Our Reference Funds’ Latest Moves

This week we review our reference funds’ latest moves vis-à-vis our Brain Trust Profits stocks to see how the Wall Street gurus’ holdings of our stocks have changed, if at all.

Marcato Capital Management has upped its position in AAR Corp (NYSE: AIR) by roughly 324,000 shares, or 30 percent. The hedge fund now owns 4 percent of AIR. Marcato first bought shares in AIR at the end of last year. The latest move is another strong endorsement.

Sprott Asset Management reduced its position in First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG) by 58 percent. The move shows that Eric Sprott no longer views AG as a favorite. We have been monitoring the stock waiting to sell. As the stock has largely treaded water in recent days, we will likely sell it from our portfolio next week rather than wait longer.

Franco-Nevada (NYSE: FNV) has been a solid performer for us. Reference fund Tocqueville Asset Management reduced its position in FNV very slightly, by less than 1 percent. This is really not anything to read too much into; the fund also reduced most of its positions—including the likes of Apple (NYSE: AAPL), Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT), and Facebook (NYSE: FB)—in what appears to be a strategic reduction of overall market exposure.

Lindsay Corp. (NYSE: LNN) also saw its weight in our reference fund, Shapiro Capital Management, reduced very slightly—also by less than 1 percent. The stock has exceeded our suggested buy-up-to price and we rate it a “hold” at this time.

Bill Gates’ private investment company Cascade Investment continues to own a huge chunk—32 percent—of Republic Services (NYSE: RSG). The stock may not be the most exciting stock out there, but it provides stability to balance some of more volatile stocks. We bump our suggested buy-up-to price to $58. It’s still a “hold” at the current price.

Third Point still owns more than 12 percent of Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID). The stock has been on a run this year. We rate it a “hold” at this time as most of our readers should already have a position.

The Oracle of Boston Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group sold Innoviva (Nasdaq: INVA) but it still owns 17.9 percent of the spun-off Theravance Biopharma (Nasdaq: TBPH). Not unusual for small biotech stocks, TBPH has jumped around quite a bit, but overall it’s been a very nice performer for us.

The “other” oracle, the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett is a long-time believer in USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), owning more than a quarter of the company. His Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK/B) did not change its position in the stock in the latest reported quarter. Unfortunately the stock hasn’t done much.

Overall, there weren’t many changes in our reference funds’ holdings of our stocks. Earlier in May we sold INVA when Baupost reported selling its position. And we will likely soon sell AG after Sprott sold more than half of its shares, as noted above. We currently have several buy-side favorites on top of our watch list. We are doing our due diligence and will recommend them if they pass our test.

Lastly, we wish you a Happy Memorial Day weekend!

For a more detailed table of current recommendations, including suggested buy-up-to prices, as well as information on closed trades, log into our website and click on the ‘Portfolio’ link.

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