A market correction in the fourth quarter, spurred by a number of global macroeconomic concerns and rising interest rates ended up having a negative impact on the markets and many hedge funds as a result. The stocks of smaller companies were especially hard hit during this time as investors fled to investments seen as being safer. This is evident in the fact that the Russell 2000 ETF underperformed the S&P 500 ETF by 4 percentage points during the first half of the fourth quarter. We also received indications that hedge funds were trimming their positions amid the market volatility and uncertainty, and given their greater inclination towards smaller cap stocks than other investors, it follows that a stronger sell-off occurred in those stocks. Let's study the hedge fund sentiment to see how those concerns affected their ownership of Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH) during the quarter.
Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH) has experienced an increase in support from the world's most elite money managers of late. BOCH was in 5 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2018. There were 4 hedge funds in our database with BOCH positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that BOCH isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.
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Let's take a look at the recent hedge fund action surrounding Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH).
What have hedge funds been doing with Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH)?
At Q3's end, a total of 5 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 25% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 4 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in BOCH heading into this year. So, let's review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.
According to Insider Monkey's hedge fund database, Emanuel J. Friedman's EJF Capital has the most valuable position in Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH), worth close to $10.8 million, comprising 0.8% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Basswood Capital, led by Matthew Lindenbaum, holding a $9.1 million position; 0.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism comprise Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies, Israel Englander's Millennium Management and Thomas Bailard's Bailard Inc.
As industrywide interest jumped, key hedge funds have jumped into Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH) headfirst. Bailard Inc, managed by Thomas Bailard, assembled the most valuable position in Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH). Bailard Inc had $0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.
Let's check out hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Gladstone Land Corporation (NASDAQ:LAND), Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALL), Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD), and Molecular Templates, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTEM). All of these stocks' market caps are closest to BOCH's market cap.
[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position LAND,3,6298,1 HALL,6,38081,-1 CLSD,15,19392,4 MTEM,12,36936,4 Average,9,25177,2 [/table]
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $25 million. That figure was $23 million in BOCH's case. Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Gladstone Land Corporation (NASDAQ:LAND) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Bank of Commerce Holdings (NASDAQ:BOCH) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard CLSD might be a better candidate to consider a long position.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.