Ariel Investments, Still Hopeful for Charles River Lab (CRL) to Continue Positive Momentum

Ariel Investments, a minority-owned investment company that focuses in small and mid-capitalized US based stocks, published its third-quarter 2020 Investor Letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A positive return of 4.56% was recorded by the fund for the 3rd Quarter of 2020, ahead of its Russell 2500 Value benchmark that returned 3.54%. You can view the fund’s top 10 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.

Ariel Investments in their Q3 2020 Investor Letter said that they were able to distinguish a value in  Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (NYSE: CRL) and initiated a position in the company. Charles River Laboratories International Inc. is a drug discovery and research provider that currently has a $13.345 billion market cap. For the past 3 months, CRL delivered an 11.28% return and settled at $267.39 per share at the closing of January 15th.

Here is what Ariel Investments has to say about Charles River Laboratories International Inc. in their Investor Letter:

“Worldwide provider of products and services to the drug discovery and research marketplace, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) also advanced on strong earnings results. The impact of Covid on the business model continues to be less than expected. Robust client demand, strong Safety Assessment pricing and the favorable biotech funding environment has aided the continuity of operations enabling the company to sustain its solid financial position. Despite headwinds from the pandemic, we expect this business momentum to continue, with underlying growth trends supporting margin expansion opportunities.”

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Last December 2020, we published an article telling that Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (NYSE: CRL) was in 36 hedge funds’ portfolio, almost making it to its all time high statistics of 41. Charles River Laboratories International Inc. proved its worth by delivering a 67% return for the past 12 months.

As of September 2020, Ariel Investments had a 490K share position in CRL that amounted to $111 million. This made Ariel Investments as the top 3 hedge fund that holds most of CRL’s stake, just behind Renaissance Technologies with $162.5 million worth of CRL shares, and the top holder, Marshall Wace LLP with $184 million. However, our calculations showed that Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (NYSE: CRL) does not belong to the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.