Many leading funds filed forms 13-D and 13-G (and form 4) with the SEC on Wednesday and Thursday, including Wells Fargo & Co., Vanguard Group and hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management, indicating that they had amended their ownership in U.S. traded public companies. Also, we have included, when applicable, SEC Form 4 filings by Institutions that are considered corporate insiders by virtue of their holding more than 10% ownership, and in many cases having representation on the board of directors. The following are the most notable filings on Wednesday and for part of the day Thursday (for more info on Forms 13-D and 13-G, and how to interpret that, please refer to the end of this article):
Novagold Resources Inc. (NYSEMKT:NG): NG is a Canadian company engaged in the exploration and development of gold, silver and copper in Alaska and British Columbia. On Thursday, Vanguard Specialized Funds filed SEC Form SC 13G on behalf of Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund that it holds a passive stake of 21.3 million or 8.9% of outstanding shares. At the time of the latest available 13-F Q3 filing, parent Vanguard Group was not shown as holding any position in the company. NG currently generates losses, and trades at 9.1 P/B compared to the average of 2.3 for its peers in the gold mining group.
Adeona Pharmaceuticals (AEN): AEN is a development-stage biotech focused on the development of synthetic DNA-based therapeutics and innovative disease-modifying medicine for serious illnesses, with current drugs under clinical development targeting pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). On Thursday, New York-based healthcare-focused hedge fund Empery Asset Management filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that it holds no shares and warrants to purchase 0.71 million shares, a decrease from the 1.43 million shares and warrants to purchase 0.71 million shares that they reported in a prior SC 13G filing in January of last year. AEN shares have been in a strong rally mode recently, up from 50 cents in mid-November to current prices in the $1.80s after rising as high as $2.30s earlier this week, as the company has released a spate of positive news starting with the mid-November announcement of a collaboration with Intrexon for Synthetic DNA-based therapy for PAH, and then positive clinical study results for its oral zinc compound in ALS, announced by its collaborator, the PNA Center for Neurological Research, in late-November.
Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION): ZION, which originated as Keystone Insurance & Investment Co., is a multi-bank holding company that provides various banking and related products and services in the U.S. with almost 500 branches in UT, CA, TX, AZ, NV, CO, ID, WA, OR and NM. On Wednesday, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) filed SEC Form SC 13G/A indicating that it holds a passive stake of 10.3 million or 5.6% of outstanding shares, a decrease of 0.5 million from the 10.8 million shares it held at the time of its 13-F Q3 filing.
Collective Brands Inc. (NYSE:PSS): PSS is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. It includes Payless ShoeSource with its 4,500-store retail chain, Collective Brands Performance plus the Lifestyle Group that includes among others the Stride Rite brand for children, and Collective Licensing International that is the brand development, management and global licensing unit. On Thursday, Wells Fargo filed SEC Form SC 13G/A indicating that it holds a passive stake of 4.2 million or 6.9% of outstanding shares, an increase of 0.2 million from the 4.0 million shares it held at the time of its 13-F Q3 filing. PSS trades at 17-18 forward P/E and 1.4 P/B compared to averages of 16.2 and 3.0 for its peers in the apparel and shore retail group.
Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI): CI is a global health services company and the fourth-largest health insurer in the U.S. market based on enrollment. It operates healthcare, group disability and life segments in the U.S.; and its international business sells individual insurance in several countries and provides coverage for people living outside their home countries. On Wednesday, hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management, headed by Jeffrey Altman, with over $3.1 billion in equity assets per its latest 13-F Q3 filing, filed SEC Form SC 13G/A, indicating that it now holds 14.2 million or 4.98% of the outstanding shares, an increase of 0.3 million shares from the 13.9 million shares it reported in an earlier SC 13G filing at the end of October, and a significant increase from the 7.3 million shares it reported at the end of Q3. CI trades at 7-8 forward P/E and 1.6 P/B compared to averages of 9.9 and 0.7 for its peers in the multi-line insurance group.
Covance Inc. (NYSE:CVD): CVD, a contract research organization (CRO), is a leading provider of drug development services, including early-stage and late-stage product development services, to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. On Thursday, Wells Fargo filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that it holds a passive stake of 3.5 million or 5.8% of outstanding shares, a significant increase of 2.3 million shares from the 1.2 million shares it held at the time of its 13-F Q3 filing. CVD trades at 13 forward P/E and 2.0 P/B, and its shares were down about 9% on Thursday after the company reported in-line Q4 earnings (73c) and guided FY 2012 earnings below consensus ($2.50-$2.80 v/s $2.96).
Form 13-D is commonly referred to as the "beneficial ownership report," and is required when a person or a group of persons acquires beneficial ownership of more than 5% of the voting class of a company's equity securities. Form 13-G is the abbreviated version of the form that is allowed under certain circumstances.
The information in forms 13-D and 13-G is extremely timely as it is required to be filed within 10 days after the purchase, in contrast to 13-F quarterly filings by Institutions that are filed every three months. The information contained in 13-F filings, thereby, can as much as 18 weeks old by the time it is disseminated to the public. Furthermore, by virtue of their 5% ownership in public companies, the information contained in the 13-D and 13-G filings indicates only high confidence or high conviction moves by institutions and insiders, and hence can be interpreted to be of greater relevance to the investment community than the 13-F quarterly filings. Furthermore, 13-D and 13-G filings often are a precursor to hostile takeover, company breakups and other "change of control" events, and often they will include a letter to management explaining the reason for their taking a large stake in the company.
Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, I-Metrix by Edgar Online, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and Briefing.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.
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