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Is First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (FR) A Good Stock To Buy?

The 700+ hedge funds and money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the third quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of September 30. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund positions. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR).

Is First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc.  a first-rate investment right now? Hedge funds are getting more optimistic. The number of long hedge fund positions moved up by 1 recently. At the end of this article we will also compare FR to other stocks including Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY), Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (ADR) (NASDAQ:GGAL), and Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:HAWK) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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At the moment there are several gauges investors can use to value their stock investments. A duo of the most innovative gauges are hedge fund and insider trading activity. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top money managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a significant margin (see the details here).

Now, let’s take a look at the latest action encompassing First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR).

How are hedge funds trading First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 7% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management has the biggest position in First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR), worth close to $157.7 million, comprising 4.3% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Millennium Management, led by Israel Englander, holding a $21.5 million position; less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining professional money managers that are bullish consist of Eduardo Abush’s Waterfront Capital Partners, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Robert Jaffe’s Force Capital.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Waterfront Capital Partners, managed by Eduardo Abush, established the most outsized position in First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR). Waterfront Capital Partners had $16.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Greg Poole’s Echo Street Capital Management also initiated a $6.9 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new FR positions are Richard Driehaus’s Driehaus Capital, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, and Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR). We will take a look at Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY), Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (ADR) (NASDAQ:GGAL), Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:HAWK), and China Biologic Products Inc (NASDAQ:CBPO). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble FR’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
HPY 13 200871 -1
GGAL 12 73515 -2
HAWK 28 308495 1
CBPO 19 154311 0

As you can see these stocks had an average of 18 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $184 million. That figure was $250 million in FR’s case. Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:HAWK) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (ADR) (NASDAQ:GGAL) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:FR) 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 HAWK might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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