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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (CNOB)

Reymerlyn Martin

Is ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB) a good place to invest some of your money right now? We can gain invaluable insight to help us answer that question by studying the investment trends of top investors, who employ world-class Ivy League graduates, who are given immense resources and industry contacts to put their financial expertise to work. The top picks of these firms have historically outperformed the market when we account for known risk factors, making them very valuable investment ideas.

ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB) investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund sentiment of late. CNOB was in 10 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2019. There were 12 hedge funds in our database with CNOB positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that CNOB 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' large-cap stock picks indeed failed to beat the market between 1999 and 2016. However, we were 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'll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 30.9% through May 30, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Matthew Lindenbaum Basswood Capital

We're going to take a look at the new hedge fund action regarding ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB).

What does smart money think about ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB)?

At Q1's end, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -17% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 13 hedge funds with a bullish position in CNOB 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.

CNOB_jun2019

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies has the most valuable position in ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB), worth close to $20.8 million, corresponding to less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies's heels is Seidman Investment Partnership, led by Lawrence Seidman, holding a $7.7 million position; the fund has 6.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish contain Matthew Lindenbaum's Basswood Capital, D. E. Shaw's D E Shaw and Paul Marshall and Ian Wace's Marshall Wace LLP.

Because ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB) has witnessed bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, logic holds that there is a sect of money managers who were dropping their full holdings by the end of the third quarter. Interestingly, Anton Schutz's Mendon Capital Advisors dumped the biggest investment of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $3.2 million in stock, and Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow's Blue Mountain Capital was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0.7 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds by the end of the third quarter.

Let's check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB). These stocks are Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LIND), TrueCar Inc (NASDAQ:TRUE), Revance Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:RVNC), and Northfield Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:NFBK). This group of stocks' market values are similar to CNOB's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position LIND,20,156753,6 TRUE,17,166148,2 RVNC,12,24975,3 NFBK,5,32141,1 Average,13.5,95004,3 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 13.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $95 million. That figure was $41 million in CNOB's case. Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LIND) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Northfield Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:NFBK) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. ConnectOne Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CNOB) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. 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. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on CNOB as the stock returned 13.8% during the same time frame and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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

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