hedge fund positions. F.N.B. Corporation (NYSE:FNB) 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 24.4% in 2019 through September 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 4 percentage points. Unfortunately FNB wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); FNB investors were disappointed as the stock returned -0.9% during the third quarter 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 many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2019.

Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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