U.S stocks have started the week on a slightly positive note, but are finding it difficult to stay in green territory, with Asian markets having slumped again and European indices having closed lower as well. There are, however, certain stocks that have not followed the overall trend and have registered solid gains during the first hours of trading today. Among those stocks are Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AVXL), NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc (NYSE:NSAM), Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) and Acorn International, Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:ATV). Let’s find out what is driving these stocks higher today and what elite hedge funds think of them.
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Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AVXL) is trending higher this morning on positive news related to one of its product candidates. In a press release today, the company announced the results from an interim analysis that point to positive effects from its ANAVEX 2-73 drug candidate. Anavex’s CEO expressed his delight with the results and affirmed the company’s desire to further develop the testing of the drug. Shares have jumped by as much as 26% during the first hour of trading and are currently up by just under 9%.
None of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported holding a stake in Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AVXL) as of the end of the third quarter of 2015.
With NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc (NYSE:NSAM) down by more than 50% from its 2015 high, management has decided to look for ways to increase shareholder value, having hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) as a financial adviser.
“We believe our current share price undervalues the Company. Our Board of Directors and management have always been committed to acting in the best interests of our shareholders and we are aggressively seeking ways to maximize shareholder value,” said David Hamamoto, NortStar’s Chairman.
NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc (NYSE:NSAM) lost some of the support of top investors during the third quarter of 2015, with the number of hedge funds long the stock dropping to 56, from 63 at the end of June. Still, hedge funds have a notable presence among the company’s shareholders, having control over 48.5% of the company’s common stock. Robert Pitts is betting big on the stock, having pledged more than 4% of his capital to his position in it. In its latest 13F filling, Steadfast Capital Management reported ownership of 14.5 million NorthStar shares, up by 1% over the third quarter.
We look into the latest action on Affymetrix and Acorn International on the next page.