$17 Billion Columbus Circle’s Stock Picks Include Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Columbus Circle Investors is an asset manager with total assets under management of $17 billion (including $1 billion in its hedge funds strategies). The firm is managed by Donald Chiboucis. On January 31st, Columbus Circle filed its 13F for the fourth quarter of 2012, disclosing many of its long equity positions as of the end of December 2012. 13F filings can be useful sources of free investment ideas if an investor does further research on the included stocks and decides that they are good buys. Read on for it top five holdings by market value and compare them to previous filings.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)

Even after cutting its stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the consumer technology company was Columbus Circle’s largest position at over 730,000 shares. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had been the most popular stock among hedge funds in the third quarter of 2012 (see the full top ten list). The recent pullback in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock price has left it trading at 10 times trailing earnings, which seems very low for a company that should at least be able to hold its earnings steady going forward thanks to the growing tablet and smartphone markets- and therefore rising revenue- helping offset lower margins as it is forced to introduce lower-priced products particularly in emerging markets.

The firm owned 6.2 million shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), another apparently cheap stock. The credit card issuer trades at 9 times earnings, whether we consider trailing results or forward earnings estimates for the fiscal year ending in November 2014. The five-year PEG ratio is 0.8 as Wall Street analysts are projecting continued earnings growth over the next several years. Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management initiated a position of 1.6 million shares during the third quarter of 2012; Citrone is a Tiger Cub, having previously worked for Julian Robertson at Tiger Management. Check out more of his stock picks.

Three more of Columbus Circle’s picks- including two more credit card stocks:

Another credit card stock in Columbus Circle’s portfolio was Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) with the firm reporting ownership of almost 490,000 shares. Renaissance Technologies, whose success since inception has made founder Jim Simons a multi-billionaire, was buying shares of Mastercard during Q3 2012 (find Renaissance’s favorite stocks). Mastercard carries a current-year P/E multiple of 20, which seems a bit high given its moderate growth rates of revenue and earnings. The stock has risen 35% in the last year, based on general strength in the credit card industry. We aren’t as interested in it as we would be in Discover.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was another stock that Chiboucis and his team liked, with 9.3 million shares in their portfolio at the beginning of January. Billionaire Ken Fisher has named Pfizer his top stock pick for 2013; it is the largest single-stock holding by market value in Fisher Asset Management’s portfolio (research more stocks Fisher likes). The pharmaceutical company struggled in Q3 2012, with its revenue and earnings falling at double-digit rates, but the sell-side expects Pfizer to do well this year and so the current stock price is only 12 times consensus earnings for 2013. Pfizer also pays a dividend yield of 3.6% at current prices and dividend levels.

A third credit card stock, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) rounded out Columbus Circle’s top five stock holdings. The firm owned 1.5 million shares of Visa, which was the most popular services stock among hedge funds in Q3 (find more services stocks hedge funds love) and is up 46% in the last year. The company’s fiscal year ended in September; in the fourth quarter of that fiscal year Visa recorded a 15% increase in revenue and a large percentage increase in net income. We do like Visa’s prospects for further growth, but think that the market may have already priced in significant opportunities given the forward P/E of 19. Of course, we think it’s significant that Chiboucis is generally bullish on credit card stocks as well.

Disclosure: I own no shares in any stocks mentioned in this article.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

5 Retirement Mistakes To Avoid (and Einstein’s Famous Quote)

11 Smartest People in the World

6 Films About the Financial World You Need To Watch (While “The Wolf” is Not Around)

Warren Buffett and Billionaires Are Crazy About These 7 Stocks

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top Businesses to Invest In

Top 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong With Your Business

Top 5 Strategic Technology Trends in 2014

Top Rags to Riches Stories

Parenting Behavior That Promotes Future Leaders

Top 5 Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

Top 5 Most Common and Potentially Devastating Financial Blunders

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs for Web Designers

Top 6 Most Respected Professions that Also Pay Well

Top 5 Pitfalls Investors Should Avoid

Top 6 Lawyers and Policy Makers Under 30

Top 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Top 7 Locations to Check in on Facebook

Top 5 Mistakes made by Rookie eBay Sellers

Top 7 eBook Publishers in 2013

Top 6 Health Industry Trends in 2014

5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Seth Godin

Top 5 Success Tips from Jordan Belfort – the Wolf of Wall Street

Best Master’s in Finance Degree Programs

Top 6 Earning Celebrities Over 50

The most expensive sports to play

Top 7 Earning Celebrities Under 25

Best 7 Online Courses to Take: Free Finance MOOCs

Top 6 Bad Habits that Promote Failure

20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams in the World in 2013

12 Most Expensive Countries for Foreign Students

Top 30 Most Influential Women in the World

Top 20 Most Expensive New Year Eve Shows

Top 5 Best Vocational Careers

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!