Is ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASLN) A Good Stock To Buy?

The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the September 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 ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN).

ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN) was in 4 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 5. ASLN has experienced a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers lately. There were 5 hedge funds in our database with ASLN holdings at the end of June. Our calculations also showed that ASLN 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.

Nathan Fischel DAFNA Capital

Nathan Fischel of DAFNA Capital Management

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 10 most profitable companies in the world 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. Now let’s take a look at the new hedge fund action regarding ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN).

Hedge fund activity in ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN)

At the end of September, a total of 4 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -20% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards ASLN over the last 21 quarters. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Michael Castor’s Sio Capital has the number one position in ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN), worth close to $2.6 million, comprising 0.5% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Kerr Neilson of Platinum Asset Management, with a $0.8 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that hold long positions consist of Nathan Fischel’s DAFNA Capital Management, Renaissance Technologies and . In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Sio Capital allocated the biggest weight to ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN), around 0.52% of its 13F portfolio. DAFNA Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.05 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to ASLN.

We view hedge fund activity in the stock unfavorable, but in this case there was only a single hedge fund selling its entire position: Millennium Management. One hedge fund selling its entire position doesn’t always imply a bearish intent. Theoretically a hedge fund may decide to sell a promising position in order to invest the proceeds in a more promising idea. However, we don’t think this is the case in this case because none of the 750+ hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey identified ASLN as a viable investment and initiated a position in the stock.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Tantech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:TANH), Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD), Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:ADMP), Assertio Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:ASRT), Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NYSE:NAVB), Rhinebeck Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:RBKB), and Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY). This group of stocks’ market valuations match ASLN’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
TANH 3 1041 1
CLSD 3 1921 0
ADMP 1 16 -1
ASRT 13 14432 -5
NAVB 3 443 1
RBKB 2 4432 0
ONCY 3 266 1
Average 4 3222 -0.4

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $3 million. That figure was $4 million in ASLN’s case. Assertio Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:ASRT) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:ADMP) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ:ASLN) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for ASLN is 40.5. 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. 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 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 30.7% in 2020 through November 27th and surpassed the market again by 16.1 percentage points. Unfortunately ASLN wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); ASLN investors were disappointed as the stock returned -1.1% since the end of September (through 11/27) 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 most of these stocks already outperformed the market in 2020.

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