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Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (PGC)

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Nina Todic
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A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended September 30, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC).

Is Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC) going to take off soon? The smart money is in an optimistic mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions moved up by 1 lately. Our calculations also showed that PGC isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings). PGC was in 16 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of September. There were 15 hedge funds in our database with PGC holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are viewed as unimportant, outdated financial tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds trading today, Our experts choose to focus on the masters of this group, around 750 funds. These hedge fund managers have their hands on bulk of all hedge funds' total capital, and by paying attention to their first-class picks, Insider Monkey has revealed many investment strategies that have historically outrun the broader indices. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy exceeded the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per annum since its inception in May 2014. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.8% since February 2017 (through November 21st) even though the market was up more than 39% during the same period. We just shared a list of 7 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

[caption id="attachment_735636" align="aligncenter" width="473"]

Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital
Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital

Matthew Lindenbaum of Basswood Capital[/caption]

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 look at the key hedge fund action regarding Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC).

What does smart money think about Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC)?

At Q3's end, a total of 16 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 7% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 15 hedge funds with a bullish position in PGC a year ago. So, let's check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

More specifically, Endicott Management was the largest shareholder of Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC), with a stake worth $14 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Endicott Management was Royce & Associates, which amassed a stake valued at $11.3 million. Renaissance Technologies, Basswood Capital, and Elizabeth Park Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Endicott Management allocated the biggest weight to Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC), around 12.58% of its 13F portfolio. Seidman Investment Partnership is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 2.58 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to PGC.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were breaking ground themselves. Winton Capital Management, managed by David Harding, established the largest position in Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC). Winton Capital Management had $1.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Israel Englander's Millennium Management also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC) but similarly valued. These stocks are Ichor Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:ICHR), ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN), Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ:RECN), and IGM Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:IGMS). This group of stocks' market valuations are closest to PGC's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position ICHR,8,53884,0 ADTN,15,64970,2 RECN,17,54217,4 IGMS,11,151862,11 Average,12.75,81233,4.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 12.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $81 million. That figure was $60 million in PGC's case. Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ:RECN) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Ichor Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:ICHR) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:PGC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above 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. Hedge funds were also right about betting on PGC, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 6.8% during the first two months of the fourth quarter and outperformed the market as well.

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

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