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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (FSFG)

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Asma UL Husna
·6 min read
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The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 817 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of September 30th, 2020. What do these smart investors think about First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG)?

Hedge fund interest in First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. Our calculations also showed that FSFG isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren't the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds' perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That's why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as SharpSpring, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHSP), Airgain, Inc. (NASDAQ:AIRG), and Zovio Inc. (NASDAQ:ZVO) to gather more data points.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

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 was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 66 percentage points since March 2017 (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 13% through November 17th. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Emanuel J. Friedman
Emanuel J. Friedman

Emanuel Friedman of EJF Capital

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Keeping this in mind we're going to take a peek at the fresh hedge fund action regarding First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG).

What have hedge funds been doing with First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG)?

At the end of the third quarter, a total of 3 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards FSFG over the last 21 quarters. So, let's find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, EJF Capital held the most valuable stake in First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG), which was worth $2.3 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Fourthstone LLC which amassed $1.5 million worth of shares. Renaissance Technologies was 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 Fourthstone LLC allocated the biggest weight to First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG), around 1.27% of its 13F portfolio. EJF Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.2 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to FSFG.

Earlier we told you that the aggregate hedge fund interest in the stock was unchanged and we view this as a negative development. Even though there weren't any hedge funds dumping their holdings during the third quarter, there weren't any hedge funds initiating brand new positions. This indicates that hedge funds, at the very best, perceive this stock as dead money and they haven't identified any viable catalysts that can attract investor attention.

Let's now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG). We will take a look at SharpSpring, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHSP), Airgain, Inc. (NASDAQ:AIRG), Zovio Inc. (NASDAQ:ZVO), AgroFresh Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:AGFS), MMA Capital Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:MMAC), Select Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLCT), and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ACRX). This group of stocks' market values are closest to FSFG's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position SHSP,7,32391,-3 AIRG,8,11258,-2 ZVO,10,32482,2 AGFS,3,1438,-1 MMAC,3,4082,0 SLCT,5,10900,0 ACRX,5,6850,2 Average,5.9,14200,-0.3 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 5.9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $14 million. That figure was $4 million in FSFG's case. Zovio Inc. (NASDAQ:ZVO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand AgroFresh Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:AGFS) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG) is even less popular than AGFS. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for FSFG is 20. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Hedge funds clearly dropped the ball on FSFG as the stock delivered strong returns, though hedge funds' consensus picks still generated respectable returns. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 28.1% in 2020 through November 23rd and still beat the market by 15.4 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on FSFG as the stock returned 17% since Q3 (through November 23rd) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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

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