Judging by the fact that Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) has faced a decline in interest from the smart money, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of hedgies that decided to sell off their positions entirely in the third quarter. At the top of the heap, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies sold off the biggest stake of all the hedgies monitored by Insider Monkey, valued at about $26.3 million in stock. Israel Englander’s fund, Millennium Management, also dumped its stock, about $25.4 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds in the third quarter.
Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB). These stocks are Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH), and Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble FITB’s market valuation.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
As you can see these stocks had an average of 33 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1.35 billion. That figure was $333 million in FITB’s case. Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) is the least popular one with only 15 bullish hedge fund positions. Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) 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. In this regard LRCX might be a better candidate to consider for a long position.