Cellectis SA (CLLS): Hedge Funds Are Snapping Up

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 4.5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS) based on that data and determine whether they were really smart about the stock.

Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS) was in 10 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. CLLS has seen an increase in hedge fund sentiment recently. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with CLLS holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that CLLS 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.

To the average investor there are numerous metrics investors can use to grade their stock investments. A pair of the most underrated metrics are hedge fund and insider trading moves. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best hedge fund managers can outpace the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see the details here).

Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. There is a lot of volatility in the markets and this presents amazing investment opportunities from time to time. For example, this trader claims to deliver juiced up returns with one trade a week, so we are checking out his highest conviction idea. A second trader claims to score lucrative profits by utilizing a “weekend trading strategy”, so we look into his strategy’s picks. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We recently recommended several stocks partly inspired by legendary Bill Miller’s investor letter. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 in February after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Now we’re going to take a glance at the new hedge fund action surrounding Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS).

What does smart money think about Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 25% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in CLLS over the last 18 quarters. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is CLLS A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS) was held by Adage Capital Management, which reported holding $5.1 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Citadel Investment Group with a $2.4 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Millennium Management, Hudson Bay Capital Management, and Rhenman & Partners Asset Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Rhenman & Partners Asset Management allocated the biggest weight to Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS), around 0.19% of its 13F portfolio. Water Street Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 0.06 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CLLS.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Rhenman & Partners Asset Management, managed by Henrik Rhenman, created the biggest position in Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS). Rhenman & Partners Asset Management had $1.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Neil Shahrestani’s Ikarian Capital also initiated a $0.3 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new CLLS position is Greg Eisner’s Engineers Gate Manager.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS) but similarly valued. These stocks are Waterstone Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBF), Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ:ARLP), UP Fintech Holding Limited (NASDAQ:TIGR), and Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCCI). This group of stocks’ market values match CLLS’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
WSBF 12 63778 -1
ARLP 4 20224 0
TIGR 2 162 -1
HCCI 8 35905 -1
Average 6.5 30017 -0.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 6.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $30 million. That figure was $15 million in CLLS’s case. Waterstone Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBF) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand UP Fintech Holding Limited (NASDAQ:TIGR) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Cellectis SA (NASDAQ:CLLS) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 12.3% in 2020 through June 30th but still beat the market by 15.5 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on CLLS as the stock returned 93.5% in Q2 and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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