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Do Hedge Funds Love Univest Financial Corporation (UVSP)?

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Abigail Fisher
·6 min read
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We at Insider Monkey have gone over 817 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 September 30th. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP) based on that data.

Is Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP) a buy right now? Prominent investors were cutting their exposure. The number of bullish hedge fund bets dropped by 1 lately. Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP) was in 11 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 13. Our calculations also showed that UVSP isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 12 hedge funds in our database with UVSP holdings at the end of June.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that a select group of hedge fund holdings outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 66 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that'll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 13% through November 17th. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Richard Pzena - Pzena Investment Management
Richard Pzena - Pzena Investment Management

Richard S. Pzena of Pzena Investment Management

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 15 best blue chip stocks to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Keeping this in mind we're going to take a look at the key hedge fund action regarding Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP).

Do Hedge Funds Think UVSP Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -8% from the second quarter of 2020. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards UVSP over the last 21 quarters. With hedge funds' positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Pzena Investment Management, managed by Richard S. Pzena, holds the most valuable position in Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP). Pzena Investment Management has a $25.8 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Renaissance Technologies, which holds a $17 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other members of the smart money that hold long positions contain Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell's Arrowstreet Capital, D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw and John Overdeck and David Siegel's Two Sigma Advisors. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Pzena Investment Management allocated the biggest weight to Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP), around 0.16% of its 13F portfolio. Algert Coldiron Investors is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.11 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to UVSP.

Since Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP) has faced a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there was a specific group of hedge funds who sold off their positions entirely in the third quarter. Intriguingly, Ian Simm's Impax Asset Management said goodbye to the largest position of the 750 funds followed by Insider Monkey, worth close to $1.7 million in stock, and Israel Englander's Millennium Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.8 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds in the third quarter.

Let's check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP). We will take a look at Progenity, Inc. (NASDAQ:PROG), Triple-S Management Corp.(NYSE:GTS), First Mid Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FMBH), American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI), Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CNSL), ChannelAdvisor Corp (NYSE:ECOM), and SP Plus Corp (NASDAQ:SP). All of these stocks' market caps are closest to UVSP's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position PROG,7,6786,-3 GTS,11,87709,1 FMBH,3,2962,0 APEI,12,75333,-4 CNSL,15,24192,3 ECOM,19,62827,0 SP,13,23906,-2 Average,11.4,40531,-0.7 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 11.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $41 million. That figure was $50 million in UVSP's case. ChannelAdvisor Corp (NYSE:ECOM) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand First Mid Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FMBH) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Univest Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UVSP) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for UVSP is 54.4. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 32.9% in 2020 through December 8th and still beat the market by 16.2 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on UVSP as the stock returned 39.7% since the end of the third quarter (through 12/8) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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

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