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Hedge Funds Are Selling Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (VYGR)

Abigail Fisher

The financial regulations require hedge funds and wealthy investors that exceeded the $100 million equity holdings threshold to file a report that shows their positions at the end of every quarter. Even though it isn't the intention, these filings to a certain extent level the playing field for ordinary investors. The latest round of 13F filings disclosed the funds' positions on March 31st, about a week after the S&P 500 Index bottomed. We at Insider Monkey have made an extensive database of more than 821 of those established hedge funds and famous value investors' filings. In this article, we analyze how these elite funds and prominent investors traded Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR) based on those filings.

Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR) has experienced a decrease in activity from the world's largest hedge funds lately. VYGR was in 15 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. There were 20 hedge funds in our database with VYGR holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that VYGR isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

According to most market participants, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, old financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds in operation at the moment, We choose to focus on the masters of this club, approximately 850 funds. These investment experts control most of the smart money's total asset base, and by keeping an eye on their finest stock picks, Insider Monkey has deciphered many investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy outrun the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points annually since its inception in March 2017. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 36% since February 2017 (through May 18th) even though the market was up 30% during the same period. We just shared a list of 8 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

[caption id="attachment_746893" align="aligncenter" width="398"] Paul Marshall of Marshall Wace[/caption]

Paul Marshall Marshall Wace

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, blockchain technology's influence will go beyond online payments. So, we are checking out this futurist's moonshot opportunities in tech stocks. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. For example we are checking out stocks recommended/scorned by legendary Bill Miller. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 in February after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Now let's take a peek at the new hedge fund action encompassing Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR).

What have hedge funds been doing with Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 15 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -25% from one quarter earlier. By comparison, 18 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in VYGR a year ago. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of key hedge fund managers who were adding to their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

More specifically, Armistice Capital was the largest shareholder of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR), with a stake worth $20.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Armistice Capital was Casdin Capital, which amassed a stake valued at $10 million. Renaissance Technologies, Millennium Management, and Marshall Wace LLP 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 Armistice Capital allocated the biggest weight to Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR), around 1.27% of its 13F portfolio. Casdin Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 1.06 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to VYGR.

Seeing as Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR) has experienced falling interest from hedge fund managers, it's safe to say that there were a few fund managers that decided to sell off their positions entirely last quarter. Intriguingly, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell's Arrowstreet Capital cut the biggest position of the 750 funds tracked by Insider Monkey, totaling about $0.7 million in stock. David Harding's fund, Winton Capital Management, also dropped its stock, about $0.5 million worth. These moves are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 5 funds last quarter.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR). These stocks are Triple-S Management Corp.(NYSE:GTS), Century Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNBKA), Amalgamated Bank (NASDAQ:AMAL), and Central Puerto S.A. (NYSE:CEPU). This group of stocks' market valuations are similar to VYGR's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position GTS,11,94868,-7 CNBKA,4,13897,-1 AMAL,12,27523,2 CEPU,6,5446,1 Average,8.25,35434,-1.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 8.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $35 million. That figure was $50 million in VYGR's case. Amalgamated Bank (NASDAQ:AMAL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Century Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNBKA) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VYGR) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks returned 13.3% in 2020 through June 25th but still managed to beat the market by 16.8 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on VYGR as the stock returned 52.1% so far in Q2 (through June 25th) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin. Hedge funds were clearly right about piling into this stock relative to other stocks with similar market capitalizations.

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

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