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Is Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (IOVA) A Good Stock To Buy?

Nina Todic

The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We have processed the filings of the more than 700 world-class investment firms that we track and now have access to the collective wisdom contained in these filings, which are based on their September 30 holdings, data that is available nowhere else. Should you consider Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) for your portfolio? We'll look to this invaluable collective wisdom for the answer.

Is Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) the right investment to pursue these days? Money managers are getting more bullish. The number of long hedge fund bets went up by 7 recently. Our calculations also showed that iova isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. IOVA was in 27 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2018. There were 20 hedge funds in our database with IOVA holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

So, why do we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment before making any investment decisions? Our research has shown that hedge funds' small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 18 percentage points since May 2014 through December 3, 2018 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter. Even if you aren't comfortable with shorting stocks, you should at least avoid initiating long positions in our short portfolio.

Samuel Isaly Orbimed Advisors

We're going to check out the latest hedge fund action regarding Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA).

Hedge fund activity in Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA)

Heading into the fourth quarter of 2018, a total of 27 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 35% from the second quarter of 2018. By comparison, 14 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in IOVA heading into this year. So, let's review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

No of Hedge Funds with IOVA Positions

More specifically, venBio Select Advisor was the largest shareholder of Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA), with a stake worth $97.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing venBio Select Advisor was Perceptive Advisors, which amassed a stake valued at $82 million. OrbiMed Advisors, Broadfin Capital, and Farallon Capital were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

As industrywide interest jumped, specific money managers were leading the bulls' herd. Osterweis Capital Management, managed by John Osterweis, created the largest position in Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA). Osterweis Capital Management had $5.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Jonathan Lourie and Stuart Fiertz's Cheyne Capital also made a $4.5 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new IOVA investors: James A. Silverman's Opaleye Management, Ori Hershkovitz's Nexthera Capital, and Vishal Saluja and Pham Quang's Endurant Capital Management.

Let's now review hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA). These stocks are LGI Homes Inc (NASDAQ:LGIH), Live Oak Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:LOB), Renewable Energy Group Inc (NASDAQ:REGI), and Stewart Information Services Corp (NYSE:STC). This group of stocks' market valuations are similar to IOVA's market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position LGIH,12,65359,2 LOB,8,78368,-1 REGI,21,82905,8 STC,20,148447,0 Average,15.25,93770,2.25 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 15.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $94 million. That figure was $512 million in IOVA's case. Renewable Energy Group Inc (NASDAQ:REGI) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Live Oak Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:LOB) is the least popular one with only 8 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA) is more popular among hedge funds. Considering that hedge funds are fond of this stock in relation to its market cap peers, it may be a good idea to analyze it in detail and potentially include it in your portfolio.

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

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