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Steven Cohen Takes Stake in Biotech Company Agenus

- By Sydnee Gatewood

Point72 Asset Management leader Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) disclosed this week he established a 6.13% stake in Agenus Inc. (AGEN) on Feb. 21.


According to GuruFocus real-time picks, Cohen invested in 6.14 million shares of the Lexington, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company for an average price of $4.80 per share, giving it 0.13% portfolio space. He previously closed a position in the stock in first-quarter 2017.

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In its third-quarter earnings report on Nov. 7, Agenus, which develops immuno-oncology drugs, posted a net loss of 88 cents per share on $3.36 million in revenue. It is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 earnings on Thursday.

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Agenus' financial strength was rated 2 out of 10 by GuruFocus as it has poor earnings quality and its Altman Z-Score of -9.16 suggests it is under financial stress. While its operating margin is expanding, the company's profitability and growth was rated 3 of 10 because it has a low Piotroski F-Score of 2 and a one-star business predictability rating (out of five).

The company has a market cap of $600.62 million; its shares were trading around $6, up 2.75%, on Wednesday with a price-sales ratio of 13.56. GuruFocus estimates the stock lost 14% in 2017. Year to date, it has gained 64%.

With his purchase, Cohen became the company's largest guru shareholder. Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) and Robert Bruce (Trades, Portfolio) also own the stock.

The guru, whose former hedge fund, SAC Capital Investors, was investigated for insider trading in 2012, now runs the $22.4 billion portfolio of Point72, which is a family asset manager based in Stamford, Connecticut.

With the goal of achieving superior risk-adjusted returns, Cohen's current portfolio of 845 holdings is largely composed of stocks in the consumer cyclical and health care sectors. His largest health care positions are Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN), Mylan NV(MYL), Medtronic PLC (MDT), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT).

Disclosure: No positions.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.