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Hedge Funds Are Betting On Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (BLCM)

Nina Todic

We are still in an overall bull market and many stocks that smart money investors were piling into surged through the end of November. Among them, Facebook and Microsoft ranked among the top 3 picks and these stocks gained 54% and 51% respectively. Hedge funds' top 3 stock picks returned 41.7% this year and beat the S&P 500 ETFs by 14 percentage points. Investing in index funds guarantees you average returns, not superior returns. We are looking to generate superior returns for our readers. That's why we believe it isn't a waste of time to check out hedge fund sentiment before you invest in a stock like Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM).

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) investors should be aware of an increase in activity from the world's largest hedge funds of late. BLCM was in 12 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of September. There were 11 hedge funds in our database with BLCM holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that BLCM isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings). Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

In the financial world there are several metrics stock market investors use to size up their holdings. A duo of the best metrics are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. Our experts have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can beat the broader indices by a superb amount (see the details here).

[caption id="attachment_758434" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Nathan Fischel of DAFNA Capital Management[/caption]

Nathan Fischel DAFNA Capital

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Europe is set to become the world's largest cannabis market, so we check out this European marijuana stock pitch. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, "I'm investing more today than I did back in early 2009." So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We also rely on the best performing hedge funds' buy/sell signals. We're going to go over the key hedge fund action surrounding Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM).

Hedge fund activity in Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM)

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2019, a total of 12 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 9% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 9 hedge funds with a bullish position in BLCM a year ago. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

The largest stake in Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) was held by Baker Bros. Advisors, which reported holding $2.8 million worth of stock at the end of September. It was followed by Renaissance Technologies with a $2.7 million position. Other investors bullish on the company included Frazier Healthcare Partners, Armistice Capital, and DAFNA Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Frazier Healthcare Partners allocated the biggest weight to Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM), around 0.35% of its 13F portfolio. DAFNA Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.08 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to BLCM.

Consequently, key money managers were breaking ground themselves. Armistice Capital, managed by Steven Boyd, initiated the most outsized position in Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM). Armistice Capital had $1.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Anand Parekh's Alyeska Investment Group also made a $0.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new BLCM investors: David M. Knott's Dorset Management, Hal Mintz's Sabby Capital, and David E. Shaw's D E Shaw.

Let's now take a look at hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) but similarly valued. These stocks are Beyond Air, Inc. (NASDAQ:XAIR), Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ:VBLT), Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:FWP), and Remark Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MARK). This group of stocks' market caps match BLCM's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position XAIR,3,2211,1 VBLT,3,217,0 FWP,3,9895,0 MARK,3,2964,1 Average,3,3822,0.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 3 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $4 million. That figure was $9 million in BLCM's case. Beyond Air, Inc. (NASDAQ:XAIR) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Beyond Air, Inc. (NASDAQ:XAIR) is the least popular one with only 3 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Unfortunately BLCM wasn't nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on BLCM were disappointed as the stock returned -17.4% during the first two months of the fourth quarter 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 70 percent of these stocks already outperformed the market in Q4.

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

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