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Is ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SIS) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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As we already know from media reports and hedge fund investor letters, many hedge funds lost money in the third quarter, blaming macroeconomic conditions and unpredictable events that hit several sectors, with healthcare among them. Nevertheless, most investors decided to stick to their bullish theses and their long-term focus allows us to profit from the recent declines. In particular, let’s take a look at what hedge funds think about ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS) in this article.

ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was in 21 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. ISIS investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund sentiment recently. There were 26 hedge funds in our database with ISIS positions at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:SFG), Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGEN), and Cameco Corporation (USA) (NYSE:CCJ) to gather more data points.

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In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are dozens of gauges stock traders can use to size up stocks. A pair of the most underrated gauges are hedge fund and insider trading interest. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can trounce the broader indices by a healthy amount (see the details here).

With all of this in mind, let’s view the recent action surrounding ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS).

What does the smart money think about ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS)?

Heading into Q4, a total of 21 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a drop of 19% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, holds the largest position in ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS). According to its latest quarterly report, the fund has a $22.8 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Renaissance Technologies, led by Jim Simons, holding a $19.3 million position; less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other members of the smart money with similar optimism encompass John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace LLP.

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