Is ALPN A Good Stock To Buy Now?

We at Insider Monkey have gone over 817 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of September 30th. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN) based on that data.

Is ALPN a good stock to buy now? Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN) investors should be aware of an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds recently. Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN) was in 12 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistics is 8. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. There were 5 hedge funds in our database with ALPN holdings at the end of June. Our calculations also showed that ALPN isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

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

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that a select group of hedge fund holdings outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 66 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’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 13% through November 17th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Samuel Isaly, Founder of OrbiMed Advisors

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 15 best blue chip stocks to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. 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 website. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a look at the recent hedge fund action surrounding Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN).

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

At the end of September, a total of 12 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 140% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards ALPN over the last 21 quarters. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

More specifically, OrbiMed Advisors was the largest shareholder of Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN), with a stake worth $32.3 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing OrbiMed Advisors was Frazier Healthcare Partners, which amassed a stake valued at $22.6 million. Farallon Capital, EcoR1 Capital, and Samsara BioCapital were 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 Frazier Healthcare Partners allocated the biggest weight to Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN), around 2.03% of its 13F portfolio. Samsara BioCapital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 1.21 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to ALPN.

Now, key hedge funds were leading the bulls’ herd. Farallon Capital, founded by Thomas Steyer, initiated the biggest position in Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN). Farallon Capital had $6.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Oleg Nodelman’s EcoR1 Capital also made a $6.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new ALPN positions are Srini Akkaraju and Michael Dybbs’s Samsara BioCapital, Doron Breen and Mori Arkin’s Sphera Global Healthcare Fund, and Nathan Fischel’s DAFNA Capital Management.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN). These stocks are YRC Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:YRCW), Genie Energy Ltd (NYSE:GNE), Dyadic International, Inc. (NASDAQ:DYAI), CTO Realty Growth Inc (NYSE:CTO), Concrete Pumping Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBCP), XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA), and Arcimoto, Inc. (NASDAQ:FUV). This group of stocks’ market valuations are closest to ALPN’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
YRCW 9 8497 -1
GNE 8 11912 -2
DYAI 4 5392 1
CTO 8 17012 -4
BBCP 7 33602 0
XOMA 9 93108 -3
FUV 1 827 0
Average 6.6 24336 -1.3

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 6.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $24 million. That figure was $81 million in ALPN’s case. YRC Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:YRCW) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Arcimoto, Inc. (NASDAQ:FUV) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALPN) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for ALPN is 90. 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 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks returned 32.9% in 2020 through December 8th but still managed to beat the market by 16.2 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on ALPN as the stock returned 19.5% since the end of September (through 12/8) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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