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Is BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX) A Good Stock To Buy?

Nina Todic

With the first-quarter round of 13F filings behind us it is time to take a look at the stocks in which some of the best money managers in the world preferred to invest or sell heading into the first quarter. One of these stocks was BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) has experienced an increase in hedge fund sentiment recently. Our calculations also showed that bcrx isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey's flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 25.8% year to date (through May 30th) and outperformed the market even though it draws its stock picks among small-cap stocks. This strategy also outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since its inception (see the details here). That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Peter Kolchinsky

We're going to take a look at the new hedge fund action encompassing BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

How have hedgies been trading BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX)?

At Q1's end, a total of 19 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 6% from the fourth quarter of 2018. By comparison, 15 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in BCRX a year ago. With the smart money's positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were adding to their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

No of Hedge Funds with BCRX Positions

The largest stake in BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) was held by Baker Bros. Advisors, which reported holding $123.1 million worth of stock at the end of March. It was followed by RA Capital Management with a $70.5 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Deerfield Management, Great Point Partners, and Citadel Investment Group.

As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers were leading the bulls' herd. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, established the most outsized call position in BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX). Millennium Management had $3.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Costen Haley's HBK Investments also initiated a $0.4 million position during the quarter. The other funds with brand new BCRX positions are Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group, David Harding's Winton Capital Management, and Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow's Blue Mountain Capital.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX). These stocks are Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:YMAB), Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE:CLDT), TCG BDC, Inc. (NASDAQ:CGBD), and Associated Capital Group, Inc. (NYSE:AC). 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 YMAB,4,53052,-2 CLDT,7,50262,-3 CGBD,12,24463,2 AC,7,70766,3 Average,7.5,49636,0 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 7.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $50 million. That figure was $358 million in BCRX's case. TCG BDC, Inc. (NASDAQ:CGBD) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:YMAB) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. Unfortunately BCRX wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on BCRX were disappointed as the stock returned -58.7% during the same period 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 13 of these stocks already outperformed the market in Q2.

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

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