Two well-known gurus,
, bought additional shares of companies of which they own more than
5%, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. Klarman, leader of the
Baupost Group, added shares to his position in Idenix
), and Soros grew his position in Mercury Systems (
Klarman and Idenix Pharmaceuticals (
Klarman raised his stake in Cambridge, Mass.-based Idenix
Pharmaceuticals by 37.9% to a massive 36,910,868 shares in
aggregate, giving him 27.55% ownership of the company, up from
19.98% a second quarter end. He bought the shares in a series of
transactions taking place from Sept. 13 to Nov. 1, at per-share
prices ranging from $3.56 to $4.85.
Baupost has been aggressively buying Idenix shares since
establishing the position in second quarter 2011.
Founded in 1998, Idenix is a pharmaceutical company focused
exclusively on the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection, with
three drugs in its pipeline, two of which are still in preclinical
Idenix shares fell as much as 36% in October, but jumped sharply at
the end of October when the company announced third quarter
financials and an update on its hepatitis C drug. For the third
quarter, Idenix said it made revenues of less than $0.1 million,
down from $32.3 million in the third quarter 2012. It also reported
net loss of $34 million, or $0.25 per diluted shares, compared to
$4.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share the previous year.
The company's cash position stands at $148.8 million, enough to
cover operations through December 2014.
Idenix also announced that one of its drugs in development,
IDX21437, received approval to undergo clinical trials in Canada
and Belgium after demonstrating favorable antiviral activity and a
strong enough safety profile.
Its second drug in development, Samatsvir, completed a phase II
clinical trial with partner Janssen Pharmaceuticals, data for which
will become available in the fourth quarter. When that study is
complete, the company has a second 12-week Phase II clinical trial
in collaboration with Janssen planned for the drug. Idenix
commenced partnering with Janssen on the drug in January 2013, and
needs it to pass one further study, Phase III, before it can go to
and Mercury Systems
Soros increased his Mercury Systems position by 31.58% on Oct. 22,
giving him 1,666,666 shares, or 5.02% ownership of the company. He
has been trading the company's shares for more than five years.
Mercury Systems is a developer of open-sensor and Big Data
processing systems for commercial, defense and intelligence
applications, based in Chelmsford, Mass.
The company reported first quarter fiscal 2014 financial results on
Oct. 29. The company had revenues up 9% year over year to $53.9
million, including a $2.6 million increase of commercial customers
and $1.9 million increase of $1.9 million.
The company also reported a net loss of $2.3 million, or a loss of
$0.07 per share, compared to a loss of $7.2 million, or $0.24 per
share, a year previously. Its cash and cash equivalents are $40.1
million, up by $1 million from the second quarter.
The company has been facing the headwind of slow military spending
for more than a year, but saw a 19% increase in defense booking in
the first quarter.
Mercury's Tuesday share price of $9.40 is close to a one-year high.
Ron Baron's Baron Funds commented on the company, of which they own
5.4%, in their first quarter 2013 commentary:
"Mercury Systems, Inc. (
), the provider of signal and imaging processing for defense
electronics contractors, continued to trade poorly because of
pending cuts to the U.S. government's defense budget soon to be
implemented with sequestration passed. We expect cash flow to be
wiped out in 2013, but think the programs Mercury supports will
come back strong, as will the company's cash flow. We admit to
having egg on our face, having lived through this decline, but we
think the company trades at a bargain at under four times future
cash flow, so it is now worth our while to stick it out."
For more George Soros stocks, visit his portfolio here. Seth
Klarman's portfolio is here.
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