Is M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) was in 21 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. MTB shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. There were 20 hedge funds in our database with MTB holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, old financial tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds trading today, we hone in on the bigwigs of this group, about 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on most of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by keeping an eye on their top picks, we have unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have trumped the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see all of our picks from August).

M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB)Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are many reasons for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if investors know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a look at the latest action regarding M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB).

Hedge fund activity in M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 21 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 5% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Berkshire Hathaway, managed by Warren Buffett, holds the most valuable position in M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB). Berkshire Hathaway has a $530 million position in the stock, comprising 0.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $132 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions include Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Neil Chriss’s Hutchin Hill Capital.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Hutchin Hill Capital, managed by Neil Chriss, established the largest position in M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB). Hutchin Hill Capital had 13 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Bart Baum’s Ionic Capital Management also initiated a $4 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new MTB positions are D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, and Bart Baum’s Ionic Capital Management.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time frame, M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 14 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns shown by our studies, everyday investors must always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) is no exception.

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