Dr. Matthew Strobeck‘s Birchview Capital has recently disclosed its equity holdings in a 13F filing with the SEC. The market value of the fund’s equity portfolio stood at $191.76 million at the end of the March quarter with a comparatively low turnover ratio of 12.82%.
Dr. Matthew Strobeck received his doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2001. He founded the Biosciences-focused fund, Birchview Capital in 2014 and is currently its Chief Investment Officer & Limited Partner. Birchview invests primarily in healthcare and environment industries. Strobeck is also an Independent Director at Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:AXDX), and Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX). Previously, he was a Partner at Westfield Capital Management and also served as a consultant for Thomas Weisel Asset Management. Some of the top picks of the fund at the end of the first quarter were Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML), and EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT).
Through our research at Insider Monkey, we have formulated a portfolio strategy based on 15 most popular small cap picks of hedge funds. Back tests ranging from 1991 to 2012 revealed that this strategy outperformed the market by nearly a percentage point per month, while the most popular large cap picks of hedge funds underperformed the market by 7 basis points per month during the same period. In forward tests since August 2012 through March 2015 our small cap strategy beat the market by a hefty 79.4 percentage points (read the details here). Hence a retail investor needs to isolate himself from the herd and take advantage of the prevalent arbitrage opportunities in the market by concentrating on small-caps
Birchview added 26,252 shares of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) in the first quarter to take the company’s holding to 840,163 shares valued at $96.86 million. The holding is by far the fund’s largest and amasses 50.51% of the fund’s portfolio value. Among the billionaires that we track, five had an aggregate investment of $201.81 million in Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) at the end of the fourth quarter. Ken Griffin was one of them as his fund, Citadel Investment Group, held about 924,600 shares valued at $103.43 million.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG)’s stock is up about 1.48% year to date. Recently the company’s candidate for Crohn’s disease, GED-0301, showed statistically significant efficacy as compared to placebo in a Phase 2 study. The company intends to advance the treatment to Phase 3 development. The inflammatory bowel disease that it is trying to treat is more common in the developed world and affects about 3.2 per 1000 people in Europe and North America.
Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:AXDX) is up by a staggering 22.93% year to date. The in vitro diagnostics company develops instruments for rapid identification of infectious pathogens and its main product in that department performs ID and AST on patent samples in less than 5 hours and eliminates the need for cultured isolates. Birchview held about 2.07 million shares of Accelerate Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:AXDX) valued at $46.52 million at the end of the first quarter. The holding represents 24.26% of the fund’s portfolio value. Among other investors in the company is Cliff Asness‘ AQR Capital Management and Stewart Strawbridge’s Selkirk Management.
Birchview’s third largest holding, represented by Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX), remained unchanged during the first quarter and represented about 3.98% of the fund’s equity portfolio. The stake comprised 12.71 million shares valued at $7.63 million. The $106.93 million bioscience company provides sustainable solutions to the plastics and chemicals industries. Although trading substantially lower than its peak level in 2007, Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX) is up by about 91.93% year to date. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group sold all its 11,548 shares of Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX) during the fourth quarter.
Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML)‘s stake also remained unchanged during the first quarter at 2.72 million shares valued at $4.69 million. According to an agreement in March, Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML) will provide the clients of its long-term partner, Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX), OVA1, an ovarian cancer test. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies increased its stake in Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML) by 4% during the fourth quarter of last year to 324,300 shares valued at $645,000.
Birchview’s bet on the energy sector, EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), is up by about 15.55% year to date. In its first quarter financial results, the $13.33 billion company posted Earnings per Share of $1.08, which beat the estimates by $0.46. Revenues of $708.77 million also came in ahead of expectations by $108.42 million. Birchview held 41,300 shares of EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), valued at $3.42 million. George Soros‘ Soros Fund Management was the largest shareholder of the company in our database, as it held some 2.87 million shares of EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) valued at $217.85 million at the end of last year.