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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (BPFH)

Asma UL Husna

A market surge in the first quarter, spurred by easing global macroeconomic concerns and Powell's pivot ended up having a positive impact on the markets and many hedge funds as a result. The stocks of smaller companies which were especially hard hit during the fourth quarter slightly outperformed the market during the first quarter. Unfortunately, Trump is unpredictable and volatility returned in the second quarter and smaller-cap stocks went back to selling off. We finished compiling the latest 13F filings to get an idea about what hedge funds are thinking about the overall market as well as individual stocks. In this article we will study the hedge fund sentiment to see how those concerns affected their ownership of Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH) during the quarter.

Is Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH) the right investment to pursue these days? The best stock pickers are getting more optimistic. The number of long hedge fund positions increased by 1 recently. Our calculations also showed that BPFH isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. BPFH was in 14 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with BPFH holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

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.

Mario Gabelli with cereal box
Mario Gabelli with cereal box

We're going to check out the fresh hedge fund action regarding Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH).

Hedge fund activity in Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH)

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 14 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 8% from the fourth quarter of 2018. On the other hand, there were a total of 10 hedge funds with a bullish position in BPFH a year ago. With the smart money's sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were adding to their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

BPFH_june2019
BPFH_june2019

According to Insider Monkey's hedge fund database, Israel Englander's Millennium Management has the most valuable position in Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH), worth close to $14.5 million, corresponding to less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $8.7 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that hold long positions encompass D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw, Mario Gabelli's GAMCO Investors and Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group.

As aggregate interest increased, key hedge funds were leading the bulls' herd. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, assembled the biggest position in Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH). Arrowstreet Capital had $1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. George Zweig, Shane Haas and Ravi Chander's Signition LP also initiated a $0.4 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new BPFH positions are Thomas Bailard's Bailard Inc and Gavin Saitowitz and Cisco J. del Valle's Springbok Capital.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH) but similarly valued. We will take a look at The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE), Fluidigm Corporation (NASDAQ:FLDM), MAG Silver Corporation (NYSE:MAG), and Radius Health Inc (NASDAQ:RDUS). All of these stocks' market caps are similar to BPFH's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position BKE,11,26165,-2 FLDM,19,157106,0 MAG,11,38491,-3 RDUS,22,309498,4 Average,15.75,132815,-0.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 15.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $133 million. That figure was $44 million in BPFH's case. Radius Health Inc (NASDAQ:RDUS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPFH) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. 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. Unfortunately BPFH wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); BPFH investors were disappointed as the stock returned 3.6% during the same time period 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 Q2.

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

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