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How Hedge Funds Traded Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (COCP) During The Crash

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of March 31st, a week after the market trough. In this article we look at what those investors think of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP).

Is Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) ready to rally soon? The smart money is becoming more confident. The number of long hedge fund bets increased by 1 recently. Our calculations also showed that COCP 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). COCP was in 3 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. There were 2 hedge funds in our database with COCP holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

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

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 44 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGIES

Jim Simons Founder of Renaissance Technologies

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, legendary investor Bill Miller told investors to sell 7 extremely popular recession stocks last month. So, we went through his list and recommended another stock with 100% upside potential instead. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. You can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here and find out the name of the large-cap healthcare stock that Sio Capital’s Michael Castor expects to double. 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 S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Now we’re going to take a look at the key hedge fund action encompassing Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP).

How have hedgies been trading Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 3 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 50% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, 1 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in COCP a year ago. So, let’s examine which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP), with a stake worth $1.1 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Sabby Capital, which amassed a stake valued at $0.3 million. Citadel Investment Group was 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 Sabby Capital allocated the biggest weight to Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP), around 0.12% of its 13F portfolio. Renaissance Technologies is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.0011 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to COCP.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Sabby Capital, managed by Hal Mintz, created the most valuable position in Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP). Sabby Capital had $0.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) but similarly valued. These stocks are Air T, Inc. (NASDAQ:AIRT), Houston Wire & Cable Company (NASDAQ:HWCC), Blueknight Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ:BKEP), and IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE:ISR). This group of stocks’ market valuations are similar to COCP’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
AIRT 1 2586 0
HWCC 7 8095 0
BKEP 1 2193 0
ISR 2 375 0
Average 2.75 3312 0

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 2.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $3 million. That figure was $1 million in COCP’s case. Houston Wire & Cable Company (NASDAQ:HWCC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Air T, Inc. (NASDAQ:AIRT) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above 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 7.9% in 2020 through May 22nd but still beat the market by 15.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on COCP as the stock returned 35.2% in Q2 (through May 22nd) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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