Key Corp. (NYSE:KEY) is the third-largest holding in Sirios Capital’s equity portfolio, worth 6.27% of its total holdings. The bank holding company, which presently trades at a P/E of 11.32, is paying a 2.01% dividend, which is comparable to competitors, such as Wells Fargo. The company’s return on equity (8.44%) outpaces the industry average (8.03%), and the stock’s price is up more than 20% over the past year. Key Bank is expected to post an 11.63% EPS growth rate next year.
The second-largest holding in the Sirios Capital equity portfolio is Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR). The wireless broadband service provider comprises 6.64% of John Brennan’s 13F-reported stock holdings, although he has decreased his position substantially, as of late. However, heading into 2013, a total of 32 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 45% from one quarter earlier. The 4G-network operator’s stock is up 39% over the past year and is presently trading with expectations of an EPS growth rate of 62.48% this year.
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA), Brennan’s favorite stock, comprises a whopping 8% of the Sirios equity portfolio. Recently, Brennan increased his long position in the stock by 2%. The financial services company’s stock is up nearly 12% over the past year. Further, earnings per share growth this year is expected to come close to 30%, with five-year averages falling in the 6-7% range. Add to this, a healthy profit margin (20.46%) and an industry-pacing ROE (7.46% to 8.03%), and it’s not surprising that Brennan is bullish on the stock.
Obviously, the financial services industry is immensely sensitive to economic cycles. Thus, given the present climate, it’s understandable that investors may not be too eager to take a long position in a stock like Comerica. However, it appears to be a strong regional bank, which is appropriately valued, and the valuation argument is one that stretches back to Apple, Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), Whirlpool, and the remaining members of this hedgie’s top five. If pressed to choose one out of this group, we’d go with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as the bargain-bin multiples and analyst sentiment are a combination that’s too attractive to ignore.