Is MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI) was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. MBFI investors should pay attention to an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. There were 14 hedge funds in our database with MBFI holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI)

At the moment, there are many metrics investors can use to watch publicly traded companies. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can trounce their index-focused peers by a solid margin (see just how much).

Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the financial markets. Just as you’d expect, there are a number of incentives for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this strategy if you know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a peek at the latest action regarding MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI).

Hedge fund activity in MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI)

Heading into 2013, a total of 18 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 29% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital had the largest position in MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI), worth close to $8 million, accounting for 0.7% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $7 million position; 0% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedgies that are bullish include Anil Stevens and Glenn Shapiro’s Parameter Capital Management, Roger Keith Long’s Otter Creek Management and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Now, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Highbridge Capital Management, managed by Glenn Russell Dubin, assembled the largest position in MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI). Highbridge Capital Management had 1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Mike Vranos’s Ellington also made a $0 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new MBFI positions are John W. Rogers’s Ariel Investments and Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management.

Insider trading activity in MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI)

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results exhibited by our tactics, retail investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI) is an important part of this process.

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