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Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Southside Bancshares, Inc. (SBSI)

Reymerlyn Martin

Before we spend countless hours researching a company, we'd like to analyze what insiders, hedge funds and billionaire investors think of the stock first. We would like to do so because our research has shown that the elite investors' consensus returns have been exceptional. In the following paragraphs, we find out what the billionaire investors and hedge funds think of Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI).

Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) was in 6 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. SBSI investors should pay attention to a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money lately. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with SBSI holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that SBSI isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are perceived as slow, old investment tools of yesteryear. While there are over 8000 funds in operation today, Our experts hone in on the elite of this club, around 750 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group of people command the majority of the hedge fund industry's total asset base, and by shadowing their top investments, Insider Monkey has determined various investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey's flagship hedge fund strategy outperformed 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.

Ken Fisher FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENT

We're going to take a glance at the latest hedge fund action surrounding Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI).

Hedge fund activity in Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI)

Heading into the first quarter of 2019, a total of 6 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -33% from the second quarter of 2018. By comparison, 8 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in SBSI a year ago. With hedge funds' capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

SBSI_apr2019

The largest stake in Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $40.4 million worth of stock at the end of December. It was followed by Third Avenue Management with a $6.3 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Millennium Management, Citadel Investment Group, and Fisher Asset Management.

Because Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) has witnessed falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there exists a select few hedgies that slashed their positions entirely in the third quarter. At the top of the heap, Brandon Haley's Holocene Advisors dropped the biggest investment of the "upper crust" of funds watched by Insider Monkey, valued at about $0.3 million in stock. Cliff Asness's fund, AQR Capital Management, also sold off its stock, about $0.2 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 3 funds in the third quarter.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) but similarly valued. These stocks are Talend S.A. (NASDAQ:TLND), ForeScout Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSCT), Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:SASR), and Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL). This group of stocks' market valuations resemble SBSI's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position TLND,27,333254,5 FSCT,17,151718,1 SASR,13,65753,1 BRKL,10,49831,4 Average,16.75,150139,2.75 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 16.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $150 million. That figure was $56 million in SBSI's case. Talend S.A. (NASDAQ:TLND) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) is the least popular one with only 10 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) is even less popular than BRKL. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards SBSI. 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 SBSI wasn't nearly as popular as these 15 stock (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); SBSI investors were disappointed as the stock returned 6% 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.

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