Is Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) a good stock to buy right now? We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before doing days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more incentives and resources than the average investor. The funds have access to expert networks and get tips from industry insiders. They also have numerous Ivy League graduates and MBAs. Like everyone else, hedge funds perform miserably at times, but their consensus picks have historically outperformed the market after risk adjustments.
Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI) was in 10 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. GBCI investors should be aware of an increase in hedge fund sentiment in recent months. There were 7 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.
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 32 percentage points since May 2014 through March 12, 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 27.5% through March 12, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.
We're going to take a glance at the latest hedge fund action encompassing Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI).
How have hedgies been trading Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI)?
Heading into the first quarter of 2019, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 43% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 5 hedge funds with a bullish position 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.
When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, holds the biggest position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). Fisher Asset Management has a $29.1 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management's heels is Forest Hill Capital, managed by Mark Lee, which holds a $4.1 million position; the fund has 1.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other members of the smart money with similar optimism encompass Charles Paquelet's Skylands Capital, Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management and Noam Gottesman's GLG Partners.
Now, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, initiated the most valuable position in Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). Citadel Investment Group had $1.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Brandon Haley's Holocene Advisors also made a $0.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new GBCI position is Matthew Hulsizer's PEAK6 Capital Management.
Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GBCI). We will take a look at National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:FIZZ), Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROKU), MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBFI), and Clearway Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CWEN). This group of stocks' market values match GBCI's market value.
[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position FIZZ,21,265029,6 ROKU,26,126428,-5 MBFI,18,190649,5 CWEN,12,90190,-4 Average,19.25,168074,0.5 [/table]
View table here if you experience formatting issues.
As you can see these stocks had an average of 19.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $168 million. That figure was $42 million in GBCI's case. Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROKU) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Clearway Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CWEN) 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 CWEN. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards GBCI. Our calculations showed that the top 15 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 24.2% through April 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 7 percentage points. Unfortunately GBCI wasn't nearly as popular as these 15 stock (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); GBCI investors were disappointed as the stock returned 4.7% and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 15 most popular stocks) among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market this year.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.