Should I Buy Sesen Bio, Inc. (SESN)?

After several tireless days we have finished crunching the numbers from nearly 817 13F filings issued by the elite hedge funds and other investment firms that we track at Insider Monkey, which disclosed those firms’ equity portfolios as of September 30th. The results of that effort will be put on display in this article, as we share valuable insight into the smart money sentiment towards Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN).

Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN) investors should be aware of an increase in enthusiasm from smart money of late. Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN) was in 6 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 13. There were 5 hedge funds in our database with SESN holdings at the end of June. Our calculations also showed that SESN 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.

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 was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 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.

Mark Kingdon - Kingdon Capital

Mark Kingdon of Kingdon 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 we’re going to take a peek at the latest hedge fund action surrounding Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN).

How have hedgies been trading Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 6 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 20% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards SESN over the last 21 quarters. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies, holds the most valuable position in Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN). Renaissance Technologies has a $2.8 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Mark Kingdon of Kingdon Capital, with a $2.4 million position; the fund has 0.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other members of the smart money with similar optimism comprise Kamran Moghtaderi’s Eversept Partners, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Eversept Partners allocated the biggest weight to Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN), around 0.49% of its 13F portfolio. Kingdon Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.27 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to SESN.

As one would reasonably expect, key money managers have jumped into Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN) headfirst. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, managed by Ryan Tolkin (CIO), initiated the biggest position in Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN). Schonfeld Strategic Advisors had $0 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

Let’s go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN). We will take a look at Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV), IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones Sociedad Anónima (NYSE:IRS), Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQST), Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:QUAD), Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation (NYSE:ANH), Green Plains Partners LP (NASDAQ:GPP), and Northrim BanCorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NRIM). All of these stocks’ market caps resemble SESN’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
BGFV 9 18141 3
IRS 5 10713 0
AQST 8 11570 1
QUAD 8 8881 -3
ANH 11 24320 -1
GPP 2 14829 0
NRIM 11 13227 0
Average 7.7 14526 0

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 7.7 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $15 million. That figure was $8 million in SESN’s case. Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation (NYSE:ANH) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Green Plains Partners LP (NASDAQ:GPP) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Sesen Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ:SESN) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for SESN is 42.1. 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 SESN wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); SESN investors were disappointed as the stock returned -13.6% 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.