Why Sarepta Therapeutics, Ralph Lauren, Fifth Third Bancorp, and Two Other Stocks Are in Spotlight on Friday

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WTI crude futures have sank below the $50 per barrel mark around noon as traders brace for another potential rise in the rig count. In addition, all three major indexes are in the red as the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 5%.

In this article, we will take a closer look at five stocks, Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT), Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL), Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB), Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ:VA), and Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), and the reasons why each is trending. We will also assess the hedge fund sentiment towards these stocks, based on data from the last 13F filings of some 740 investors we track at Insider Monkey.

Through extensive research, we determined that imitating some of the picks of hedge funds and other institutional investors can help generate market-beating returns over the long run. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these investors, since they are usually less followed by the broader market and are less price-efficient. Our backtests that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that following the 15 most popular small-caps among hedge funds can help a retail investor beat the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see the details here).

Ian Schofield/Shutterstock.com

Ian Schofield/Shutterstock.com

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT) shares are down by 6.8% after Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) said the following about the biotech’s lead product Exondys 51:

“The use of eteplirsen is considered investigational and not medically necessary for all indications, including but not limited to the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

That policy indicates that Anthem probably won’t cover 100% of the cost (if it covers it at all) like some other insurers purportedly will. Exondys 51 has received accelerated approval for the treatment of individuals who have a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene that is amenable to exon 51 skipping. Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management owned 2.74 million shares of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT) at the end of June.

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Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL) shares are 2% in the green after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its ‘Conviction Buy’ list. As Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson has been the top-guy for almost one year, analyst Lindsay Drucker Man thinks that “foundational elements for a successful turnaround are in place”. She thinks the company’s inventory will fall noticeably over the next year, and that Ralph Lauren’s costs will also become more efficient as restructuring initiatives kick in. Goldman has a $120 price target on the stock. A total of 32 funds from our database owned shares of Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL) at the end of the second quarter, up by two funds from the previous quarter.

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On the next page, we dig deeper into why investors are watching Fifth Third Bancorp, Virgin America, and Alaska Air Group.

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