The markets have opened in the red despite applications for unemployment aid in the United States being at a 42-year low.
In this article, we will analyze the latest events surrounding Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Ocular Therapeutix Inc (NASDAQ:OCUL), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN). In addition, we will discuss the hedge fund sentiment towards them.
At Insider Monkey, we track around 750 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on, can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see the details here).
Business is booming at Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) as the e-commerce giant is planning to add 120,000 seasonal jobs for the upcoming holiday season, up 20% from the 100,000 workers the giant hired in winter of 2015. The number workers Amazon.com plans to hire is even bigger than that of many brick and mortar giants. In contrast, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is planning to hire around 70,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, and Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) plans to add 83,000 seasonal jobs. Both Target and Macy’s numbers are similar to what they were last year. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management inched lower its stake by 1% in the third quarter to just under 1.98 million shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) is 7% in the red after Macquarie analyst Aldo Mazzaferro cut his price target to $13 per share from $20, citing weaker steel pricing, which has fallen to under $500 per ton in terms of the spot market in recent weeks. Due to the softer pricing, Mazzaferro thinks U.S. Steel will report EBITDA of $487 million for this year. Macquarie has an ‘Underperform’ rating on the stock. Among the funds we track, 26 funds owned $403.25 million worth of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X)’s stock, which accounted for 16.30% of the float on June 30, versus 28 funds and $230.25 million, respectively, on March 31.
On the next page, we will discuss Alphabet, Ocular Therapeutix, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is in the spotlight after the EU gave it around three more weeks to reply to antitrust charges concerning the accusations that the internet giant unfairly lowered the shopping service links of rival companies in Google search results. Alphabet now has until November 7 to respond to the accusations, which, if found guilty, could cost the company up to $7.4 billion in the worst-case scenario. According to our data, 126 funds that Insider Monkey tracks were long Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Class C shares at the end of June.
Ocular Therapeutix Inc (NASDAQ:OCUL) shares have surged by 18% after the company announced it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) to develop a sustained release formulation of Aflibercept for the treatment of web AMD and other serious retinal diseases. Under the terms of the deal, Ocular is eligible for receive up to $305 million in milestone payments in addition to tiered high single-digit to low-to-mid teen-digit royalties on potential future net sales. CEO Amar Sawhney said:
“We are excited to partner with Regeneron to develop a potential first-in-class sustained release protein-based anti-VEGF hydrogel injection for wet AMD, DME, RVO, and other serious retinal diseases. This sustained release formulation could have the potential to significantly reduce dosing frequency and subsequently reduce doctor visits, thus reducing the burden of care for patients, caregivers and physicians, and may decrease the likelihood of certain side effects associated with frequent intravitreal injections.”
At the end of the second quarter, 11 funds from our database were long Ocular Therapeutix Inc (NASDAQ:OCUL) and 32 funds held shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN).