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Is BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period that ended March 31st, so let’s proceed with the discussion of the hedge fund sentiment on BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) has seen a decrease in hedge fund interest lately. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) was in 22 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. The all time high for this statistic is 26. Our calculations also showed that BCRX isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

To most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be slow, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are over 8000 funds trading at the moment, Our experts choose to focus on the top tier of this club, around 850 funds. These investment experts oversee most of all hedge funds' total asset base, and by paying attention to their top investments, Insider Monkey has unearthed several investment strategies that have historically surpassed Mr. Market. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy defeated the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per year since its inception in March 2017. Also, our monthly newsletter's portfolio of long stock picks returned 206.8% since March 2017 (through May 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 115 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Alex Denner Sarissa Capital
Alex Denner Sarissa Capital

Alex Denner of Sarissa Capital Management

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Chuck Schumer recently stated that marijuana legalization will be a Senate priority. So, we are checking out this under the radar stock that will benefit from this. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage. Now we're going to check out the key hedge fund action encompassing BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

Do Hedge Funds Think BCRX Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At first quarter's end, a total of 22 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -15% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards BCRX over the last 23 quarters. With the smart money's positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an "upper tier" of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were adding to their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

Among these funds, Baker Bros. Advisors held the most valuable stake in BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), which was worth $129.3 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was Sarissa Capital Management which amassed $77.7 million worth of shares. Healthcor Management LP, Deerfield Management, and Adage Capital Management were 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 Sarissa Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), around 7.45% of its 13F portfolio. Burrage Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 7.13 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BCRX.

Judging by the fact that BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) has faced falling interest from the aggregate hedge fund industry, we can see that there lies a certain "tier" of fund managers that elected to cut their entire stakes heading into Q2. Intriguingly, Steve Cohen's Point72 Asset Management sold off the largest position of all the hedgies monitored by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $24.1 million in stock. Kamran Moghtaderi's fund, Eversept Partners, also dumped its stock, about $3.7 million worth. These moves are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 4 funds heading into Q2.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX). We will take a look at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IRWD), GCP Applied Technologies Inc. (NYSE:GCP), HudBay Minerals Inc (NYSE:HBM), Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO), Cassava Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAVA), MacroGenics Inc (NASDAQ:MGNX), and AppHarvest, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPH). This group of stocks' market caps resemble BCRX's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position IRWD,28,449729,2 GCP,13,407749,-4 HBM,15,389989,-4 SGMO,17,91681,-3 SAVA,5,35601,-2 MGNX,30,596606,7 APPH,21,380762,21 Average,18.4,336017,2.4 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 18.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $336 million. That figure was $348 million in BCRX's case. MacroGenics Inc (NASDAQ:MGNX) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Cassava Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAVA) is the least popular one with only 5 bullish hedge fund positions. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for BCRX is 60.4. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 23.8% in 2021 through July 16th and still beat the market by 7.7 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on BCRX as the stock returned 53.5% since the end of Q1 (through 7/16) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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