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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On F.N.B. Corp (FNB)

Nina Todic

The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the March quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors experienced strong gains on the back of a strong market performance, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB).

F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB) was in 23 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2019. FNB has experienced an increase in hedge fund interest lately. There were 20 hedge funds in our database with FNB positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that fnb isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Hedge funds' reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn't keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds' small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital

We're going to go over the latest hedge fund action regarding F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB).

What does the smart money think about F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB)?

At Q1's end, a total of 23 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 15% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 16 hedge funds with a bullish position in FNB a year ago. So, let's review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with FNB Positions

Among these funds, Renaissance Technologies held the most valuable stake in F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB), which was worth $19.7 million at the end of the first quarter. On the second spot was EJF Capital which amassed $14.7 million worth of shares. Moreover, Citadel Investment Group, GLG Partners, and Basswood Capital were also bullish on F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were leading the bulls' herd. Balyasny Asset Management, managed by Dmitry Balyasny, established the most outsized position in F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB). Balyasny Asset Management had $1.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David P. Cohen's Minerva Advisors also initiated a $1 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new FNB positions are Michael Gelband's ExodusPoint Capital, Joel Greenblatt's Gotham Asset Management, and Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle's Springbok Capital.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB). These stocks are Ellie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI), Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE:THO), Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE:DOC), and The Boston Beer Company Inc (NYSE:SAM). This group of stocks' market caps match FNB's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position ELLI,20,744697,2 THO,20,98141,-2 DOC,11,105688,-1 SAM,22,386611,3 Average,18.25,333784,0.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 18.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $334 million. That figure was $87 million in FNB's case. The Boston Beer Company Inc (NYSE:SAM) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE:DOC) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks F.N.B. Corp (NYSE:FNB) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on FNB as the stock returned 7% during the same period and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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

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