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Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Fulton Financial Corp (FULT)

Nina Todic

Hedge funds are not perfect. They have their bad picks just like everyone else. Facebook, a stock hedge funds have loved dearly, lost nearly 40% of its value at one point in 2018. Although hedge funds are not perfect, their consensus picks do deliver solid returns, however. Our data show the top 20 S&P 500 stocks among hedge funds beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 6 percentage points so far in 2019. Because hedge funds have a lot of resources and their consensus picks do well, we pay attention to what they think. In this article, we analyze what the elite funds think of Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT).

Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT) investors should pay attention to an increase in enthusiasm from smart money recently. Our calculations also showed that FULT isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey's flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 25.8% year to date (through May 30th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

David Harding

We're going to take a peek at the key hedge fund action encompassing Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT).

What have hedge funds been doing with Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 33% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in FULT over the last 15 quarters. So, let's see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with FULT Positions

Among these funds, Winton Capital Management held the most valuable stake in Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT), which was worth $5.3 million at the end of the first quarter. On the second spot was AQR Capital Management which amassed $2.2 million worth of shares. Moreover, Citadel Investment Group, Gardner Russo & Gardner, and Millennium Management were also bullish on Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT), allocating a large percentage of their portfolios to this stock.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Winton Capital Management, managed by David Harding, established the largest position in Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT). Winton Capital Management had $5.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell's Arrowstreet Capital also made a $1.4 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Michael Platt and William Reeves's BlueCrest Capital Mgmt., Paul Tudor Jones's Tudor Investment Corp, and Minhua Zhang's Weld Capital Management.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT). These stocks are American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR), Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE:BBU), Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM), and Nextera Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NEP). All of these stocks' market caps are similar to FULT's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position AWR,15,70324,3 BBU,5,14305,1 PDM,13,147126,-1 NEP,9,15427,-3 Average,10.5,61796,0 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 10.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $62 million. That figure was $20 million in FULT's case. American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE:BBU) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on FULT, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 4.6% during the same period and outperformed the market as well.

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

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