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James Li
James Li
Articles (1136)  | Author's Website |

Steven Cohen’s Point72 Piles Into Menlo Therapeutics

Billionaire investor’s firm makes real-time trade in biotech company that focuses on pruritus treatments

January 22, 2020 | About:

Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), manager of Point72 Asset Management, disclosed this week that his firm established a new holding in Menlo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:MNLOon Jan. 9 according to GuruFocus Real-Time Picks, a major Premium feature.

A Wharton School of Business graduate, Cohen views Point72 as a firm that applies “principles of excellence and integrity” according to the firm’s website. The firm’s long-short strategy involves fundamental, bottom-up research processes, macro investments and insights.

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Point72 has not released its fourth-quarter 2019 portfolio as the deadline is 45 days after the quarter ends. As of the September quarter, the $16.28 billion equity portfolio contains 1,089 stocks with a turnover ratio of 45%. Technology, health care and consumer cyclical, the top three sectors in terms of weight, represent 19.08%, 16.73% and 16.42% of the equity portfolio.

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Transaction details

Point72 purchased 1,404,990 shares of Menlo, giving the position 0.05% weight in the equity portfolio. The stock traded around $5.25 on the Jan. 9 transaction date.

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Company background

The Redwood City, California-based company develops and commercializes serlopitant for the treatment of pruritus, or itch, associated with conditions like prurigo nodularis and psoriasis. Menlo said in its September quarterly report that the company completed phase three trials in the U.S. and Europe during the final months of 2019 and expects to report top-line data on the trials during the first quarter of this year.

Company financial strength overview

The biopharmaceutical company is still doing clinical trials of serlopitant as of September 2019. Menlo reported cash, cash equivalents and investments of $93.4 million and long-term debt of less than $0.12 million. According to GuruFocus, Menlo’s cash-to-debt ratio outperforms over 70% of global competitors, suggesting good financial strength.

See also

Point72’s top holdings in the health care sector as of September 2019 include PRA Health Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:PRAH), Guardant Health Inc. (NASDAQ:GH), Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE:CAH) and Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY).

Disclosure: No positions.

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About the author:

James Li
I am an editorial researcher at GuruFocus. I have a Master's in Finance from SMU, and I enjoy writing reports on financial trends and investor portfolios. Follow me on Twitter at @JamesLiGuru!

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