Better-than-expected financial results in the banking sector are driving the markets up on Thursday, as the U.S dollar continues to surge for the third consecutive day. Oil is also up marginally. While many stocks are on the rise, we are of course seeing some big movers in both directions today. Let’s take a look into Argos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ARGS), RingCentral Inc (NYSE:RNG), Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS), First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), and Dominion Diamond Corp (NYSE:DDC), five of the day’s big movers, and see what has triggered their volatility. We’ll also check in on how the hedge funds in our database were trading these companies in the fourth quarter.
At Insider Monkey, we track more than 785 hedge funds, whose 13F filings we analyze as part of our small-cap strategy. Our research has shown that imitating a portfolio that includes the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds can outperform the market by as much as 95 basis points per month on average (see more details here).
Argos Continues To Rally
Back to the stocks that interest us, let’s start with Argos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ARGS), a small-cap biopharmaceutical company that is up by more than 13.6% on Thursday afternoon, in what seems to be a continuation of the strong uptrend experienced by the stock since the beginning of the year. Year-to-date, the shares have gained more than 360%, based largely on a fourth quarter earnings beat, a financing plan and the initiation of a Phase 2 trial of AGS-003 for the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
By the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, Argos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ARGS) counted only two supporters among the funds that we track. One of them was Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group, which disclosed ownership of 202,144 shares of the company.
RingCentral’s Partner Program Now A 5-Star Option
Next up is RingCentral Inc (NYSE:RNG), a small-cap SaaS solutions provider that is trading up by 8% today after CRN gave its Partner Program a 5-Star rating in its 2016 Partner Program Guide. “This annual guide is the definitive listing of technology vendors that service solution providers, or provide products through the IT channel. The 5-Star Partner Program Guide rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs,” a press release reads.
RingCentral Inc (NYSE:RNG) is considerably more popular among hedge funds than Argos Therapeutics. At the end of the fourth quarter, the company counted 26 supporters among the firms that we keep track of and those funds held 16% of the company’s shares on December 31. A noteworthy position was that of Donald Chiboucis’ Columbus Circle Investors, which held 2.6 million shares of the company after increasing its stake by 73% over the October-to-December period.
We have the latest on three more big movers on the next page.
Stratasys Spikes on 3D Systems’ Upgrade
Shares of Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) are trading up by 8.9% this afternoon after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch gave 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) a double upgrade to ‘Buy’ from ‘Underperform’, citing confidence in the company’s new CEO, Vyomesh Joshi.
While BAML just now got bullish on 3D printing, Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) was in the portfolios of several hedge funds in our database on December 31. At the end of 2015, 17 funds among those that we track were long the stock, with the largest stake being held by Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, amounting to 2.1 million shares of the company.
First Republic’s Earnings Disappoint
Also surging on Thursday afternoon is First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), which is up by more than 5% after beating earnings estimates for the first quarter. EPS of $0.88 came in $0.08 ahead of the consensus estimate, though revenue of $519.6 million, up by 22.9% year-over-year, missed expectations by $22.53 million.
First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) saw hedge fund support rise by 17.6% over the fourth quarter of 2015, to 20. Among them was Robert Joseph Caruso’s Select Equity Group, which held 3.5 million shares of the company valued at $231.8 million on December 31.
Dominion Diamond’s Results Also Fail To Impress
Finally, there’s Dominion Diamond Corp (NYSE:DDC), which is down by more than 9% on Thursday afternoon. After the market closed on Wednesday, the company reported a net loss of $0.41 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, down from a loss of $0.03 per share a year ago. Revenue of $178.1 million was also down year-over-year, by 26%. In addition, the small-cap diamond miner announced the appointment of Jim Gowans as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, to replace Robert Gannicott, who recently retired.
14 funds among those we track were long Dominion Diamond Corp (NYSE:DDC) at the end of 2015. A position worth highlighting was that of Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, as the fund held 1.92 million shares of the company, worth almost $20 million on December 31.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.