Is Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (IOVA) A Good Stock To Buy?

Is Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) a good place to invest some of your money right now? We can gain invaluable insight to help us answer that question by studying the investment trends of top investors, who employ world-class Ivy League graduates, who are given immense resources and industry contacts to put their financial expertise to work. The top picks of these firms have historically outperformed the market when we account for known risk factors, making them very valuable investment ideas.

Is IOVA a good stock to buy? Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) has experienced a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months. Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) was in 37 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. The all time high for this statistic is 43. There were 41 hedge funds in our database with IOVA positions at the end of the fourth quarter. Our calculations also showed that IOVA isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

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Cathie Wood ARK Investment Management

Cathie Wood of ARK Investment Management

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

Heading into the second quarter of 2021, a total of 37 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -10% from the fourth quarter of 2020. By comparison, 39 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in IOVA a year ago. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

The largest stake in Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) was held by ARK Investment Management, which reported holding $624.5 million worth of stock at the end of December. It was followed by Perceptive Advisors with a $273.9 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Avoro Capital Advisors (venBio Select Advisor), OrbiMed Advisors, and Farallon Capital. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Great Point Partners allocated the biggest weight to Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA), around 6.09% of its 13F portfolio. Avoro Capital Advisors (venBio Select Advisor) is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 4.37 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to IOVA.

Due to the fact that Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) has witnessed a decline in interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, logic holds that there was a specific group of funds that elected to cut their positions entirely heading into Q2. At the top of the heap, Eli Casdin’s Casdin Capital said goodbye to the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds followed by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $25.5 million in stock, and Doron Breen and Mori Arkin’s Sphera Global Healthcare Fund was right behind this move, as the fund said goodbye to about $5.9 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds heading into Q2.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Gates Industrial Corporation plc (NYSE:GTES), Bloom Energy Corporation (NYSE:BE), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL), Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:PAC), Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:TPTX), PennyMac Financial Services Inc (NYSE:PFSI), and Silgan Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SLGN). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble IOVA’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
GTES 18 100856 4
BE 22 108937 3
FCEL 13 68015 -2
PAC 5 95131 1
TPTX 33 805626 6
PFSI 25 555644 -4
SLGN 17 246378 1
Average 19 282941 1.3

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 19 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $283 million. That figure was $1759 million in IOVA’s case. Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:TPTX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:PAC) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for IOVA is 76.8. 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 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 19.3% in 2021 through June 25th and still beat the market by 4.8 percentage points. Unfortunately IOVA wasn’t nearly as popular as these 5 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on IOVA were disappointed as the stock returned -14.6% since the end of the first quarter (through 6/25) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market since 2019.

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