One Secret to Being a Top Stock Fund? Own Loads of Nektar Shares

(Bloomberg) -- There’s a simple formula for being a top-performing stock fund this year: own a big stake in Nektar Therapeutics.

The red-hot biotech company is up almost 80 percent this year, and the two funds that own the most shares, Primecap Odyssey Aggressive Growth and Oppenheimer Global Opportunities, are among the highest-returning equity funds.

The $11.3 billion Primecap fund, one of the biggest holders of Nektar shares as of Dec. 31 with an 8.1 percent stake, climbed 16 percent so far in 2018, the best results among 1,000 stocks funds with at least $1 billion in assets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The $9 billion Oppenheimer fund held an 8.8 percent stake and is up 13 percent, fifth best in the rankings.

One Secret to Being a Top Stock Fund? Own Loads of Nektar Shares

Frank Jennings, the manager at Oppenheimer, has been betting on Nektar since 2002, holding it for years while the stock barely moved. The shares skyrocketed this year after its experimental cancer therapy showed promising results. The Primecap fund, managed by a four-member team, has owned the stock since 2009.

Both funds funds have beaten 99 percent of rivals over the past five years.

A representative for Oppenheimer declined to comment. A Primecap spokesman didn’t return a message seeking a comment.

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