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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About South State Corporation (SSB)

Reymerlyn Martin

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and famous investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds' and investors' positions as of the end of the fourth quarter. You can find write-ups about an individual hedge fund's trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves and analyze what the smart money thinks of South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) based on that data.

Is South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) a buy here? Investors who are in the know are in a pessimistic mood. The number of long hedge fund bets shrunk by 1 in recent months. Our calculations also showed that SSB isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the eyes of most stock holders, hedge funds are assumed to be worthless, old investment tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at present, We choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, about 750 funds. It is estimated that this group of investors watch over the lion's share of the hedge fund industry's total asset base, and by tailing their best picks, Insider Monkey has determined various investment strategies that have historically outrun Mr. Market. Insider Monkey's flagship hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by nearly 5 percentage points annually since its inception in May 2014 through early November 2018. We were able to generate large returns even by identifying short candidates. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.5% since February 2017 (through March 12th) even though the market was up nearly 25% during the same period. We just shared a list of 6 short targets in our latest quarterly update and they are already down an average of 6% in less than a month.

Joe Huber - Huber Capital Management

Let's take a glance at the recent hedge fund action regarding South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB).

How have hedgies been trading South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB)?

Heading into the first quarter of 2019, a total of 14 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -7% from the second quarter of 2018. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards SSB over the last 14 quarters. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

SSB_apr2019

More specifically, Cardinal Capital was the largest shareholder of South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB), with a stake worth $24.9 million reported as of the end of December. Trailing Cardinal Capital was Renaissance Technologies, which amassed a stake valued at $14.4 million. Forest Hill Capital, Huber Capital Management, and Citadel Investment Group were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

Because South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) has witnessed a decline in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there were a few fund managers that elected to cut their entire stakes heading into Q3. It's worth mentioning that Brandon Haley's Holocene Advisors dropped the largest position of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, comprising about $0.8 million in stock, and Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0.5 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds heading into Q3.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB). We will take a look at Ellie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI), Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF), Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM), and Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P). This group of stocks' market values are similar to SSB's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position ELLI,18,504870,3 GEF,20,108586,1 PDM,14,117918,4 P,39,779833,-2 Average,22.75,377802,1.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 22.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $378 million. That figure was $71 million in SSB's case. Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM) is the least popular one with only 14 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) is even less popular than PDM. Our calculations showed that top 15 most popular stocks) among hedge funds returned 24.2% through April 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 7 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on SSB, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 19.9% and outperformed the market as well.

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

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