Is GBCI A Good Stock To Buy Now According To Hedge Funds?

At the end of February we announced the arrival of the first US recession since 2009 and we predicted that the market will decline by at least 20% in (Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW). In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to get a reading on which direction each stock might be going. In this article, we will take a closer look at hedge fund sentiment towards Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI).

Is GBCI a good stock to buy now? Investors who are in the know were in a bullish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund bets improved by 1 in recent months. Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) was in 21 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistic is 20. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that GBCI 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 20 hedge funds in our database with GBCI holdings at the end of June.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

To the average investor there are numerous indicators stock traders can use to evaluate publicly traded companies. Two of the most under-the-radar indicators are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can beat the S&P 500 by a healthy amount (see the details here).

Minhua Zhang of Weld Capital Management

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 15 best blue chip stocks 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. Now we’re going to analyze the new hedge fund action encompassing Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI).

Do Hedge Funds Think GBCI Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 21 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 5% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards GBCI over the last 21 quarters. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has the number one position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), worth close to $18.2 million, amounting to less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management’s heels is Paul Marshall and Ian Wace of Marshall Wace LLP, with a $6.6 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism consist of Mark Lee’s Forest Hill Capital, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Forest Hill Capital allocated the biggest weight to Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), around 2.78% of its 13F portfolio. Skylands Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.26 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to GBCI.

Now, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Royce & Associates, managed by Chuck Royce, assembled the largest position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). Royce & Associates had $5.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Renaissance Technologies also made a $1.6 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new GBCI investors: Mika Toikka’s AlphaCrest Capital Management and Minhua Zhang’s Weld Capital Management.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). These stocks are Popular Inc (NASDAQ:BPOP), ACI Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ:ACIW), RBC Bearings Incorporated (NASDAQ:ROLL), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM), Installed Building Products Inc (NYSE:IBP), Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:ORA), and Companhia Paranaense de Energia – COPEL (NYSE:ELP). This group of stocks’ market caps match GBCI’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
BPOP 30 554530 -3
ACIW 29 429393 7
ROLL 18 51655 1
SLM 22 630822 -10
IBP 20 116472 -1
ORA 19 198924 0
ELP 6 21608 -6
Average 20.6 286201 -1.7

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 20.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $286 million. That figure was $54 million in GBCI’s case. Popular Inc (NASDAQ:BPOP) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Companhia Paranaense de Energia – COPEL (NYSE:ELP) is the least popular one with only 6 bullish hedge fund positions. Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for GBCI is 67.3. 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 30.7% in 2020 through December 14th and still beat the market by 15.8 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on GBCI as the stock returned 41.8% since the end of Q3 (through 12/14) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

Follow Glacier Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI)

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