Hedge Funds Are Buying ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (ZIOP)

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Is ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP) a buy, sell, or hold? The best stock pickers are taking a bullish view. The number of bullish hedge fund bets improved by 6 recently.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP)In the eyes of most stock holders, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, outdated financial vehicles of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we choose to focus on the aristocrats of this group, about 450 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group controls the majority of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by watching their highest performing stock picks, we have revealed a number of investment strategies that have historically outstripped the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as beneficial, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. There are lots of incentives for an executive to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if you understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a gander at the recent action regarding ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP).

How are hedge funds trading ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 12 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 100% from one quarter earlier.

Consequently, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. SAC Capital Advisors, managed by Steven Cohen, assembled the most valuable position in ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP). SAC Capital Advisors had 1.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Kyle Bass’s Hayman Advisors also initiated a $0.6 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new ZIOP positions are Peter Kolchinsky’s RA Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, and Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management.

What have insiders been doing with ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time period, ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP). These stocks are Targacept , Inc. (NASDAQ:TRGT), ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARQL), BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDSI), Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD), and Pain Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTIE). This group of stocks are in the biotechnology industry and their market caps are similar to ZIOP’s market cap.

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