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Is Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ASTX) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX) was in 16 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. ASTX investors should be aware of an increase in hedge fund interest in recent months. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with ASTX holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX)If you’d ask most stock holders, hedge funds are assumed to be slow, outdated investment vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading today, we look at the upper echelon of this group, close to 450 funds. It is estimated that this group controls the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by paying attention to their highest performing investments, we have come up with a number of investment strategies that have historically beaten the S&P 500 index. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as beneficial, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a variety of stimuli for a bullish insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a peek at the latest action surrounding Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX).

What have hedge funds been doing with Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 16 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 78% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Perceptive Advisors, managed by Joseph Edelman, holds the biggest position in Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX). Perceptive Advisors has a $9.3 million position in the stock, comprising 1.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Samuel Isaly of OrbiMed Advisors, with a $6.5 million call position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Samuel Isaly’s OrbiMed Advisors, SAC Subsidiary’s Sigma Capital Management and Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management.

As industrywide interest jumped, key money managers have been driving this bullishness. OrbiMed Advisors, managed by Samuel Isaly, created the most valuable call position in Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX). OrbiMed Advisors had 6.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Samuel Isaly’s OrbiMed Advisors also made a $5.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new ASTX investors: SAC Subsidiary’s Sigma Capital Management, Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time period, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 3 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX). These stocks are Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIGL), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX), Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (NASDAQ:RPTP), Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT), and Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:KYTH). This group of stocks belong to the drug manufacturers – major industry and their market caps resemble ASTX’s market cap.

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