Account Information

  • My Account

    Manage all your subscriptions, update your address, email preferences and change your password.

  • Help Center

    Get answers to common service questions, ask the analyst or contact our subscriber service.

  • My Stock Talk Profile

    Update your stock talk name and/or picture.



Close

13F Filings: Superstar Investors Buys and Sells

By Jim Fink on November 16, 2011

Print Friendly

If it’s mid-November, it must be time once again for institutional money managers with assets of at least $100 million to update the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on their stock holdings via Schedule 13F.

Back in August – the last time shareholders were required to update their holdings – I discussed David Einhorn’s increased position in hard disk drive manufacturer Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX). When I wrote the article, the stock was trading for $10.00 per share and now trades at $17.52, an astounding 75.2% gain in three months!

Whereas in the May to August quarter only two of the 16 stocks mentioned were winners, this quarter (August to November) 14 out of 16 stocks were winners.  Half (8) outperformed the S&P 500’s comparable return of 12.5%. Besides Seagate, other big winners included Bill Ackman’s JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) (33.2%) and David Tepper’s Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) (33.0%). The only two losers were both courtesy of David Tepper: Mosaic (NYSE: MOS) (-11.4%) and CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI) (-10.3%).

Just goes to show you that mindlessly piggybacking on anybody else’s picks without doing your own research is no sure-fire way to beat the market.

Nevertheless, these quarterly SEC filings are a gold mine of information as to what the smartest investors are buying and selling. A timely review of them can make you money. With that in mind, I thought I would vet the most recent set of SEC filings to see if there are any more hidden gems ready to make big moves.

I’m dumping David Tepper this time around because I can’t forgive him for handing us the only two losers. Replacing Tepper will be growth-fund manager Chuck Akre, who I wrote about in a two-part series last April.

I don’t list all transactions, just ones that I personally find noteworthy. If you also have a voyeuristic streak in you, read on.

1. Seth Klarman

Company

Action

% Change in Holding

Average Price Per Share

Comments

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ)

Buy

NEW

$29.45

Has faith that new CEO Meg Whitman can turn things around. I’m glad that she decided to keep the PC division.

BP plc (NYSE: BP)

Buy

149.8%

$40.72

Continues to buy this troubled stock still suffering a hangover from the April 2010 BP oil spill. Company’s 23% return on equity is attractive and Klarman must feel further litigation risk is overblown.

News Corp. Class B (NYSE: NWS)

Buy

NEW (already owned 21 million Class A shares)

$16.49

Scandal-plagued media conglomerate owns some of the best brands in the world, including Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Fox TV channels. Very cheap, selling for a PEG ratio of 0.8.

Genworth Financial Class A (NYSE: GNW)

Buy

NEW

$7.26

Money-losing 2004 insurance spinoff from General Electric is even cheaper than News Corp. (0.2 PEG) based on forward estimated  earnings.

2.  David Einhorn

Company

Action

% Change in Holding

Average Price Per Share

Comments

Marvell Technology (NasdaqGS: MRVL)

Buy

NEW

$14.19

Semiconductor company has no debt, $4 per share in cash, five-year annual earnings growth of 21%, and sells for a PEG ratio of 0.6.

General Motors (NYSE: GM)

Buy

330.8%

$25.39

Q3 earnings were a disappointment, but the company seized the throne of world’s largest automaker away from Toyota Motor.

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX)

Buy

104.8%

$60.21

Gold mining stocks do well when inflation is higher than U.S. Treasury rates (now).

CBS Class B (NYSE: CBS)

Buy

NEW

$25.10

Television network stocks generally do well during presidential election years (2012 is coming up) because of political ad spending.

3.  Bill Ackman

Company

Action

% Change in Holding

Average Price Per Share

Comments

Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP)

Buy

NEW

$61.90

Ackman may be trying to copy Warren Buffett’s success with Burlington Northern up in the great white north. Rail freight is cheaper than sending via trucks, which is important when energy prices are high.

Beam (NYSE: BEAM) and Fortune Brands Home & Security (NYSE: FBHS)

Buy

21.2%

$58.15 (combined price per share prior to Oct. spinoff)

Fortune Brands, the maker of Jim Beam bourbon whiskey, changed its name to its namesake whiskey brand and spun off its home security division.

Lowes Companies (NYSE: LOW)

Buy

NEW

$20.77

This home improvement superstore is second sister to market leader Home Depot, but the stock is cheap and housing may be bottoming.

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP)

Buy

10.9%

$35.94

Apple veteran Ron Johnson took the reins of CEO on November 1st and may be the man to turn around this Texas-based retailer.

4. Chuck Akre

Company

Action

% Change in Holding

Average Price Per Share

Comments

Berkshire Hathaway Class B (NYSE: BRK-B)

Buy

129.1%

$72.28

Now is a great time to be buying Warren Buffett’s insurance company.

Markel (NYSE: MKL)

Buy

18.3%

384.94

Virginia-based property & casualty (P&C) insurer that mimics the business model of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. CIO Tom Gayner is a good investor.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)

Buy

NEW

$8.26

Does Akre realize that Buffett didn’t invest in the common stock?.

Hartford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG)

Buy

NEW

$20.40

1995 spinoff from ITT is another P&C insurer. Does Akre realize that David Tepper dumped his entire stake in the company?

Stock Talk — Post a comment Comment Guidelines

Our Stock Talk section is reserved for productive dialogue pertaining to the content and portfolio recommendations of this service. We reserve the right to remove any comments we feel do not benefit other readers. If you have a general investment comment not related to this article, please post to our Stock Talk page. If you have a personal question about your subscription or need technical help, please contact our customer service team. And if you have any success stories to share with our analysts, they’re always happy to hear them. Note that we may use your kind words in our promotional materials. Thank you.

You must be logged in to post to Stock Talk OR create an account.

Create a new Investing Daily account

  • Use Social Connect
  • - OR -

* Investing Daily will use any information you provide in a manner consistent with our Privacy Policy. Your email address is used for account verification and will remain private.