Were Hedge Funds Right About Dumping Peoples Bancorp Inc. (PEBO) ?

We at Insider Monkey have gone over 700 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of December 31st. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO) based on that data.

Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO) has experienced a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. PEBO was in 8 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with PEBO holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that pebo isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

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Let’s check out the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO).

What have hedge funds been doing with Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 8 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -20% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards PEBO over the last 14 quarters. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with PEBO Positions

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO), with a stake worth $14 million reported as of the end of December. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Elizabeth Park Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $10 million. Millennium Management, Bailard Inc, and PDT Partners were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

Because Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO) has experienced declining sentiment from hedge fund managers, logic holds that there is a sect of hedge funds that decided to sell off their positions entirely last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group dropped the biggest position of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, valued at about $0.5 million in stock, and Frederick DiSanto’s Ancora Advisors was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $0 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds last quarter.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO) but similarly valued. These stocks are Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH), Upland Software Inc (NASDAQ:UPLD), Johnson Outdoors Inc. (NASDAQ:JOUT), and M/I Homes Inc (NYSE:MHO). All of these stocks’ market caps match PEBO’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SAH 10 10221 1
UPLD 25 105107 5
JOUT 12 57312 -1
MHO 12 34578 -2
Average 14.75 51805 0.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 14.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $52 million. That figure was $27 million in PEBO’s case. Upland Software Inc (NASDAQ:UPLD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) is the least popular one with only 10 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Peoples Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBO) is even less popular than SAH. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards PEBO. Our calculations showed that the top 15 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 24.2% through April 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 7 percentage points. Unfortunately PEBO wasn’t nearly as popular as these 15 stock (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); PEBO investors were disappointed as the stock returned 4.5% and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 15 most popular stocks) among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market this year.

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