As industry-wide interest jumped, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. EJF Capital established the most outsized position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB). EJF Capital had $2.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. George Hall’s Clinton Group also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter.
Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB) but similarly valued. We will take a look at First Busey Corporation (NASDAQ:BUSE), Liberty Braves Group (NASDAQ:BATRK), Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT), and Liberty Braves Group (NASDAQ:BATRA). This group of stocks’ market valuations match BHLB’s market valuation.
|Ticker||No of HFs with positions||Total Value of HF Positions (x1000)||Change in HF Position|
As you can see these stocks had an average of 18 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $123 million. That figure was $36 million in BHLB’s case. Liberty Braves Group (NASDAQ:BATRK) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand First Busey Corporation (NASDAQ:BUSE) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB) is only as popular as the least popular stock on that list, BUSE. Considering that hedge funds aren’t fond of this stock in relation to other companies analyzed in this article, it may be a good idea to analyze it in detail and understand why the smart money isn’t behind this stock. This isn’t necessarily bad news. Although it is possible that hedge funds may think the stock is overpriced and view the stock as a short candidate, they may not have uncovered the bullish thesis. In either case more research is warranted.