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Were Hedge Funds Right About Flocking Into First Bancorp (FBP) ?

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 First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) based on that data.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) was in 20 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. FBP investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund interest of late. There were 18 hedge funds in our database with FBP holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that fbp isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 20.7% year to date (through March 12th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 32 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

MOORE GLOBAL INVESTMENTS

We’re going to take a glance at the latest hedge fund action encompassing First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP).

What have hedge funds been doing with First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP)?

At Q4’s end, a total of 20 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 11% from the second quarter of 2018. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards FBP over the last 14 quarters. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were adding to their holdings meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with FBP Positions

The largest stake in First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) was held by Moore Global Investments, which reported holding $61.1 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Alyeska Investment Group with a $30.4 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Two Sigma Advisors, Millennium Management, and D E Shaw.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers have jumped into First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) headfirst. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, assembled the biggest position in First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP). Balyasny Asset Management had $4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management also initiated a $0.2 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new FBP investors: Minhua Zhang’s Weld Capital Management, David Harding’s Winton Capital Management, and Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle’s Springbok Capital.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP). We will take a look at Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO), Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI), Union Bankshares Corporation (NASDAQ:UBSH), and Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CRON). This group of stocks’ market values are closest to FBP’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
PDCO 28 215378 -1
ITRI 14 449429 -3
UBSH 6 24227 2
CRON 6 10449 -6
Average 13.5 174871 -2

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 13.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $175 million. That figure was $192 million in FBP’s case. Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Union Bankshares Corporation (NASDAQ:UBSH) is the least popular one with only 6 bullish hedge fund positions. First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 15 most popular stocks) among hedge funds returned 24.2% through April 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 7 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on FBP as the stock returned 32% and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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

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