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Is PGEN A Good Stock To Buy Now?

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In this article we will check out the progression of hedge fund sentiment towards Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN) and determine whether it is a good investment right now. We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before spending days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more incentives and resources than the average investor. The funds have access to expert networks and get tips from industry insiders. They also employ numerous Ivy League graduates and MBAs. Like everyone else, hedge funds perform miserably at times, but their consensus picks have historically outperformed the market after risk adjustments.

Is PGEN a good stock to buy now? Hedge funds were in a pessimistic mood. The number of long hedge fund positions went down by 3 in recent months. Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN) was in 12 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of the third quarter of 2020. The all time high for this statistics is 19. Our calculations also showed that PGEN isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 15 hedge funds in our database with PGEN positions at the end of the second quarter.

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

If you'd ask most investors, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, Our researchers choose to focus on the aristocrats of this club, around 850 funds. These investment experts preside over bulk of the smart money's total asset base, and by observing their finest picks, Insider Monkey has revealed many investment strategies that have historically outstripped the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per annum since its inception in March 2017. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 13% since February 2017 (through November 17th) even though the market was up 65% during the same period. We just shared a list of 6 short targets in our latest quarterly update .

Bill Miller
Bill Miller

Bill Miller of Miller Value Partners

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 15 best blue chip stocks to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Now we're going to take a gander at the latest hedge fund action surrounding Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN).

Do Hedge Funds Think PGEN Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At third quarter's end, a total of 12 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -20% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in PGEN over the last 21 quarters. So, let's see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Bill Miller's Miller Value Partners has the most valuable position in Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN), worth close to $26.5 million, comprising 0.9% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is GMT Capital, led by Thomas E. Claugus, holding a $2.3 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other professional money managers that are bullish consist of Marc Lisker, Glenn Fuhrman and John Phelan's MSDC Management, David Cohen and Harold Levy's Iridian Asset Management and Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Miller Value Partners allocated the biggest weight to Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN), around 0.95% of its 13F portfolio. MSDC Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 0.45 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to PGEN.

Since Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN) has witnessed a decline in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it's easy to see that there is a sect of hedgies that slashed their full holdings heading into Q4. Interestingly, David Costen Haley's HBK Investments dumped the largest investment of all the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, comprising close to $0.6 million in stock, and Paul Marshall and Ian Wace's Marshall Wace LLP was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $0.3 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds heading into Q4.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN). These stocks are Global Medical REIT Inc. (NYSE:GMRE), Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc (NYSE:HY), Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SPWH), MYR Group Inc (NASDAQ:MYRG), Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER), Forrester Research, Inc. (NASDAQ:FORR), and Five Point Holdings, LLC (NYSE:FPH). This group of stocks' market values match PGEN's market value.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position GMRE,6,13544,-1 HY,12,31979,1 SPWH,26,118344,-7 MYRG,10,33582,2 OMER,15,96335,8 FORR,8,73281,1 FPH,13,143746,-1 Average,12.9,72973,0.4 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 12.9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $73 million. That figure was $36 million in PGEN's case. Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SPWH) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Global Medical REIT Inc. (NYSE:GMRE) is the least popular one with only 6 bullish hedge fund positions. Precigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:PGEN) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for PGEN is 35.9. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10 percentage points. These stocks gained 32.9% in 2020 through December 8th and still beat the market by 16.2 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on PGEN as the stock returned 140% since the end of the third quarter (through 12/8) and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

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

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