Bill Gates’ Investment Arm Reports Stake in Arcos Dorados Holding Inc (ARCO)

Bill Gates’ investment arm, Cascade Investment, has revealed in a new filing with the SEC, ownership of around 5.6 million class A shares of Arcos Dorados Holding Inc (NYSE:ARCO). Moreover, according to the same filing, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust own almost 3.1 million shares of the company, which raise the aggregate stake that may be deemed to be owned by Mr. Gates to over 8.6 million class A shares, equal to 6.7% of the stock.

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Argentinian company Arcos Dorados Holding Inc (NYSE:ARCO) is engaged in the operation of over 1,800 McDonald’s restaurants in 20 Latin American Countries. The stock of the company has been down by over 20% since the beginning of the year, although many investors, aside from Cascade seem to feel bullish about the stock. In the latest round of 13F filings, Patrick McCormack‘s Tiger Consumer Management, disclosed holding almost 2.1 million shares of the company, raising the stake by around 809,000 shares over the quarter. Ken Griffin‘s Citadel Advisors raised its long position by some 421,000 shares, and currently holds almost 1.2 million shares of Arcos.

Recently, Arcos Dorados Holding Inc (NYSE:ARCO) announced about the payment of over $50 million in dividends that will be offered to shareholders in four equal installments during this year. For the previous year, the company posted over $4.0 billion in revenues, up by 6.2% on the year, and a net income of $53.9 million, significantly down from $114.3 million reported a year ago. However, the decline in profit can be explained by one-time charges related to debt restructuring.

“We remain the dominant player in the industry, with an unparalleled restaurant portfolio. From this position of strength, and in response to a deterioration in the operating environment, we are adjusting the pace of our unit expansion for 2014. Nevertheless, we expect double-digit top line growth in 2014 and a higher baseline level of operating profitability as we focus on expanding market share, maximizing traffic and containing costs,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arcos Dorados Holding Inc (NYSE:ARCO), Woods Staton said in a statement.

Moreover, the company has positive expectations for the current year, forecasting 13%-16% growth in revenue, and an EBITDA increase in the range between 15% and 18%, the statement also said.

Cascade Investments, as stated above, is a holding company controlled by Mr. Gates. Earlier in December, the company disclosed owning over 30 million shares of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), equal to 8.1% of the stock. Mr. Gates also owns almost 10.9 million shares of Liberty Global class A shares, also through Cascade and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. 

Disclosure: none

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