As we continue to track insider purchases, I came across three U.S. bank stocks that are both in Jim Simons‘ equity portfolio and saw one of their Board Directors acquire their stock over the past few days.
First off is Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB), a $550 million market cap financial holding company that operates a full service banking services to its retail and commercial customers, through its subsidiary Ameris Bank. On April 24, Jimmy Veal purchased 3,180 shares of Common Stock (in four separate transactions), for prices ranging from $21.92 per share to $22.71 per share. Following these operations, the Director owns 73,017 shares directly, plus 13,391 shares, indirectly. Mr. Veal had already bought the company’s stock earlier this year: in February he had procured 3,585 shares for prices ranging from $19.78 to $20.41 per share. Moreover, another Board Director, William Stern, also bought 6,000 shares of the company in February.
Jim Simons also seems to be bullish on the stock, raising his stake by over 100% to 119,600 shares held at the end of 2013. In addition, several major hedge funds are betting on this stock. For instance, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh‘s Bryn Mawr Capital increased its stakes by 2%, to 1.01 million shares over the last reported quarter.
Second in this list is Northrim BanCorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NRIM), a $163 million market cap bank holding company for a state-chartered, full-service commercial bank, Northrim Bank. On April 25, Joseph Beedle, Board Director and Executive Vice President, acquired 750 shares of the company for $24.024 per share. He now holds 25,508 shares, worth more than $600,000.
Besides Mr. Beedle, a few other prominent investors are betting on this stock. Jim Simons’ fund owns 35,900 shares of the company, and stands as the largest hedge fund shareholder. Others long on this company are John Overdeck, David Siegel and Gregg J. Powers.
Finally, there’s Horizon Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBNC), another micro-cap bank holding company with a market cap of $173 million. Although Jim Simons is the only hedge fund investor of record, with 59,289 shares, insiders seem to feel quite bullish about this stock. Over 2014, three people related to the company acquired the stock. Most recently (Apr. 25), Lawrence Burnell, Board Director, acquired 1,000 shares of Common Stock for $20.50 each, and now holds 11,838 shares of the company. On the previous day, another Director, Robert Swinehart, bought another 1,000 shares for $20.45 per share, and currently owns 32,120 of them. Finally, James Neff, Executive Vice President, purchased, on Jan. 31, 1,000 shares of Common Stock for $22.30 each. Mr. Neff now owns 114,154 shares of the company (96,453 directly, and 17,701 indirectly).
With Jim Simons and insiders betting on these banking stocks, should you too?
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned