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Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Miragen Therapeutics (MGEN)

The financial regulations require hedge funds and wealthy investors that exceeded the $100 million equity holdings threshold to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn’t the intention, these filings to a certain extent level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F filings disclosed the funds’ positions on March 31st, about a week after the S&P 500 Index bottomed. We at Insider Monkey have made an extensive database of more than 821 of those established hedge funds and famous value investors’ filings. In this article, we analyze how these elite funds and prominent investors traded Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN) based on those filings.

Hedge fund interest in Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. At the end of this article we will also compare MGEN to other stocks including FTS International, Inc. (NYSE:FTSI), TransAct Technologies Incorporated (NASDAQ:TACT), and Data I/O Corporation (NASDAQ:DAIO) to get a better sense of its popularity.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

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 87% since March 2017 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 51 percentage points. Our short strategy outperformed the S&P 500 short ETFs by 20 percentage points annually (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

CITADEL INVESTMENT GROUP

Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group

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. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a gander at the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN).

What have hedge funds been doing with Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 4 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 0% from the fourth quarter of 2019. On the other hand, there were a total of 5 hedge funds with a bullish position in MGEN 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.

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Alyeska Investment Group, managed by Anand Parekh, holds the largest position in Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN). Alyeska Investment Group has a $0.3 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund is Renaissance Technologies, holding a $0.3 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers that are bullish consist of Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Alyeska Investment Group allocated the biggest weight to Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN), around 0.01% of its 13F portfolio. Renaissance Technologies is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.0003 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to MGEN.

Due to the fact that Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN) has faced falling interest from the smart money, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of hedgies who sold off their positions entirely last quarter. Intriguingly, Ari Zweiman’s 683 Capital Partners dumped the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising about $0.1 million in stock, and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $0 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN) but similarly valued. We will take a look at FTS International, Inc. (NYSE:FTSI), TransAct Technologies Incorporated (NASDAQ:TACT), Data I/O Corporation (NASDAQ:DAIO), and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM). This group of stocks’ market values are similar to MGEN’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FTSI 9 251 -5
TACT 5 3078 0
DAIO 1 1776 -1
BLCM 6 2949 -1
Average 5.25 2014 -1.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 5.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $2 million. That figure was $1 million in MGEN’s case. FTS International, Inc. (NYSE:FTSI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Data I/O Corporation (NASDAQ:DAIO) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. Miragen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGEN) 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 8.3% in 2020 through the end of May and still beat the market by 13.2 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on MGEN as the stock returned 121.3% 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.