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Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (HBIO)

The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the March quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors experienced strong gains on the back of a strong market performance, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO).

Is Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO) a good investment right now? Prominent investors are taking a bullish view. The number of long hedge fund positions advanced by 1 recently. Our calculations also showed that HBIO isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. HBIO was in 10 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. There were 9 hedge funds in our database with HBIO holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

In the eyes of most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, old investment tools of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at the moment, Our experts choose to focus on the elite of this club, approximately 750 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group of people administer the lion’s share of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by paying attention to their best picks, Insider Monkey has unearthed several investment strategies that have historically outpaced the market. Insider Monkey’s flagship hedge fund strategy exceeded the S&P 500 index by around 5 percentage points a year since its inception in May 2014 through June 18th. We were able to generate large returns even by identifying short candidates. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 28.2% since February 2017 (through June 18th) even though the market was up nearly 30% during the same period. We just shared a list of 5 short targets in our latest quarterly update and they are already down an average of 8.2% in a month whereas our long picks outperformed the market by 2.5 percentage points in this volatile 5 week period (our long picks also beat the market by 15 percentage points so far this year).

Chuck Royce

Let’s take a look at the key hedge fund action surrounding Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO).

How are hedge funds trading Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 10 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 11% from one quarter earlier. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in HBIO over the last 15 quarters. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

HBIO_june2019

More specifically, Royce & Associates was the largest shareholder of Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO), with a stake worth $7.5 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Royce & Associates was Renaissance Technologies, which amassed a stake valued at $2.7 million. Fondren Management, Marshall Wace LLP, and Millennium Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names have jumped into Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO) headfirst. Fondren Management, managed by Bradley Louis Radoff, created the biggest position in Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO). Fondren Management had $0.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO). These stocks are MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:MDCA), Acacia Research Corporation (NASDAQ:ACTG), Community Bankers Trust Corp. (NASDAQ:ESXB), and Escalade, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESCA). This group of stocks’ market values are similar to HBIO’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
MDCA 18 34475 3
ACTG 14 25644 1
ESXB 4 17035 0
ESCA 4 11822 1
Average 10 22244 1.25

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 $22 million. That figure was $12 million in HBIO’s case. MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:MDCA) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Community Bankers Trust Corp. (NASDAQ:ESXB) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 6.2% in Q2 through June 19th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by nearly 3 percentage points. Unfortunately HBIO wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); HBIO investors were disappointed as the stock returned -53.1% during the same time period and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q2.

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

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