Is Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) an attractive stock to buy now? Hedge funds are in a bearish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions fell by 4 lately.
To the average investor, there are dozens of methods investors can use to track Mr. Market. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can beat the broader indices by a superb amount (see just how much).
Just as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the world of equities. Obviously, there are many reasons for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if you understand where to look (learn more here).
With these "truths" under our belt, we're going to take a peek at the latest action encompassing Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL).
At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -33% from the previous quarter. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings meaningfully.
When looking at the hedgies we track, John W. Rogers's Ariel Investments had the biggest position in Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL), worth close to $4.5 million, accounting for 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jamie Zimmerman of Litespeed Management, with a $3.8 million position; 1.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Israel Englander's Millennium Management, Jim Simons's Renaissance Technologies and Cliff Asness's AQR Capital Management.
Seeing as Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) has experienced declining sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it's safe to say that there lies a certain "tier" of money managers who sold off their entire stakes in Q4. It's worth mentioning that SAC Subsidiary's CR Intrinsic Investors cut the largest position of the "upper crust" of funds we track, comprising an estimated $1.8 million in stock.. John Burbank's fund, Passport Capital, also said goodbye to its stock, about $1.1 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 4 funds in Q4.
Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time period, Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) has experienced 5 unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).
Let's also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL). These stocks are Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX), XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNPT), 3SBio Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:SSRX), Obagi Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMPI), and Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIR). All of these stocks are in the biotechnology industry and their market caps are similar to VICL's market cap.