It’s a little-known fact that stock performance is not evenly distributed (i.e. you don’t have a 50/50 chance of picking a market-beating stock). In fact, despite the S&P 500 gaining about 5.2% between November 1, 2014 and October 30, 2015, less than 49% of the stocks in the index beat the market during that time. In contrast, the 30 stocks from the index which were the most popular among the investors that we track returned 9.5% during that time and 63% of them beat the market. This shows that while hedge funds get a lot of flak from the mainstream media for their performance, it can be rewarding to follow their moves using the right sets of data. Even then, there is never a foolproof strategy to generating returns, as even the collective wisdom of top hedge funds gets it wrong sometimes, as in the case of some of their top picks from the index like Micron and Anadarko. The data, though, shows that following the collective wisdom of select hedge funds can be a very wise move overall.
The stock of Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI), a small-cap regional bank holding company, was trading flat for the first half of the year, but has been gaining ground since around June. However, the interest towards the stock from the funds we track remained unchanged and only nine funds out of more than 730 that we track reported stakes in the company in the last round of 13F filings. This is usually a negative indicator. 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 Kimball International Inc (NASDAQ:KBAL), Landauer, Inc. (NYSE:LDR), and Spok Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SPOK) to gather more data points.
If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated investment tools of yesteryear. While there are greater than an 8000 funds in operation at present, We look at the aristocrats of this group, around 700 funds. These money managers orchestrate the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by shadowing their top investments, Insider Monkey has determined many investment strategies that have historically outstripped the broader indices. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy surpassed the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points annually for a decade in their back tests.
Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a glance at the latest action surrounding Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI).
What does the smart money think about Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI)?
At the Q3’s end, a total of 9 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock. Among these investors, Rutabaga Capital Management, managed by Peter Schliemann, holds the largest position in Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI). Rutabaga Capital Management has a $13 million position in the stock, comprising 1.6% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Renaissance Technologies, which holds a $10.9 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism contain Anton Schutz’s Mendon Capital Advisors, Michael Price’s MFP Investors, and Neil Chriss’ Hutchin Hill Capital.