Salt Lake City-based asset manager M3F Inc. was bullish on U.S. bank and thrift stocks in the third quarter after trimming its exposure to the industry in the second quarter, according to the firm's most recent Form 13F filing.
The value of M3F's holdings jumped to $157.8 million at Sept. 30, a 17% increase from the end of June. M3F increased its shares in Amesbury, Mass.-based Provident Bancorp Inc. by 58.4% in the third quarter, pushing its total investment in the company to $10.6 million at Sept. 30 and making Provident Bancorp its largest holding.
The fund manager also upped its stake in Albany, N.Y.-based Pioneer Bancorp Inc. (MHC) by 83.7% in the third quarter, making the company its 9th-largest position overall at $5.8 million.
Both Provident Bancorp and Pioneer Bancorp completed mutual bank conversions last year.
M3F revealed 10 new stakes in the third quarter, led by a $7.9 million position in Wells Fargo & Co. During the second quarter, M3F sold out of its $2.4 million position in Wells Fargo.
The company also initiated a 2.20% stake in Richmond, Va.-based Community Bankers Trust Corp., an investment valued at $2.5 million as of Sept. 30.
M3F completely sold out of three positions in the third quarter, including a $4.5 million stake in Standard AVB Financial Corp. On Sept. 25, Pittsburgh-based Dollar Mutual Bancorp announced it would acquire Standard AVB for $158.2 million.
The firm also sold out of a small $111,000 stake in Dover, N.H.-based First Seacoast Bancorp (MHC), which completed a mutual holding company conversion last year.
M3F was founded by Jason Stock and William Waller in 2009. The fund mainly invests in banks and thrifts.
Click here to see M3F's financial stock investments as of Sept. 30.