1,800% Share Jump Sets Ambu Up for Benchmark Status in Denmark

(Bloomberg) -- The best performer in the Stoxx Europe 600 index over the past five years just added to its remarkable share run with the biggest intra-day jump since 2000.

Ambu A/S rose 18 percent Monday. The Danish medical-equipment maker had a “phenomenal” earnings report and could be set for more gains as trading volume makes it a candidate to join Copenhagen’s benchmark index, according to Morten Larsen, an analyst at ABG Sundal Collier.

“There are investors out there thinking about when the company will enter the C20 index,” Larsen, who has a buy rating on the stock, said by phone. “That’ll trigger a lot of investors buying, but there won’t be many stocks to buy.”

Ambu is by far the best performer in the Stoxx 600 Europe index over the past half decade, having risen about 60 times more in value than the gauge in the period. The shares rose again on Tuesday. The latest gains have brought its market value to about $7.5 billion, and the company is on track to be added to the Copenhagen benchmark stock index when it’s updated in June.

The maker of endoscopes and anesthetic face masks, which is based just outside Copenhagen, on Monday reported earnings that beat the highest analyst estimates and raised its full-year forecast. According to Larsen, the stock is helped by a very loyal investor base.

“This case is phenomenally strong and the people holding it plan to hold it for the next 10 years so it’s hard to find anyone wanting to sell it,” the analyst said. “The only people wanting to sell are those who have to average down because their position got too big.”

Ambu’s remarkable ascent has attracted attention from hedge funds, which recently increased their bets against the stock. Short interest is at about 4.5 percent of Ambu’s outstanding shares, up from about 2.4 percent at the beginning of the year, according to IHS Markit. Parvus Asset Management holds the biggest individual short position at 1.39 percent, according to regulatory filings.

Monday’s share performance may have been amplified by hedge funds rushing to buy the stock to get out of their short positions, Larsen said.

Ambu triggered a “short squeeze” by “delivering a report this good,” he said. “ And I have to say it’s an amazingly strong report. It’s phenomenal.”

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