Is MediciNova (MNOV) A Good Stock To Buy Now?

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 817 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 September 30th, about a month before the elections. In this article we look at what those investors think of MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV).

Is MediciNova (MNOV) a good stock to buy now? MNOV investors should be aware of an increase in hedge fund sentiment lately. MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. The all time high for this statistics is 7. Our calculations also showed that MNOV 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.

At the moment there are dozens of metrics stock traders have at their disposal to assess stocks. Two of the most underrated metrics are hedge fund and insider trading activity. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite fund managers can beat the broader indices by a healthy amount (see the details here).

David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital

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 let’s check out the key hedge fund action encompassing MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV).

How have hedgies been trading MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV)?

At third quarter’s end, a total of 5 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 25% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 2 hedge funds with a bullish position in MNOV 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.

The largest stake in MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) was held by Renaissance Technologies, which reported holding $1.1 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Greenlight Capital with a $1 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Arrowstreet Capital, Citadel Investment Group, and Citadel Investment Group. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Greenlight Capital allocated the biggest weight to MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV), around 0.08% of its 13F portfolio. Renaissance Technologies is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.0011 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to MNOV.

As aggregate interest increased, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Greenlight Capital, managed by David Einhorn, initiated the biggest position in MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV). Greenlight Capital had $1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital also initiated a $0.1 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new MNOV position is Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Let’s now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV). These stocks are Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ:SILC), Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE:MCB), Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OESX), The ExOne Company (NASDAQ:XONE), Summit Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMT), Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI), and Gladstone Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:GLAD). This group of stocks’ market caps match MNOV’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
SILC 5 7269 0
MCB 7 41108 0
OESX 7 25463 1
XONE 5 3869 3
SMMT 1 1044 -2
HTBI 11 38106 -1
GLAD 3 3304 -1
Average 5.6 17166 0

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 5.6 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $17 million. That figure was $2 million in MNOV’s case. Hometrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Summit Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SMMT) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for MNOV is 47.4. 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 gained 30.7% in 2020 through November 27th and still beat the market by 16.1 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on MNOV as the stock returned 13.9% since the end of the third quarter (through 11/27) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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