Is First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG) A Good Stock To Buy?

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Hedge Funds and other institutional investors have just completed filing their 13Fs with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing their equity portfolios as of the end of September. At Insider Monkey, we follow over 700 of the best-performing investors and by analyzing their 13F filings, we can determine the stocks that they are collectively bullish on. One of their picks is First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG), so let’s take a closer look at the sentiment that surrounds it in the current quarter.

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG) was in 27 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG) shareholders have witnessed an increase in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 25 hedge funds in our database with First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG) holdings at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article, we will examine companies such as NetScout Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTCT), CNO Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CNO), and Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd (NASDAQ:QUNR) to gather more data points.

Follow First Niagara Financial Group Inc (NASDAQ:FNFG)

Today, there are tons of metrics shareholders employ to appraise publicly traded companies. Two of the best metrics are hedge fund and insider trading signals. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best money managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a solid margin (see the details here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a peek at the fresh action surrounding First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG).

What does the smart money think about First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 27 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, an increase of 8% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management has the most valuable position in First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG), worth close to $68.7 million, comprising 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is David Dreman of Dreman Value Management, with a $13 million position; 1.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish consist of Millennium Management Subsidiary’s Decade Capital Management, John Orrico’s Water Island Capital, and Renaissance Technologies.

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