Hedge Funds Are Crazy About Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (THLD)

Is Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD) a good investment right now? We check hedge fund and billionaire investor sentiment before delving into hours of research. Hedge funds spend millions of dollars on Ivy League graduates, expert networks, and get tips from industry insiders. They fail miserably sometimes, but historically their consensus stock picks outperformed the market after adjusting for known risk factors.

Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD) shareholders have witnessed an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers lately. THLD was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2015. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with THLD holdings at the end of the previous quarter. At the end of this article we will also compare THLD to other stocks, including Meta Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CASH), Asanko Gold Inc (NYSEMKT:AKG), and Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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According to most traders, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, old financial vehicles of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, We choose to focus on the bigwigs of this group, approximately 700 funds. These investment experts manage bulk of the smart money’s total asset base, and by tailing their best investments, Insider Monkey has formulated several investment strategies that have historically defeated Mr. Market. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points a year for a decade in their back tests.

Now, we’re going to view the key action surrounding Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD).

Hedge fund activity in Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD)

Heading into Q4, a total of 13 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 44% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Julian Baker and Felix Baker’s Baker Bros. Advisors has the most valuable position in Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD), worth close to $11.9 million, corresponding to 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Millennium Management, led by Israel Englander, holding an $6.3 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors with similar optimism comprise Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management, Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers have jumped into Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD) headfirst. Great Point Partners, managed by Jeffrey Jay and David Kroin, assembled the biggest call position in Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD). Great Point Partners had $0.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management also made an $0.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new THLD positions are Mike Vranos’s Ellington and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD) but similarly valued. These stocks are Meta Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CASH), Asanko Gold Inc (NYSEMKT:AKG), Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA), and Cryolife Inc (NYSE:CRY). All of these stocks’ market caps resemble THLD’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CASH 15 65518 3
AKG 5 28173 0
SODA 11 39221 2
CRY 8 18411 0

As you can see these stocks had an average of 10 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $38 million, compared to $32 million in THLD’s case. Meta Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CASH) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Asanko Gold Inc (NYSEMKT:AKG) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD) is not the most popular stock in this group, but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal, but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. In this regard CASH might be a better candidate to consider a long position.