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Steven Cohen Takes an Interest in CymaBay Therapeutics

- By Sydnee Gatewood

Billionaire investor Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), leader of Point72 Asset Management, disclosed a 6.3% stake in CymaBay Therapeutics Inc. (CBAY) last week.


With the goal of generating superior risk-adjusted returns, the guru's Stamford, Connecticut-based fund uses long, short, macro and systematic strategies.

The investor has a long history with the stock. After exiting a position in the first quarter, Cohen revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that he invested in 4.3 million shares of the California-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company on May 28.

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The company, which develops therapies for treating liver disease and other chronic conditions, has an $816.8 million market cap; its shares were trading around $11.89 on Monday with a price-book ratio of 2.89.

According to GuruFocus, the stock has climbed 51% year to date.

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On May 8, CymaBay reported first-quarter results, posting a net loss of $23.1 million, or 37 cents per share. The company missed analysts' estimates of a loss of 34 cents per share. It also recorded $264.8 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities; $18.6 million in research and development expenses; and $5.7 million in general and administrative expenses.

The company presented promising data for it seladelpar drug in treating primary biliary cholangitis (a chronic liver disease) on May 20 at the Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego.

GuruFocus rated CymaBay's financial strength 6 out of 10. In addition to having no long-term debt, the company is supported by a robust Altman Z-Score of 28.86, which indicates it is in good fiscal standing.

The company's profitability and growth did not fare as well, scoring a 3 out of 10 rating on negative returns that underperform over half of its competitors. CymaBay also has a moderate Piotroski F-Score of 4, which suggests operations are stable.

With 0.04% of outstanding shares, Louis Moore Bacon (Trades, Portfolio) is the only other guru invested in the stock.

Portfolio composition

Cohen's $22.03 billion equity portfolio, which is composed of 989 stocks, is heavily invested in the consumer cyclical sector, followed by smaller holdings in the technology, health care and energy sectors.

Other biotech companies he has positions in as of the end of the first quarter include Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NBIX), Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. (DRNA), Coherus BioSciences Inc. (CHRS), Epizyme Inc. (EPZM), TG Therapeutics Inc. (TGTX), Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (ESPR), Fate Therapeutics Inc. (FATE), Zogenix Inc. (ZGNX) and Arvinas Inc. (ARVN).

Disclosure: No positions.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.