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Should You Buy TriCo Bancshares (TCBK)?

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, created the biggest position in TriCo Bancshares (NASDAQ:TCBK). Balyasny Asset Management had $0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Chao Ku’s Nine Chapters Capital Management also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to TriCo Bancshares (NASDAQ:TCBK). We will take a look at Regenxbio Inc (NASDAQ:RGNX), U.S. Physical Therapy, Inc. (NYSE:USPH), Habit Restaurants Inc (NASDAQ:HABT), and American Residential Properties Inc (NYSE:ARPI). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to TCBK’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
RGNX 17 145789 17
USPH 11 89274 1
HABT 9 36045 -2
ARPI 11 145048 -4

As you can see these stocks had an average of 12 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $104 million. That figure was just $48 million in TCBK’s case. Regenxbio Inc (NASDAQ:RGNX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Habit Restaurants Inc (NASDAQ:HABT) is the least popular one with only 9 bullish hedge fund positions. TriCo Bancshares (NASDAQ:TCBK) 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 RGNX might be a better candidate to consider a long position.

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