The successful funds run by legendary investors such as Dan Loeb and David Tepper make hundreds of millions of dollars for themselves and their investors by spending enormous resources doing research on small cap stocks that big investment banks don’t follow. Because of their pay structures, they have strong incentive to do the research necessary to beat the market. That’s why we pay close attention to what they think in small cap stocks. In this article, we take a closer look at Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) from the perspective of those successful funds.
Is Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) a good stock to buy now? The best stock pickers seem to be in a bullish mood. Among investors in our database, the number of bullish hedge fund positions that are disclosed in regulatory 13F filings advanced by three last quarter. At the end of this article we will also compare FFIC to other stocks including Civitas Solutions Inc (NYSE:CIVI), MGP Ingredients Inc (NASDAQ:MGPI), and Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO) to get a better sense of its popularity.
At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a peek at the new action encompassing Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC).
How are hedge funds trading Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC)?
At Q3’s end, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 43% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in FFIC over the last 5 quarters. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).
When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, GAMCO Investors, led by Mario Gabelli, holds the number one position in Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC). GAMCO Investors has a $24.8 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. On GAMCO Investors’s heels is Renaissance Technologies, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, holding a $8.5 million position; the fund has less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish contain Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management, Paul Hondros’s AlphaOne Capital Partners, and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors. We should note that none of these hedge funds are among our list of the 100 best performing hedge funds which is based on the performance of their 13F long positions in non-microcap stocks.
With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Citadel Investment Group, led by Ken Griffin, established the most valuable position in Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC). Citadel Investment Group had $0.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital also initiated a $0.5 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new FFIC position is Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Springbok Capital.
Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) but similarly valued. These stocks are Civitas Solutions Inc (NYSE:CIVI), MGP Ingredients Inc (NASDAQ:MGPI), Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECHO), and CommerceHub Inc (NASDAQ:CHUBA). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to FFIC’s market cap.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
As you can see these stocks had an average of 11 funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $35 million. That figure was $43 million in FFIC’s case. CommerceHub Inc (NASDAQ:CHUBA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Civitas Solutions Inc (NYSE:CIVI) is the least popular one with only eight bullish hedge fund positions. Flushing Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:FFIC) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard CHUBA might be a better candidate to consider taking a long position in.