Atreca, Inc. (BCEL): Do Hedge Funds Love This Stock?

In this article we will check out the progression of hedge fund sentiment towards Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL) and determine whether it is a good investment right now. We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before spending days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more incentives and resources than the average investor. The funds have access to expert networks and get tips from industry insiders. They also employ numerous Ivy League graduates and MBAs. Like everyone else, hedge funds perform miserably at times, but their consensus picks have historically outperformed the market after risk adjustments.

Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL) was in 8 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. BCEL investors should be aware of an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late. There were 7 hedge funds in our database with BCEL holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that BCEL isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

If you’d ask most stock holders, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, old financial tools of the past. While there are over 8000 funds trading today, We choose to focus on the masters of this club, about 850 funds. These money managers administer bulk of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by watching their first-class equity investments, Insider Monkey has discovered numerous investment strategies that have historically outrun the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per annum since its inception in March 2017. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 36% since February 2017 (through May 18th) even though the market was up 30% during the same period. We just shared a list of 8 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

Oleg Nodelman EcoR1 Capital

Oleg Nodelman of EcoR1 Capital

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world’s largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. We take a look at lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to identify the compounders that are likely to deliver double digit returns. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Keeping this in mind let’s go over the recent hedge fund action regarding Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL).

What have hedge funds been doing with Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL)?

Heading into the second quarter of 2020, a total of 8 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 14% from the fourth quarter of 2019. On the other hand, there were a total of 0 hedge funds with a bullish position in BCEL a year ago. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were adding to their holdings significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

Is BCEL A Good Stock To Buy?

More specifically, Baker Bros. Advisors was the largest shareholder of Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL), with a stake worth $58.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Baker Bros. Advisors was Redmile Group, which amassed a stake valued at $18.7 million. EcoR1 Capital, Samsara BioCapital, and Cormorant Asset Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Samsara BioCapital allocated the biggest weight to Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL), around 5.68% of its 13F portfolio. EcoR1 Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 1.91 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BCEL.

Consequently, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, initiated the largest position in Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL). Millennium Management had $2.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL). We will take a look at Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT), Hudson Ltd. (NYSE:HUD), First Financial Corp (NASDAQ:THFF), and Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX). This group of stocks’ market values match BCEL’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SKT 16 25546 2
HUD 14 35222 4
THFF 10 20394 -1
EBIX 15 44736 -4
Average 13.75 31475 0.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 13.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $31 million. That figure was $118 million in BCEL’s case. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand First Financial Corp (NASDAQ:THFF) is the least popular one with only 10 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCEL) is even less popular than THFF. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards BCEL. Our calculations showed that the top 10 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 12.2% in 2020 through June 17th but managed to beat the market by 14.8 percentage points. Unfortunately BCEL wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); BCEL investors were disappointed as the stock returned 10.3% during the second quarter (through June 17th) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in 2020.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.