In two recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Daniel Gold‘s QVT Financial and J. Carlo Cannell‘s Cannell Capital revealed raising stakes in two of their holdings. QVT Financial surged its position in Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR) to approximately 3.12 million shares, from some 1.82 million shares the fund disclosed in its latest 13F filing. Cannell Capital reported raising its stake in ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV) to 3.09 million shares, from 2.81 million shares held previously. Following the increases QVT Financial owns 5.90% of Arrowhead Research and Cannell Capital’s stake amasses 5.60% of ValueVision. Both stakes are passive by nature.
Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR) is a biopharmaceutical company, so with QVT Financial’s equity portfolio amassing a significant portion to the healthcare sector, this bullish move is interesting. Moreover, the stock of the company dropped by over 45% since the beginning of the year and currently trades close to its 52-week low, so Mr. Gold probably anticipates the company to start recovering. Aside from QVT, another investor that focuses on the healthcare sector Samuel Isaly’s Orbimed Advisors upped its position by 27% during the second quarter to around 4.96 million shares. On the other hand, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management reduced its holding in Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR) by 44% on the quarter to 1.25 million shares.
In addition, insiders have been selling their shares of Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR). Douglas Given, a director of Arrowhead, exercised his options and acquired 2,000 shares at $2.19 and sold them at $15.25. Another director, David Lewis, exercised options to acquire 15,000 shares at $2.01 and sold them at $15.01.
A couple of days ago the stock of Arrowhead took a major hit after Deutsche Bank lowered the price target on the stock to $20 from $45 although it still maintained the ‘Buy’ rating. The firm said that Arrowhead’s latest results on the company’s Hepatitis B drug have been disappointing and the development project has a much higher risk from potential competitors or longer timelines.
Now let’s take a look at Cannell raising its exposure to ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV). Despite the fact that the stock is currently passive by nature, Mr. Cannell has gone activist on the company in the past. In fact, at the beginning of June, the investor sent a letter to the company’s chairman of the board, Randy Ronning, expressing his outrage that the board cheated shareholders by making them pay a $3.0 million bill to cover ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV)’s legal expenses against Clinton Group, another investor who requested a special shareholder meeting. Mr. Cannell added that such an expense would be too high even for a big “Fortune 500” company, which makes it even more so for a $200 million company like ValueVision.
Greg Taxin‘s Clinton Group’s proxy fight with ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV)’s board has created a lot of buzz over the last year, with the investor trying to remove the top executives and the board. In June, other investors joined the activist group led by Clinton Group (Cannell Capital was another member of the group) and voted its candidates to the board. Later, CEO Keith Steward resigned and the new board appointed Mark Bozek. The stock of the company gained around 13% since June, although it is still 25% down year-to-date.
Chuck Royce‘s Royce & Associates is another shareholder of ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV), holding approximately 2.1 million shares as of the end of June. Clinton Group, on the other hand, after winning its proxy fight has been reducing its position in the company, trimming it to 1.61 million shares at the end of June, after holding over 2.40 million shares last year.