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Dynavax Technologies Corporation (DVAX), AbbVie Inc (ABBV): Here’s What This $5 Billion Hedge Fund Has Been Buying

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Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they’ve bought and sold, via “13F” filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.

Today let’s look at Farallon Capital Management, founded by Thomas Steyer in 1986, and employing a bottom-up fundamental investing strategy.

The company’s reportable stock portfolio totaled $4.9 billion in value as of March 31.

Interesting developments
So what does Farallon’s latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.

The biggest new holdings are Virgin Media Inc. (NASDAQ:VMED) and Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ). Other new holdings of interest include Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNSS), which has many investors hopeful about the phase 3 trials of its leukemia drug vosaroxin, which could be a blockbuster.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX)

Among holdings in which Farallon Capital Management increased its stake were Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX). Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) shares fell sharply upon an FDA rejection of its hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav. It may still win more limited approval, but Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX)now has more work to do, and it’s burning cash while its revenue has been shrinking. Fortunately, it does seem to have have ample cash to keep it afloat for a few years. Meanwhile, Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) has a new CEO, and its latest earnings report featured a loss slightly bigger than expected.

The world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, recently yielding 4%, has been hurt by falling copper and gold prices and slowing growth in China, as well as by labor strikes. Most recently, a deadly mine disaster in Indonesia has led to the closing of one of its big mines. The company has diversified its operations considerably, by buying a pair of oil and gas producers. These can serve it well, while its mining operations stutter.

Farallon Capital Management reduced its stake in lots of companies, including AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), recently split off from Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and focusing on the pharmaceutical business, while Abbott focuses on medical, diagnostic, and nutritional products. Some worry about AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)’s heavy debt or the impending patent expiration of its blockbuster drug Humira, which is on track to become the first drug to generate more than $10 billion in annual sales. Still, AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) has other drugs on the market, and more in its pipeline, tackling hepatitis C, among other conditions. (A hep C treatment just received FDA breakthrough designation.) It also sports a 3.7% dividend yield.

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