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Hedge Funds Are Selling HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (HOOK)

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 HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK) based on that data.

Is HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK) a splendid investment today? Money managers are getting less optimistic. The number of bullish hedge fund positions decreased by 1 recently. Our calculations also showed that HOOK 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.

Today there are numerous metrics shareholders can use to size up publicly traded companies. Two of the most under-the-radar metrics are hedge fund and insider trading interest. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can trounce the market by a very impressive margin (see the details here).

Felix Baker - Baker Bros.

Felix Baker of Baker Bros.

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, 2020’s unprecedented market conditions provide us with the highest number of trading opportunities in a decade. So we are checking out stocks recommended/scorned by legendary Bill Miller. 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 we’re going to go over the fresh hedge fund action encompassing HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK).

How have hedgies been trading HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 6 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -14% from the fourth quarter of 2019. By comparison, 0 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in HOOK a year ago. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

More specifically, Redmile Group was the largest shareholder of HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK), with a stake worth $15.4 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Redmile Group was Hillhouse Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $7.8 million. Baker Bros. Advisors, Samsara BioCapital, and Millennium 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 HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK), around 2.52% of its 13F portfolio. Redmile Group is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.43 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to HOOK.

We view hedge fund activity in the stock unfavorable, but in this case there was only a single hedge fund selling its entire position: Schonfeld Strategic Advisors. One hedge fund selling its entire position doesn’t always imply a bearish intent. Theoretically a hedge fund may decide to sell a promising position in order to invest the proceeds in a more promising idea. However, we don’t think this is the case in this case because none of the 750+ hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey identified HOOK as a viable investment and initiated a position in the stock.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK). We will take a look at Jumei International Holding Ltd (NYSE:JMEI), Caleres Inc (NYSE:CAL), Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS), and Gain Capital Holdings Inc (NYSE:GCAP). This group of stocks’ market valuations are closest to HOOK’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
JMEI 2 836 -2
CAL 15 17197 -4
RGS 9 79872 -2
GCAP 14 14540 4
Average 10 28111 -1

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

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 $28 million. That figure was $35 million in HOOK’s case. Caleres Inc (NYSE:CAL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Jumei International Holding Ltd (NYSE:JMEI) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:HOOK) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below 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 13.9% in 2020 through June 10th and still beat the market by 14.2 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on HOOK as the stock returned 43.2% during the second quarter and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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