Shira Gonen

About the Author Shira Gonen

Shira Gonen holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business from the Temple University in Philadelphia. Ms. Gonen joined the editorial team at TipRanks in November of 2015.

Israel Englander’s Notable 4Q Investments in Tough Market: Facebook Inc (FB), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), and Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (AGN)

Israel Englander runs Catapult Capital Management, a hedge fund worth $264.53 million. The prestigious hedge fund had a rough quarter, ultimately generating a (9.88%) loss for investors. However, the portfolio performed better than the S&P 500 for the same time period. Let’s take a look at Englander’s most notable transactions, including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN).

Facebook Inc

The billionaire reduced his stake in Facebook by over 65% in the fourth quarter, now owning $2.5 million worth of shares which account for 0.95% of his portfolio. In the fourth quarter, the social media giant launched its local business review site, designed to compete with the likes of Yelp. The company had an impressive fourth quarter, as its Q4 earnings release last month reported 1.59 billion users and impressive ad revenue growth, especially from mobile. The company also issued updates on its Oculus Rift headset, set to launch in March. By the end of the fourth quarter, the stock jumped 13% to about $105.

Unlike Englander, analysts love the social media giant, as 29 out of 33 analysts polled by TipRanks in the past 3 months gave a Buy rating. The average 12-month price target between these 33 analysts is $134.69, marking a 29% potential upside from current levels.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Englander reduced his shares of the biotech giant by over 48% in the fourth quarter, now making up 1.35% of his total holdings. In the fourth quarter, the company was subject to a congressional probe regarding its pricing of Harvoni and Sovaldi, its Hep C treatments that cost $94K and $66K, respectively. Congress accused the company, as well as some of its peers such as Valeant, of purposefully pricing the drug so prohibitively high to limit patient access, putting profits ahead of morals and passing off these high costs to federal and state health care programs.

Related, some investors were concerned that the company would lose market share to Merck and AbbVie, who provide cheaper Hep C treatment alternatives. Despite these disruptions, throughout the fourth quarter, the stock remained relatively stable. However, it seems that Englander made the right move to reduce his holdings, as shares are down close to 13% since the end of the fourth quarter.

While Englander reduced his shares of Gilead, analyst consensus for the stock according to TipRanks is a strong buy, with 15 out of the 17 who rated the company in the last 3 months bullish on the company.

Allergan plc Ordinary Shares

In the fourth quarter, Englander increased his shares of AGN by a massive 325%, now owning $11.55 million worth of the stock. Allergan is now the single largest entity in Englander’s portfolio, comprising 4.37% of his total holdings.

In the fourth quarter, the Botox maker was acquired by pharma giant Pfizer in a deal valued at $160 billion. For this merger, expected to close in the second half of 2016, Pfizer will move its domicile to Ireland, where the Allergan headquarters are located, avoiding the higher U.S. tax rate. While the U.S government criticized this move, the company maintains that the merger will help U.S. businesses. The combined company is now the world’s largest pharmaceutical company. By the end of the fourth quarter, the AGN’s share price rose 11% to about $312.

Analysts and Englander are on the same page with Allergan, as all 9 analysts polled by TipRanks who have rated the company in the past 3 months are bullish on the stock. The average 12-month price target between these 9 analyst sis $352.22, marking a 24% potential upside from current levels.