Why GlaxoSmithKline, Groupon, Lending Club And 2 Micro-Caps Are Trending Today

The U.S stock markets are trading up on Monday even as oil has tumbled, thanks to strong financial results and M&A news. Among the stocks on the move today are LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC), Ballard Power Systems Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:BLDP), Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), Evoke Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:EVOK) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK). Let’s take a look into the news behind the activity in these stocks and see what the hedge funds in our database think about the companies in question.

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LendingClub Rises Upon Appointment of New CCO

Let’s start with LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC), which has gained 2.45% on Monday morning, driven by the appointment of former BlackRock executive Patrick Dunne as its Chief Capital Officer. The embattled online lender expects Mr. Dunne to help it rebuild and strengthen its relationship with investors, banks and partners. As of the end of the first quarter, 23 funds among those that we track were long LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) on March 31, holding more than 11% of its float.

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Ballard Spikes on New Synergy Agreement

Next up is Ballard Power Systems Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:BLDP), which has surged by 26.6% in Monday trading after announcing a new agreement with China’s Guangdong Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co. Ltd. As per the contract, the companies will establish an FCvelocity®-9SSL fuel cell stack production operation in the city of Yunfu, which should result in an estimated value for Ballard of at least $168 million over 5 years.

Only two funds in our database held long positions in the micro-cap as of the end of the first quarter, including Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, which disclosed ownership of 326,300 shares of Ballard Power Systems Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:BLDP) as of March 31.

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We’ll check out three other trending stocks on the next page.

Groupon Spikes After Piper Jaffray Upgrade

Shares of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) have gained 8.6% this morning, reacting to an upgrade from Piper Jaffray. Earlier today, analyst Samuel J. Kemp boosted his rating on the stock to ‘Overweight’ from ‘Neutral’, while raising his price target on it to $6.00 from $4.00, citing the rapidity of the company’s new customer acquisition. Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) counted the support of 18 funds in our system as of the end of the first quarter.

Evoke Pharma Plummets As Drug Flunks Phase 3 Trial

One of the largest losers of the day is nano-cap Evoke Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:EVOK), which has tumbled by more than 71.3% after its lead product candidate, diabetic gastroparesis drug EVK-001 (metoclopramide nasal spray), failed to meet its primary endpoint in a phase 3 study involving female patients. As with most nano-caps, hedge fund support for Evoke Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:EVOK) was scarce as of March 31, with only three firms in our database long the stock.

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GlaxoSmithKline’s ViiV Healthcare Reports Encouraging Turimeq Results

Finally, we come to GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), which is up by 0.57% in Monday trading after ViiV Healthcare, a company it established in partnership with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), presented data from a Phase IIIb, open-label, international, multi-center ARIA study for Turimeq – dolutegravir/abacavir/lamivudine. The drug proved to be superior in terms of efficacy (versus atazanavir + ritonavir -ATV/r- + tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine -TDF/FTC-) for treatment-naïve women living with HIV. GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) was owned by 28 hedge funds in our database at the end of the first quarter.

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned in this article.