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Should You Buy aTyr Pharma Inc. (LIFE)?

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 4.5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE) based on that data.

Is aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE) a healthy stock for your portfolio? Prominent investors are getting more optimistic. The number of long hedge fund bets advanced by 3 in recent months. Our calculations also showed that LIFE isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). LIFE was in 6 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2020. There were 3 hedge funds in our database with LIFE holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s monthly stock picks returned 101% since March 2017 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 58 percentage points. Our short strategy outperformed the S&P 500 short ETFs by 20 percentage points annually (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Andreas Halvorsen

Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, 2020’s unprecedented market conditions provide us with the highest number of trading opportunities in a decade. So we are checking out stocks recommended/scorned by legendary Bill Miller. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind we’re going to take a look at the key hedge fund action surrounding aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE).

What does smart money think about aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE)?

Heading into the second quarter of 2020, a total of 6 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 100% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 4 hedge funds with a bullish position in LIFE a year ago. So, let’s find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Alyeska Investment Group, managed by Anand Parekh, holds the biggest position in aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE). Alyeska Investment Group has a $2.1 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Viking Global, led by Andreas Halvorsen, holding a $1.6 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds and institutional investors that hold long positions encompass Renaissance Technologies, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Alyeska Investment Group allocated the biggest weight to aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE), around 0.04% of its 13F portfolio. Viking Global is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.01 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to LIFE.

Consequently, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Alyeska Investment Group, managed by Anand Parekh, assembled the most valuable position in aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE). Alyeska Investment Group had $2.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors also initiated a $0.1 million position during the quarter. The only other fund with a brand new LIFE position is Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE) but similarly valued. These stocks are Streamline Health Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:STRM), TransGlobe Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:TGA), Mereo BioPharma Group plc (NASDAQ:MREO), and Perceptron, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCP). This group of stocks’ market values resemble LIFE’s market value.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
STRM 5 9750 0
TGA 4 2057 0
MREO 1 187 -1
PRCP 5 10378 0
Average 3.75 5593 -0.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 3.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $6 million. That figure was $5 million in LIFE’s case. Streamline Health Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:STRM) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Mereo BioPharma Group plc (NASDAQ:MREO) is the least popular one with only 1 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks returned 13.9% in 2020 through June 10th but still managed to beat the market by 14.2 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on LIFE as the stock returned 40% so far in Q2 (through June 10th) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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