Should You Avoid Vical Incorporated (VICL)?

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Is Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) a healthy stock for your portfolio? Prominent investors are in a bearish mood. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went down by 1 in recent months.

To the average investor, there are tons of indicators market participants can use to track their holdings. Two of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can beat the market by a significant margin (see just how much).

Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL)Equally as integral, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the financial markets. Obviously, there are lots of reasons for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this method if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Now, it’s important to take a peek at the recent action regarding Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL).

How have hedgies been trading Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -11% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, John W. Rogers’s Ariel Investments had the most valuable position in Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL), worth close to $10.6 million, accounting for 0.2% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Litespeed Management, managed by Jamie Zimmerman, which held a $5.1 million position; 1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Other peers with similar optimism include Charles Davidson’s Wexford Capital, and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Due to the fact that Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) has witnessed declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of fund managers that elected to cut their positions entirely at the end of the first quarter. Intriguingly, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies dropped the biggest stake of the 450+ funds we key on, comprising about $0.9 million in stock., and Matthew Tewksbury of Stevens Capital Management was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $0.2 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds at the end of the first quarter.

Insider trading activity in Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time period, Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) has seen 4 unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s check out hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL). These stocks are Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX), XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNPT), 3SBio Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:SSRX), Obagi Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMPI), and Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIR). All of these stocks are in the biotechnology industry and their market caps resemble VICL’s market cap.

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