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Should You Sell Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (VBLT)?

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 have processed the filings of the more than 700 world-class investment firms that we track and now have access to the collective wisdom contained in these filings, which are based on their September 30 holdings, data that is available nowhere else. Should you consider Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT) for your portfolio? We’ll look to this invaluable collective wisdom for the answer.

Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT) shares haven’t seen a lot of action during the third quarter. Overall, hedge fund sentiment was unchanged. The stock was in 3 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. At the end of this article we will also compare VBLT to other stocks including Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:FWP), Remark Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MARK), and Soleno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLNO) to get a better sense of its popularity.

In the eyes of most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as slow, old investment tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at the moment, We look at the aristocrats of this group, approximately 750 funds. It is estimated that this group of investors shepherd the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by watching their top picks, Insider Monkey has spotted many investment strategies that have historically outpaced the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy defeated the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per annum since its inception in May 2014. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.8% since February 2017 (through November 21st) even though the market was up more than 39% during the same period. We just shared a list of 7 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGIES

Jim Simons of RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGIES

Unlike the largest US hedge funds that are convinced Dow will soar past 40,000 or the world’s most bearish hedge fund that’s more convinced than ever that a crash is coming, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull or bear markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on the best performing hedge funds‘ buy/sell signals. We’re going to take a glance at the key hedge fund action regarding Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT).

How are hedge funds trading Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT)?

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2019, a total of 3 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 0% from the second quarter of 2019. By comparison, 4 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in VBLT 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.

VBLT_nov2019

Among these funds, Sabby Capital held the most valuable stake in Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT), which was worth $0.2 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Alyeska Investment Group which amassed $0.1 million worth of shares. Knoll Capital Management was also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Sabby Capital allocated the biggest weight to Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT), around 0.09% of its portfolio. Knoll Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 0.03 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to VBLT.

Earlier we told you that the aggregate hedge fund interest in the stock was unchanged and we view this as a negative development. Even though there weren’t any hedge funds dumping their holdings during the third quarter, there weren’t any hedge funds initiating brand new positions. This indicates that hedge funds, at the very best, perceive this stock as dead money and they haven’t identified any viable catalysts that can attract investor attention.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT). These stocks are Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:FWP), Remark Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MARK), Soleno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLNO), and Mid-Southern Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSVB). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble VBLT’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
FWP 3 9895 0
MARK 3 2964 1
SLNO 5 8308 0
MSVB 5 5584 0
Average 4 6688 0.25

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $7 million. That figure was $0 million in VBLT’s case. Soleno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLNO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:FWP) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT) is even less popular than FWP. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards VBLT. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 34.7% in 2019 through November 22nd and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 8.5 percentage points. Unfortunately VBLT wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); VBLT investors were disappointed as the stock returned -7.4% during the fourth quarter (through 11/22) 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 70 percent of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q4.

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

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