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Hedge Funds Have Bought WebMD Health Corp. (WBMD), VIVUS, Inc. (VVUS), and More

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VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)The most comprehensive look at hedge fund activity comes in the form of quarterly 13F filings, which disclose many of a fund’s positions as of the end of the quarter. However, these filings quickly become somewhat out of date (the most recent ones are for the end of March) even though we’ve actually found that they can be used to develop investment strategies (for example, the most popular small cap stocks among hedge funds generate an average excess return of 18 percentage points per year). We can also get more up-to-date information about how hedge funds are trading a small number of stocks through 13D and 13G filings, released when a hedge fund owned over 5% of a company’s outstanding shares. Read on for five stocks that hedge funds have been buying recently.

Billionaire Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors reported ownership of 2.6 million shares of WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ:WBMD) or 5.2% of the company (see Cohen’s stock picks). WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ:WBMD), as with many other Internet companies, has very low earnings relative to its valuation; it’s only in the Q2 guidance that management has suggested they expect the business to turn a profit. Wall Street analysts project 22 cents in earnings per share in 2014, making for a forward earnings multiple of over 80. With current revenue growth numbers fairly low, we are skeptical the company can grow fast enough to justify its valuation.

Steven CohenDaniel Gold’s fund QVT Financial, which tends to invest about half of its capital in healthcare stocks, disclosed ownership of 8.3 million shares of VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS). VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) is developing a weight loss drug, Qsymia, but concerns over its safety as well as how the drug will compete with Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)’s offering have worried the market. VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)’s stock price is down 38% in the last year, and according to the most recent data 33% of the float is held short. As a development stage company the company is not expected to deliver positive earnings this year or next year. Find QVT’s favorite stocks.

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