Shares of Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) soared by more than 8% today after the company said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Fast Track Designation to its RSV F-Protein nanoparticle vaccine candidate for older adults. Fast Track designation by the FDA makes the development and final approval process for any drug swift. In a statement, Novavax’s CEO Stanley Erck said that the approval of Fast Track designation for RSV F Vaccine by FDA shows its recognition of RSV as an unmet medical need. According to the estimates by Novavax, approximately 16,000 older adults die of RSV infection every year in the US. This is positive news for hedge funds, taking into account that the stock saw an increase in popularity during the first quarter.
At the moment there are dozens of methods investors use to assess stocks. Some of the less utilized methods are hedge fund and insider trading moves. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite investment managers can outperform the S&P 500 by a healthy margin (see the details here).
Keeping this in mind, we’re going to analyze the new action surrounding Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX).
At Q1’s end, a total of 18 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, up by six from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).
Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Deerfield Management, managed by James E. Flynn, holds the number one position in Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX). Deerfield Management has a $12.7 million position in the stock, comprising 0.5% of its 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Baker Bros. Advisors, managed by Julian Baker and Felix Baker, which holds a $12.3 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers with similar optimism include Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Randall Smith’s Alden Global Capital.
Since Novavax saw an increase in popularity, logic holds that several funds jumped into the company headfirst and on the next page we are going to take a look at the most prominent new investors. In addition, at the end of this article we will also compare NVAX to other stocks including Noah Holdings Limited (ADR) (NYSE:NOAH), Old National Bancorp (NYSE:ONB), and Stag Industrial Inc (NYSE:STAG) to get a better sense of its popularity.