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Do Hedge Funds Love Farmers National Banc Corp (FMNB)?

Reymerlyn Martin

At Insider Monkey, we pore over the filings of nearly 750 top investment firms every quarter, a process we have now completed for the latest reporting period. The data we've gathered as a result gives us access to a wealth of collective knowledge based on these firms' portfolio holdings as of September 30. In this article, we will use that wealth of knowledge to determine whether or not Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB) makes for a good investment right now.

Is Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB) worth your attention right now? The best stock pickers are getting more optimistic. The number of long hedge fund positions moved up by 1 in recent months. Our calculations also showed that FMNB isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings). Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

To the average investor there are a multitude of methods stock traders employ to appraise their stock investments. A pair of the most useful methods are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can outclass the market by a significant amount (see the details here).

[caption id="attachment_189632" align="aligncenter" width="600"] David Harding of Winton Capital Management[/caption]

David Harding

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Discover is offering this insane cashback card, so we look into shorting the stock. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, "I'm investing more today than I did back in early 2009." So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We even check out this option genius' weekly trade ideas. This December, we recommended Adams Energy as a one-way bet based on an under-the-radar fund manager's investor letter and the stock already gained 20 percent. Now let's take a peek at the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB).

What does smart money think about Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB)?

At Q3's end, a total of 7 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 17% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards FMNB over the last 17 quarters. With hedgies' sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Fred Cummings's Elizabeth Park Capital Management has the number one position in Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB), worth close to $7.1 million, amounting to 2.8% of its total 13F portfolio. On Elizabeth Park Capital Management's heels is Renaissance Technologies, founded by Jim Simons, which holds a $4.1 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other professional money managers that are bullish include David E. Shaw's D E Shaw, Israel Englander's Millennium Management and David Harding's Winton Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Elizabeth Park Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB), around 2.82% of its 13F portfolio. Zebra Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.26 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to FMNB.

Now, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Winton Capital Management, managed by David Harding, created the largest position in Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB). Winton Capital Management had $0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB) but similarly valued. These stocks are Brightcove Inc (NASDAQ:BCOV), Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc. (NYSE:HVT), Sohu.com Limited (NASDAQ:SOHU), and 111, Inc. (NASDAQ:YI). This group of stocks' market values match FMNB's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position BCOV,19,138654,1 HVT,12,63771,3 SOHU,13,77264,4 YI,2,3771,-1 Average,11.5,70865,1.75 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 11.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $71 million. That figure was $13 million in FMNB's case. Brightcove Inc (NASDAQ:BCOV) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand 111, Inc. (NASDAQ:YI) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Farmers National Banc Corp (NASDAQ:FMNB) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on FMNB, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 5.9% during the first two months of the fourth quarter and outperformed the market.

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

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