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Is Summit Financial Group, Inc. (SMMF) A Good Stock To Buy?

Reymerlyn Martin

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. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 752 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of September 30th. In this article we look at what those investors think of Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF).

Hedge fund interest in Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. 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 CASI Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CASI), resTORbio, Inc. (NASDAQ:TORC), and Steel Partners Holdings LP (NYSE:SPLP) to gather more data points. Our calculations also showed that SMMF isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (see the video below). Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

To the average investor there are a lot of signals market participants use to size up their stock investments. Two of the less utilized signals are hedge fund and insider trading signals. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can beat their index-focused peers by a significant margin (see the details here).

[caption id="attachment_26073" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Jim Simons of RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGIES[/caption]

RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGIES

We're going to analyze the new hedge fund action surrounding Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF).

Hedge fund activity in Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF)

At Q3's end, a total of 2 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 2 hedge funds with a bullish position in SMMF a year ago. So, let's check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

SMMF_nov2019

The largest stake in Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $7.2 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Tontine Asset Management with a $0.5 million position.

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 go over hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF) but similarly valued. These stocks are CASI Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CASI), resTORbio, Inc. (NASDAQ:TORC), Steel Partners Holdings LP (NYSE:SPLP), and Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE). This group of stocks' market valuations are closest to SMMF's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position CASI,2,282,1 TORC,4,53231,1 SPLP,5,27638,0 EGLE,11,207187,2 Average,5.5,72085,1 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 5.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $72 million. That figure was $8 million in SMMF's case. Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand CASI Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CASI) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Summit Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMF) is even less popular than CASI. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards SMMF. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 34.7% in 2019 through November 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 8.5 percentage points. Unfortunately SMMF wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); SMMF investors were disappointed as the stock returned 2.2% during the fourth quarter (through 11/22) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as 70 percent of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q4.

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

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