United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock? – Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN), City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO)

United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund sentiment lately.

United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are tons of gauges market participants can use to track their holdings. A couple of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top hedge fund managers can outperform the market by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the financial markets. There are plenty of stimuli for an insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action surrounding United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI).

How have hedgies been trading United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 10% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, D.T. Ignacio Jayanti’s Corsair Capital LLC had the largest position in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI), worth close to $97 million, accounting for 42.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Second Curve Capital, managed by Tom Brown, which held a $23 million position; the fund has 6.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that are bullish include Brian J. Higgins’s King Street Capital, Ken Gray and Steve Walsh’s Bryn Mawr Capital and Matthew Lindenbaum’s Basswood Capital.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Corsair Capital LLC, managed by D.T. Ignacio Jayanti, assembled the biggest position in United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). Corsair Capital LLC had 97 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also made a $0 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new UCBI positions are John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies, and Mike Vranos’s Ellington.

What have insiders been doing with United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time period, United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI). These stocks are SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT), Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN), The Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:TBBK), WesBanco, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBC), and City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO). All of these stocks are in the regional – mid-atlantic banks industry and their market caps match UCBI’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
SCBT Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SCBT) 4 1 0
Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN) 5 0 4
The Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:TBBK) 7 2 1
WesBanco, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBC) 8 1 1
City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO) 4 1 6

With the results exhibited by the aforementioned strategies, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and United Community Banks Inc (NASDAQ:UCBI) applies perfectly to this mantra.