Steven Cohen's Interest in IDEAYA Increases

Guru adds to his stake in the biotech company

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Feb 25, 2022
Summary
  • The guru upped the holding by 52.12%.
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Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), leader of Point72 Asset Management, disclosed earlier this week he increased his stake in IDEAYA Biosciences Inc. (IDYA, Financial) by 52.12%.

To generate superior risk-adjusted returns, the billionaire guru's Stamford, Connecticut-based firm invests in a wide range of asset classes worldwide. Its long-short strategy is based on bottom-up research processes that focus on fundamentals and macroeconomic conditions.

According to GuruFocus Real-Time Picks, a Premium feature, Cohen invested in 1.07 million shares of the South San Francisco-based biotech company on Feb. 17, impacting the equity portfolio by 0.04%. The stock traded for an average price of $13.89 per share on the day of the transaction.

He now holds 2.05 million shares total, accounting for 0.11% of the equity portfolio. GuruFocus estimates Cohen has gained 16.6% on the investment since establishing it in the second quarter of 2019.

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The synthetic lethality-focused precision medicine oncology company, which develops targeted therapeutics for specific patient populations using molecular diagnostics, has a $537.81 million market cap; its shares were trading around $13.81 on Friday with a price-book ratio of 1.7 and a price-sales ratio of 13.03.

While the stock has posted a 24.84% return since its initial public offering in May of 2019, shares are down over 40% year to date.

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The company reported its third-quarter financial results in November, posting an earnings loss of 31 cents per share on $8.9 million in revenue.

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In a statement, President and CEO Yujiro S. Hata also commented on the progress of the company’s pipeline drugs.

"Early clinical data on our potential best-in-class Phase 1 MAT2A inhibitor, IDE397, in MTAP-deletion patients shows preliminary signals of clinical activity, including pharmacodynamic modulation and tumor shrinkage in multiple patients,” he said. “In addition, we selected a lead compound as a potential first-in-class development candidate for IND-enabling studies for our PARG synthetic lethality program and made progress towards our goal to select a potential first-in-class development candidate with GlaxoSmithKline (

GSK, Financial) for the Pol Theta Helicase program this year.”

In December, the company provided an update on its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the combination of darovasertib and crizotinib in treating metastatic uveal melanoma, noting it showed promising signs of tumor shrinkage among the participating patients and a manageable side effect profile.

The company is expected to disclose its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 results in March.

GuruFocus rated IDEAYA’s financial strength 7 out of 10, driven by a comfortable level of interest coverage and a high Altman Z-Score of 3.72 that indicates it is in good standing.

The company’s profitability did not fare as well, scoring a 1 out of 10 rating on the back of negative margins. However, its returns on equity, assets and capital outperform over half of its industry peers. The moderate Piotroski F-Score of 4 out of 9 also suggests operations are typical for a stable company.

Cohen is the only guru invested in the stock currently with a 5.34% stake.

Portfolio composition

Cohen's $24.82 billion equity portfolio, which was composed of 1,044 stocks as of the three months ended Dec. 31, is most heavily invested in the technology and health care sectors.

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Other biotech stocks the guru held as of the end of the fourth quarter included Argenx SE (

ARGX, Financial), Krystal Biotech Inc. (KRYS, Financial), Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (JAZZ, Financial), Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (SRPT, Financial), Seagen Inc. (SGEN, Financial) and Bicycle Therapeutics PLC (BCYC, Financial).

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I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and have no plans to buy any new positions in the stocks mentioned within the next 72 hours. Click for the complete disclosure
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