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Hedge Funds Are Piling Into Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (MCB)

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After several tireless days we have finished crunching the numbers from nearly 900 13F filings issued by the elite hedge funds and other investment firms that we track at Insider Monkey, which disclosed those firms' equity portfolios as of September 30th. The results of that effort will be put on display in this article, as we share valuable insight into the smart money sentiment towards Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB).

Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB) was in 23 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2021. The all time high for this statistic was previously 13. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. MCB has seen an increase in support from the world's most elite money managers recently. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with MCB positions at the end of the second quarter. Our calculations also showed that MCB isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings).

Richard Driehaus of Driehaus Capital

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, lithium prices have more than doubled over the past year, so we go through lists like the 10 best EV stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. With all of this in mind let's view the fresh hedge fund action regarding Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB).

Do Hedge Funds Think MCB Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At third quarter's end, a total of 23 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 77% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 7 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in MCB 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.

Is MCB A Good Stock To Buy?
Is MCB A Good Stock To Buy?

Among these funds, EJF Capital held the most valuable stake in Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB), which was worth $45.3 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Basswood Capital which amassed $37.3 million worth of shares. Driehaus Capital, Endicott Management, and Mendon Capital Advisors were 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 Endicott Management allocated the biggest weight to Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB), around 15.09% of its 13F portfolio. EJF Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 3.96 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to MCB.

Now, some big names have jumped into Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB) headfirst. Driehaus Capital, managed by Richard Driehaus, created the biggest position in Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB). Driehaus Capital had $24.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Anton Schutz's Mendon Capital Advisors also made a $7.7 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new MCB investors: Anand Parekh's Alyeska Investment Group, Ravi Chopra's Azora Capital, and Joseph P. Colmery and Steven J. Didion's JCSD Capital.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB). These stocks are Northfield Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:NFBK), Sutro Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRO), Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSII), Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE:NMM), Clarus Corporation (NASDAQ:CLAR), EVINE Live Inc (NASDAQ:EVLV), and OppFi Inc. (NYSE:OPFI). This group of stocks' market caps are closest to MCB's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position NFBK,7,42548,-2 STRO,23,213805,-3 HSII,15,140384,0 NMM,9,38771,1 CLAR,16,83566,-1 EVLV,18,103960,18 OPFI,11,12841,11 Average,14.1,90839,3.4 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 14.1 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $91 million. That figure was $176 million in MCB's case. Sutro Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Northfield Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:NFBK) is the least popular one with only 7 bullish hedge fund positions. Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for MCB is 90. 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. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 31.1% in 2021 through December 9th and still beat the market by 5.1 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on MCB as the stock returned 11.3% since the end of Q3 (through 12/9) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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

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