Is Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) a good equity to bet on right now? We like to check what the smart money thinks first before doing extensive research. Although there have been several high profile failed hedge fund picks, the consensus picks among hedge fund investors have historically outperformed the market after adjusting for known risk attributes. It's not surprising given that hedge funds have access to better information and more resources to predict the winners in the stock market.
Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) was in 12 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. GBCI investors should pay attention to an increase in enthusiasm from smart money lately. There were 10 hedge funds in our database with GBCI positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that GBCI 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.
[caption id="attachment_745225" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Noam Gottesman, GLG Partners[/caption]
Let's go over the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI).
How have hedgies been trading Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI)?
At Q1's end, a total of 12 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 20% from the fourth quarter of 2018. By comparison, 5 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in GBCI 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.
More specifically, Fisher Asset Management was the largest shareholder of Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI), with a stake worth $29.1 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Fisher Asset Management was GLG Partners, which amassed a stake valued at $9.5 million. Millennium Management, Forest Hill Capital, and Balyasny Asset Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.
Now, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Tudor Investment Corp, managed by Paul Tudor Jones, initiated the most valuable position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). Tudor Investment Corp had $0.8 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw also initiated a $0.7 million position during the quarter.
Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Extended Stay America Inc (NASDAQ:STAY), United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), National Health Investors Inc (NYSE:NHI), and Laureate Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LAUR). This group of stocks' market valuations match GBCI's market valuation.
[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position STAY,32,522804,0 X,24,214659,0 NHI,12,120110,-1 LAUR,21,277072,-3 Average,22.25,283661,-1 [/table]
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 22.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $284 million. That figure was $58 million in GBCI's case. Extended Stay America Inc (NASDAQ:STAY) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand National Health Investors Inc (NYSE:NHI) is the least popular one with only 12 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) is even less popular than NHI. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards GBCI. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Unfortunately GBCI wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); GBCI investors were disappointed as the stock returned 0% during the same time frame and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in the second quarter.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.