Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (PFBI): Hedge Funds Watching From Afar

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, a week after the market trough. In this article we look at what those investors think of Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI).

Hedge fund interest in Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. At the end of this article we will also compare PFBI to other stocks including Farmland Partners Inc (NYSE:FPI), Standard Diversified Inc. (NYSE:SDI), and Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFST) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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

Today there are numerous gauges stock market investors have at their disposal to assess their holdings. Some of the less known gauges are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can trounce the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see the details here).


Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, legendary investor Bill Miller told investors to sell 7 extremely popular recession stocks last month. So, we went through his list and recommended another stock with 100% upside potential instead. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. You can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here and find out the name of the large-cap healthcare stock that Sio Capital’s Michael Castor expects to double. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a gander at the key hedge fund action encompassing Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI).

Hedge fund activity in Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI)

Heading into the second quarter of 2020, a total of 3 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards PFBI over the last 18 quarters. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is PFBI A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $3.1 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Tontine Asset Management with a $0.9 million position. The only other hedge fund that is bullish on the company was EJF Capital.

Earlier we told you that the aggregate hedge fund interest in the stock was unchanged and we view this as a negative development. Even though there weren’t any hedge funds dumping their holdings during the third quarter, there weren’t any hedge funds initiating brand new positions. This indicates that hedge funds, at the very best, perceive this stock as dead money and they haven’t identified any viable catalysts that can attract investor attention.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Farmland Partners Inc (NYSE:FPI), Standard Diversified Inc. (NYSE:SDI), Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFST), and Gold Resource Corporation (NYSE:GORO). This group of stocks’ market values are closest to PFBI’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FPI 7 2795 1
SDI 5 7158 1
BFST 4 8748 1
GORO 6 3215 1
Average 5.5 5479 1

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 5.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $5 million. That figure was $4 million in PFBI’s case. Farmland Partners Inc (NYSE:FPI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFST) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFBI) is even less popular than BFST. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards PFBI. Our calculations showed that the top 10 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 7.9% in 2020 through May 22nd but managed to beat the market by 15.6 percentage points. Unfortunately PFBI wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); PFBI investors were disappointed as the stock returned 0.2% during the second quarter (through May 22nd) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2020.

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