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Hedge Funds Keep Piling Into Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (AXSM)

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Felix Baker - Baker Bros.

At the end of February we announced the arrival of the first US recession since 2009 and we predicted that the market will decline by at least 20% in (see why hell is coming). We reversed our stance on March 25th after seeing unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus unleashed by the Fed and the Congress. This is the perfect market for stock pickers, now that the stocks are fully valued again. In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to get a reading on which direction each stock might be going. In this article, we will take a closer look at hedge fund sentiment towards Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM) at the end of the second quarter and determine whether the smart money was really smart about this stock.

Is Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM) undervalued? The best stock pickers were getting more bullish. The number of long hedge fund bets advanced by 7 lately. Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM) was in 31 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistics is 25. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that AXSM isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 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 56 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 34% through August 17th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Felix Baker – Baker Bros.

Felix Baker of Baker Bros.

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, this “mom” trader turned $2000 into $2 million within 2 years. So, we are checking out her best trade idea of the month. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world 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. With all of this in mind we’re going to review the key hedge fund action regarding Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM).

How have hedgies been trading Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM)?

At second quarter’s end, a total of 31 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 29% from the first quarter of 2020. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in AXSM over the last 20 quarters. So, let’s see which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, RA Capital Management held the most valuable stake in Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM), which was worth $167.5 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Iridian Asset Management which amassed $89.3 million worth of shares. Baker Bros. Advisors, Citadel Investment Group, and Cormorant Asset Management 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 RA Capital Management allocated the biggest weight to Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM), around 3.26% of its 13F portfolio. Ghost Tree Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, earmarking 2.17 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to AXSM.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Perceptive Advisors, managed by Joseph Edelman, assembled the most outsized position in Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM). Perceptive Advisors had $4.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Greg Martinez’s Parkman Healthcare Partners also made a $3.3 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Michael Gelband’s ExodusPoint Capital, Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners, and Noam Gottesman’s GLG Partners.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Intercorp Financial Services Inc. (NYSE:IFS), SmileDirectClub, Inc. (NASDAQ:SDC), EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), Bank OZK (NASDAQ:OZK), Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL), NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSE:NG), and UFP Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPI). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to AXSM’s market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position IFS,2,29824,0 SDC,20,66745,0 EQT,34,374313,4 OZK,17,160531,-8 FL,29,309984,8 NG,23,375744,4 UFPI,18,68772,1 Average,20.4,197988,1.3 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 20.4 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $198 million. That figure was $552 million in AXSM’s case. EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Intercorp Financial Services Inc. (NYSE:IFS) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for AXSM is 85.3. 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. This is a slightly positive signal but 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 23.8% in 2020 through September 14th and beat the market by 17.6 percentage points. Unfortunately AXSM wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on AXSM were disappointed as the stock returned 0.9% during the same time period 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 many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year.

Get real-time email alerts: Follow Axsome Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:AXSM)

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

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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How to watch the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden

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How to watch the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden

President Trump and Joe Biden will meet on Tuesday, September 29 in Cleveland for the first presidential debate. The debate will be moderated by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace.

“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell will lead coverage on CBS broadcast stations, and she will be joined by “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King and “60 Minutes” correspondent and CBS News senior political analyst John Dickerson. Former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus will also provide analysis. 

On CBSN, “Red & Blue” will have a preview show at 5 p.m., with pre-debate coverage beginning at 8:30 p.m., hosted by Elaine Quijano. There will be post-debate analysis starting at 11 p.m.

The debate, which will be in Cleveland, Ohio, will include six 15-minute segments “dedicated to topics announced in advance in order to encourage deep discussion of the leading issues facing the country,” the Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement.

How to watch the first presidential debate

What: First presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Date: Tuesday, September 29

Location:  Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic

Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET

Debate coverage on CBS broadcast stations and CBSN: 9-11 p.m. ET 

“Red & Blue” debate preview: 5 p.m.

CBSN debate coverage: Preshow coverage at 8:30 p.m. and post-show coverage begins at 11 p.m.

Online stream: Live on CBSN — in the player above and on your mobile phone, connected TV or gaming console. Download the free CBS News app for full CBSN coverage and live convention updates. CBSN streaming is available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Pluto.

Follow: Liveblog updates on CBSNews.com

Wallace will be focusing on the following topics, according to the commission’s statement:  

The records of President Trump and former Vice President Joe BidenThe Supreme CourtCOVID-19The economy”Race and violence in our cities””The integrity of the election.”

Steve Scully of C-SPAN will moderate the second debate on October 15, a town-hall style event which will take place in Miami. The third debate in Nashville will be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News on October 22.

The vice presidential debate between Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence will take place in Salt Lake City on October 7, and will be moderated by Susan Page of USA Today.

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Biden and Trump teams prepare for personal attacks in first presidential debate

How many of Florida’s felons will be able to vote in the swing state?

New details emerge from another New York Times report on President Trump’s taxes

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, Malone to perform

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Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, Malone to perform

NEW YORK (AP) — Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, Luke Combs and leading nominee Post Malone will perform at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

NBC and dick clark productions on Tuesday announced the performers for the show, which will broadcast live from The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 14. With restrictions set due to the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t clear if the performances will be live or pre-taped.

The awards show was originally supposed to take place in April but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused a halt to live performances and TV and film productions.

Kelly Clarkson will host the Billboard Awards, and Garth Brooks will receive the ICON Award.

Malone’s 16 nominations include top male artist, top rap artist and the show’s biggest prize, top artist. Others competing for the top honor include Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Khalid and Jonas Brothers.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Lonza confident of 2020 target for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine supply

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Lonza confident of 2020 target for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine supply

* Lonza confident on 2020 target for Moderna vaccine

* Swiss locals watching, hoping for project success

* Swiss company focusing on drugs, selling chemicals unit

By John Miller

VISP, Switzerland, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Lonza is confident that U.S. and Swiss plants it is building to help make Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate will be ready for commercial production this year, executives at the Swiss company said on Tuesday.

New production lines at Lonza’s site in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, aim to start making vaccine ingredients in November, while three lines in Visp, deep in a valley in the Swiss Alps – to supply 300 million vaccine doses annually – should begin delivering by December.

There is no approved COVID-19 vaccine yet, but several are in advanced trials, including from Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, whose candidate relies on technology never previously approved that enlists human cells to help trigger an immune response.

Torsten Schmidt, who heads Lonza’s Visp facility, where Moderna’s $210 million production lines are about 50% completed, said he has secured the equipment needed to avoid any last-minute setbacks.

“The delivery of the equipment was critical,” Schmidt said in an interview. “You typically wait 12 months, you’re talking here about 4-5 months. In the end, the CEO has been talking to the CEOs of suppliers, to get the equipment delivered.”

Lonza, whose shares are up 60% this year, has a 10-year contract to supply ingredients to Moderna, including for up to 1 billion doses annually of COVID-19 vaccine.

The ingredients include a synthetic version of messenger RNA (mRNA), genetic material, which is packed inside tiny fat droplets called nanolipids, to instruct human cells to make a non-replicating form of the coronavirus’s spike protein and trigger an immune response in the body.

They will be frozen at -70 degrees Celsius, then shipped from Visp to Spain’s Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi SA for “fill and finish,” the final stage of manufacture.

STILL HIRING

Lonza is still hiring some of the roughly 200 workers it needs to operate the Moderna production lines in Visp, located where the Alps tip up towards the nearby ski towns of Zermatt, near the famed Matterhorn, and Saas Fe.

In all, Lonza expects to have some 4,000 workers in Visp by January, from 3,500 now, following a hiring spree fueled by its manufacture of drugs for other customers, as well as Moderna. They include Roche, Sanofi and California’s Humanigen, with which it has partnered on another COVID-19 project.

However ready Lonza is, when precisely Moderna’s vaccine becomes available depends on its trials and regulators. The U.S. company has said about 20 million doses should be ready by the year’s end.

Already Lonza’s drugs unit revenue has seen double-digit percentage gains, prompting the Basel-based company earlier this year to seek to offload its $1.8 billion-per-year speciality chemicals business, after sales of products, such as animal feed supplements and resins have stagnated.

Talks with potential buyers are ongoing, Renzo Cicillini, Lonza’s Visp site head, said.

‘A LITTLE PROUD’

In Visp, two hours by train from both Zurich and Milan, Italy, its roughly 8,000 residents are accustomed to Lonza’s taking a behind-the-scenes role in making drugs for better-known companies, the town’s mayor, Niklaus Furger, said.

But the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 1 million people and wreaked global economic havoc, has left the people of Visp hoping for success that would put it on the map.

“The idea that a vaccine might just be produced in Visp with which we could fight against the pandemic, that would be excellent,” Furger told Reuters at Visp city hall. “For certain, the attention of the world would be trained on Visp along with Lonza, something that admittedly would make us all a little proud.” (Reporting by John Miller; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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