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Hedge Funds Warming Up To Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (CLSD) Again?

Abigail Fisher

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds' and successful investors' positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund's trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 4.5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD) based on that data.

Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD) has experienced an increase in support from the world's most elite money managers recently. CLSD was in 4 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. There were 3 hedge funds in our database with CLSD positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that CLSD 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.

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that a select group of hedge fund holdings outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 51 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that'll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 36% through May 18th. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

[caption id="attachment_26340" align="aligncenter" width="398"] Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group[/caption]

CITADEL INVESTMENT GROUP

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, 2020's unprecedented market conditions provide us with the highest number of trading opportunities in a decade. So we are checking out stocks recommended/scorned by legendary Bill Miller. We interview hedge fund managers and ask them about their best ideas. If you want to find out the best healthcare stock to buy right now, you can watch our latest hedge fund manager interview here. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Now let's analyze the key hedge fund action surrounding Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD).

What does smart money think about Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD)?

Heading into the second quarter of 2020, a total of 4 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 33% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 4 hedge funds with a bullish position in CLSD a year ago. So, let's find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Renaissance Technologies has the largest position in Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD), worth close to $0.7 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Israel Englander of Millennium Management, with a $0.1 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other members of the smart money that are bullish contain Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group, Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron's Algert Coldiron Investors and . In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Algert Coldiron Investors allocated the biggest weight to Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD), around 0.02% of its 13F portfolio. Renaissance Technologies is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 0.0006 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CLSD.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds were breaking ground themselves. Algert Coldiron Investors, managed by Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron, initiated the most valuable position in Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD). Algert Coldiron Investors had $0 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks - not necessarily in the same industry as Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD) but similarly valued. These stocks are Catalyst Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CBIO), Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:GPOR), Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp (NYSE:NNA), and Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. (NYSE:PLX). This group of stocks' market values are closest to CLSD's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position CBIO,12,29102,-3 GPOR,9,15568,-6 NNA,4,1726,-2 PLX,2,12470,1 Average,6.75,14717,-2.5 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 6.75 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $15 million. That figure was $1 million in CLSD's case. Catalyst Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CBIO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. (NYSE:PLX) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. This is a slightly negative signal and we'd rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. 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 gained 8.3% in 2020 through the end of May and surpassed the market by 13.2 percentage points. Unfortunately CLSD wasn't nearly as popular as these 10 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was quite bearish); CLSD investors were disappointed as the stock returned 9.4% during the second 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 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market in 2020.

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

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