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Many leading funds, including Baupost Group, SAC Capital Advisors and Fidelity Investments, filed forms 13-D and 13-G (and form 4) with the SEC last week (April 9th to 13th, 2012), indicating that they had amended their ownership in U.S. traded public companies. The following are the most notable institutional trades based on our analysis of those filings (for more info on Forms 13-D and 13-G, and how to interpret that, please refer to the end of this article):

Alexza Pharmaceuticals (ALXA): ALXA is a development stage biotech company, focused on the research, development and commercialization of a novel proprietary drug delivery system for the acute treatment of central nervous system conditions. On Thursday, San Francisco-based hedge fund Symphony Asset Management, with more than $8.2 billion assets under management, filed SEC Form SC 13D/A indicating that it added Andrew Busser as a reporting person to their prior 13-D filing on September 8th, 2009, and that it holds 10.1 million or 8.4% of outstanding shares, the same as reported in the original 13-D filing in 2009.

This is the fourth 13D/G that has been filed recently for ALXA. Earlier in February, we reported that Bahamas-based biotech-focused privately held investment management company Boxer Capital increased its holding of ALXA from by 3.4 million shares to 7.8 million or 6.7% of outstanding shares, and that San Diego-based biotech-focused fund Tang Capital Partners initiated a new 11.0 million share position in the company. Also, prior to that in January, London-based Occitan Capital Partners LLP increased its holdings of ALXA by 3.8 million shares to 7.1 million shares.

ALXA shares currently trade near all-time lows, down more than 95% since peaking about five years ago. Its Adasuve treatment for acute agitation in patients with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder is up for FDA approval, with a PDUFA date of May 4th. While an approval could send shares skyrocketing well above $1, approval is far from certain, and in the interim, the company faces a cash crunch even after recent dilutions, that earlier at the end of last year prompted the company to issue 60-day layoff notices to all of its employees.

Amarin Corp. (AMRN): AMRN is a clinical stage Ireland-based global pharmaceutical group, which develops novel drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases using its proprietary advanced oral and trans-dermal drug delivery technologies. On Friday, billionaire star fund manager Stephen Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that it holds 7.2 million or 5.2% of outstanding shares, an increase from the 5.4 million shares it reported in an earlier SC 13G filing on March 26th, and from the 3.4 million shares it held at the end of Q4.

AMRN shares are consolidating at their highs after spiking higher in the middle of March, prior to and just after the company announced last Tuesday that the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) published notification of a Notice of Allowance for its '598 patent for AMR-101, a prescription grade omega-3 fatty acid for the treatment of patients with very high triglyceride levels that are at increased risk for developing coronary artery disease. The issuance of the Notice of Allowance is a significant step toward the commercialization of AMR-101, and the street is rife with speculation of partnering possibilities, or even an outright acquisition at a stiff premium to current prices in the $11-$12 range. Furthermore, MKM partners last month reiterated its buy and $20 price target on AMRN.

Other major institutional filings last week included:

  • eResearch Technology Inc. (ERT), a provider of cardiac clinical trial management software for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical research organizations, in which San Francisco-based SMid-cap focused Blum Capital Partners, with $1.3 billion in 13-F assets, filed SEC Form SC 13D/A on Wednesday indicating that it holds 4.6 million shares, a decrease from the 5.5 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • Intermune Inc. (ITMN), a development-stage biotech company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapies in the areas of pulmonology and fibrotic diseases, in which Montreal-based Swiss and Canadian firm Sectoral Asset Management, focused on the healthcare sector, filed SEC Form SC 13G/A on Tuesday indicating that it holds 6.5 million shares, an increase from the 5.1 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • VeriSign Inc. (VRSN), a leading provider of digital security products and services to website hosts, enterprises and e-Commerce service providers, in which Fidelity Investments, with $492 billion in 13-F assets, filed SEC Form SC 13G/A indicating that it holds 16.2 million shares, an increase from the 14.7 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (WFR), engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry worldwide, in which New York-based utilities-focused Luminus Management, with $1.14 billion in 13-F assets, filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that it holds 11.8 million shares, an increase from the 10.2 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • RadioShack Corp. (RSH), engaged in the retail sale of consumer electronic goods and services through its RadioShack store chain, in which Citigroup filed SEC Form SC 13G/A indicating that it holds 2.7 million shares, an increase from the 0.2 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • Velti Plc (VELT), that provides mobile marketing and advertising that enable brands, advertising agencies, mobile operators and media companies to implement targeted, interactive and measurable ad campaigns via mobile devices, in which Bank of New York Mellon Corp. filed SEC Form SC 13G/A indicating that it holds 3.0 million shares, a decrease from the 4.1 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • Amyris Inc. (AMRS), that sells ethanol produced by third parties under short-term agreements through a network of storage terminals, in which San Francisco-based technology-focused hedge fund Artis Capital Management, with $1.03 billion in 13-F assets, filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that it holds 4.7 million shares, a decrease from the 6.1 million shares it held at the end of Q4;
  • Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL), a specialty biotech that develops branded pharmaceuticals for urology and sexual health, in which New York-based Invus Public Equities filed SEC Form SC 13G/A on Tuesday indicating that it holds 2.6 million shares, a decrease from the 2.9 million shares it held at the end of Q4; and
  • Targacept Inc. (TRGT), a development-stage biotech that discovers and develops NNR Therapeutics, a new class of drugs for the treatment of CNS diseases and disorders, in which Boston-based hedge fund Baupost Group, headed by star Manager Seth Klarman, filed SEC Form SC 13G/A on Monday indicating that it sold completely out of the 6.0 million share position it held in the company at the end of Q4.

Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and Briefing.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. Further, these are our 'opinions' and we may be wrong. We may have positions in securities mentioned in this article. You should take this into consideration before acting on any advice given in this article. If this makes you uncomfortable, then do not listen to our thoughts and opinions. The contents of this article do not take into consideration your individual investment objectives so consult with your own financial adviser before making an investment decision. Investing includes certain risks including loss of principal.

Source: Noteworthy Institutional 5% Ownership Filings Last Week