Last Week's Noteworthy Institutional 5% Ownership Filings

 |  Includes: GTXI, NG, THLD
by: GuruFundPicks

Many leading funds filed forms 13-D and 13-G (and form 4) with the SEC last week, on Wednesday through Friday, February 28th to March 2nd, indicating that they had amended their ownership in U.S. traded public companies. The following are the most notable filings from that analysis (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. Last Friday, famed hedge fund company Paulson & Co., with over $35 billion in assets under management, including $13.9 billion in 13-F assets per their latest Q4 filing, filed SEC Form 13D/A indicating that it holds 29.95 million or 10.8% of outstanding shares, an increase of 7.0 million shares from the 22.95 million it held at the end of Q4.

Paulson has been gradually building up its position in the company, having just added 2.75 million shares in Q4 to their prior quarter 20.20 million shares in the company. Also, in the filing, Paulson indicated that 5.0 million of the 7.0 million shares were bought on February 2nd, and the remaining 2.0 million shares were bought in smaller increments in the last month. NG currently generates losses, and trades at 8.6 P/B compared to the average of 2.3 for its peers in the gold mining group.

Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:THLD): THLD is a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of therapeutics based on tumor hypoxia, a powerful scientific platform that offers broad potential to treat most solid tumors, based on the realization that tumors thrive in areas with low levels of oxygen, or hypoxic regions. Last Thursday, leading life science venture capital firm, Cambridge, MA-based Healthcare Ventures LLC, filed SEC Form 13G indicating that it holds 1.22 million or 2.4% of outstanding shares, a decrease of 3.04 million shares from the 4.26 million shares it indicated holding in a prior 13G filing in February of last year.

This is the second venture capital firm that has filed a 13G/A indicating that it reduced its holdings in THLD in the last couple of weeks, which seems natural given the strong rally that lifted its shares five-fold in less than three weeks. Just last week, we reported that leading private equity and venture capital firm Frazier Healthcare Ventures' Frazier Healthcare VI, L.P. fund or "FH VI", reduced its holdings in the company. THLD shares are currently under strong reversal after the 5x rally last month, triggered by the company's announcement on February 3rd of a global agreement with Merck KGaA to co-develop and commercialize phase 3 hypoxia-targeted drug TH-302.

GTx Inc. (NASDAQ:GTXI): GTXI is a clinical-stage biotech company engaged in the development of small molecule drugs that selectively target hormone pathways to prevent and treat cancer, fractures and bone loss, muscle loss and other serious medical conditions. Last Friday, Jack Schuler, co-founder and partner in venture capital firm Crabtree Partners LLC, and former President and COO of Abbott Laboratories, filed SEC Form 13G indicating that he holds in the aggregate 12.3 million or 19.4% of outstanding shares, directly and indirectly, and an increase from the 10.7 million shares that he owned in the aggregate in a prior 13G filing in March of last year.

GTXI shares have been extremely volatile recently, first up strongly over 60% in late January after Citigroup raised the price target from $8 to $19 on takeover potential, and then shares came crashing down two weeks ago on an announcement that the FDA had placed a clinical hold on the company's studies of its Capesaris prostate cancer treatment.

General Discussion

Form 13-D is commonly referred to as "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 ten 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 eighteen 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, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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