Hedge Fund Renaissance Picks Winner as Japan Stock Surges 1,813%

(Bloomberg) -- In late March, a headline flashed across the Bloomberg terminal: Renaissance Technologies holds 5.43 percent of CyberStep Inc.

It turned out to be one smart bet. The Tokyo-based developer of online games, which few outside the industry would have heard of, was about to put in the second-best quarter of any company in Japan, handing the secretive U.S. hedge fund a more than sixfold return. Over the past year, the stock has gained 1,813 percent.

Renaissance took some profit, trimming the position according to a filing in May. But it was still one of the company’s largest institutional shareholders with a 3.45 percent stake at that time, according to the filing. An email to Renaissance outside U.S. office hours wasn’t immediately answered. A CyberStep official declined to comment.

Hedge Fund Renaissance Picks Winner as Japan Stock Surges 1,813%

On March 27, at the same time Renaissance announced its 5.43 percent stake in CyberStep, it also said it had cut it by almost half to 2.57 percent. It then went on to increase its stake to 8.58 percent, according to a filing in April.

CyberStep announced in January that it would develop a smartphone game for Sanrio Co., which owns the Hello Kitty brand. CyberStep’s market value has surged to $280 million, and it now trades at about 27 times book value.

CyberStep is one of four stocks listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index of smaller companies whose shares have increased more than fivefold in the past quarter. The others are online shopping site operator Dream Vision Co., software maker Remixpoint Co. and ASJ Inc., an internet server provider, which posted the best gain -- 548 percent.

CyberStep shares pared a 6.7 percent drop in Friday trading in Tokyo to close down 0.6 percent.