Kevin Kotler‘s New York-based fund Broadfin Capital has boosted its position in Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR). In a new filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Broadfin reported ownership of 2.35 million shares of the company, versus some 810,000 shares held previously. The passive stake held by Broadfin now amasses 7.95% of the company’s common stock.
Broadfin Capital is a healthcare-focused hedge fund with an equity portfolio of around $1.0 billion. Recently, the fund has made several bullish moves, such as initiating a stake in over-the-counter stock Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB:TTNP), which amasses 6.37 million shares representing 5.8% of common stock. Broadfin has also boosted its exposure to Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH), reporting ownership of 1.3 million shares, equal to 5.7% of the company. The stock of Anthera gained around 10% since Broadfin raised its stake, while Titan lost around 6%, although being an over-the-counter stock implies a lot of volatility.
However, what deserves more attention is Broadfin going activist on Cardica, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRDC). At the beginning of September, Mr. Kotler sent a letter to the company’s board urging directors to allow a larger involvment of major investors, such as Broadfin, which owns nearly 10% of the company. Broadfin also proposed several candidates to be elected to Cardica’s board of directors at the 2014 Annual Shareholder Meeting. A couple of weeks ago, Broadfin sent another letter but this time to Cardica’s shareholders asking them to support its position regarding the company and to vote in favor of its nominees at the election.
In Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR), Broadfin initiated a stake during the first quarter, initially holding 350,000 shares. During the April-June period, the fund boosted its stake by over 160%. The stock of the small-cap biopharmaceutical company dropped by almost 70% since the beginning of the year. However, many investors perceived the decline as an opportunity to buy shares of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR). In this way, Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management initiated a position during the second quarter, which contained 923,000 shares and, in October, the fund boosted its stake to more than 1.39 million shares, equal to 4.4% of the company. Almost simultaneously with Mr. Cohen, Matt Sirovich and Jeremy Mindich of Scopia Capital also went bullish and increased Scopia’s stake in Aegerion by 24% to 5.17 million shares, representing 17.52% of the company. Scopia Capital also added Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) to its equity portfolio during the second quarter.
Healthcare stocks often represent very attractive investment opportunities, which can bring substantial value, sometimes in very short periods. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR)’s stock gained almost 100% since its IPO in 2010 and the company has been gaining some value recently, despite its stock price decline. For the third quarter, the company posted sales of $43.7 million for its JUXTAPID® product, significantly up from $16.3 million reported for the third quarter of 2013. Moreover, the company narrowed its net loss to $0.20 per share, versus $0.43 per share a year ago. However, the company lowered its full year guidance, expecting sales in the range between $135 and $145 million for the full year, versus previos forecast of $145-$155 million.
In addition, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) has recently added another product to its portfolio, Myalept™, which has been acquired from AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN). Under the terms of the deal, Aegerion will pay $325 million for the global rights to develop, manufacture and sale the new drug. Myalept has an orphan drug designation in the US, European Union and Japan and is used for the treatment of generalized lipodystrophy.
In this way, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) is a stock worth further research, since it has raised its financial results, expanded its portfolio with an addition of a new drug. Moreover, benefiting from a lot of attention from big investors should also raise some flags. Analysts also seem to be optimistic regarding Aegerion’s prospects, since the stock has an average target price of around $34.00 per share.
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