Artisan Partners, a high value-added investment management firm, published its ‘Artisan Mid Cap Fund’ first quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of -2.36% was recorded by its Investor Class: ARTMX, -2.32% by its Advisor Class: APDMX, and -2.30% by its Institutional Class: APHMX, in the fourth quarter of 2020, all below the Russell Midcap® Growth Index that delivered a -0.57% return and the Russell Midcap® Index that was up by 8.14% for the same period. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.
Artisan Mid Cap Fund, in its Q1 2021 investor letter, mentioned Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND), and shared their insights on the company. Ascendis Pharma A/S is a Hellerup, Denmark-based pharmaceutical products manufacturer that currently has a $7.2 billion market capitalization. Since the beginning of the year, ASND delivered a -19.02% return, while its 12-month gains are down by -4.85%. As of May 05, 2021, the stock closed at $138.18 per share.
Here is what Artisan Mid Cap Fund has to say about Ascendis Pharma A/S in its Q1 2021 investor letter:
“Among our bottom Q1 contributors was Ascendis Pharma. Ascendis Pharma underperformed in sympathy with the broader biotech sector as drug price legislation discussions in Washington have resumed. We believe the company’s fundamental outlook remains very positive as its TransCon technology platform—which enables protein-based medicines to be delivered in a sustainedrelease manner—yields promising, relatively low-risk new drug candidates. The company’s first product, TransCon hGH, the first weekly pediatric growth hormone injection, is expected to be approved by the FDA in the coming quarters. Two other promising rare endocrinology disease medicines are in clinical trials, with TransCon PTH for hypoparathyroidism already having shown compelling Phase II data in 2020. We believe these endocrinology products alone make Ascendis an attractive long-term investment opportunity, even before considering the company’s early stage cancer pipeline and its ~40% equity ownership in VISEN Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese drug developer. Furthermore, we believe drug price legislation will be manageable for Ascendis, which is far more dependent on creating new medicines than on raising the price of existing products.”
Our calculations show that Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND) does not belong in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, Ascendis Pharma A/S was in 31 hedge fund portfolios, compared to 29 funds in the third quarter. ASND delivered a -10.35% return in the past 3 months.
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