Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP) Anymore

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 fourth 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 6 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) based on that data.

CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest of late. CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) was in 27 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. The all time high for this statistic is 34. There were 34 hedge funds in our database with CRSP positions at the end of the fourth quarter. Our calculations also showed that CRSP isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s monthly stock picks returned 206.8% since March 2017 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 115 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Matthew Hulsizer PEAK6 Capital

Matthew Hulsizer of PEAK6 Capital

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, economists warn of inflation flare up. So, we are checking out this backdoor gold play that has hit peak gains of 718% in a little over a year. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage. With all of this in mind let’s take a look at the latest hedge fund action surrounding CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP).

Do Hedge Funds Think CRSP Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At the end of March, a total of 27 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -21% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 31 hedge funds with a bullish position in CRSP a year ago. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is CRSP A Good Stock To Buy?

The largest stake in CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) was held by ARK Investment Management, which reported holding $1010.2 million worth of stock at the end of December. It was followed by Two Sigma Advisors with a $125.2 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included OrbiMed Advisors, Citadel Investment Group, and Valiant Capital. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position ARK Investment Management allocated the biggest weight to CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP), around 2.01% of its 13F portfolio. Valiant Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 1.45 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CRSP.

Since CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) has experienced a decline in interest from hedge fund managers, it’s easy to see that there were a few funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes by the end of the first quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management cut the largest investment of the 750 funds followed by Insider Monkey, totaling about $30.6 million in stock. James Crichton’s fund, Hitchwood Capital Management, also said goodbye to its stock, about $11.5 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 7 funds by the end of the first quarter.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP). We will take a look at Maravai LifeSciences Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRVI), BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBIO), Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE:PNW), AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU), AbCellera Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ:ABCL), Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL), and Flex Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX). This group of stocks’ market valuations match CRSP’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
MRVI 26 401044 -8
BBIO 26 2899063 3
PNW 15 145574 -9
AU 14 319512 -3
ABCL 20 1842948 -5
JLL 20 1241101 -3
FLEX 48 1635901 4
Average 24.1 1212163 -3

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 24.1 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1212 million. That figure was $1408 million in CRSP’s case. Flex Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) is the least popular one with only 14 bullish hedge fund positions. CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for CRSP is 40.9. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 24% in 2021 through July 9th and still beat the market by 6.7 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on CRSP as the stock returned 18.4% since the end of Q1 (through 7/9) 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.