Billionaire David Harding’s Most Promising Stock Picks

$3.7 billion market cap packaging company Bemis Company, Inc. (NYSE:BMS) was another small-cap stock in Winton’s portfolio with the fund reporting a position of about 710,000 shares. In the third quarter of 2012, Bemis’s revenue declined by 5% and combined with weaker margins this brought earnings down by 15%. There is a moderate dividend yield here, close to 3%, and the beta of 0.5 makes it a potential defensive stock. However, the stock does trade at 24 times trailing earnings and combined with its poor recent performance it may be overvalued.

Winton owned about 860,000 shares of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ). Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group cut its stake in NASDAQ OMX during the third quarter but still closed September with 1.8 million shares in its own portfolio (check out Griffin’s stock picks). Sales and net income have been down at NASDAQ OMX, falling about 20% in the company’s most recent quarterly report compared to the same period in 2011. The earnings multiples are low- for example, the current-year P/E is only 10- but it might be best to avoid the stock anyway.

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) rounded out our list of Harding’s small cap picks. The newspaper publisher, which does also have digital and broadcasting business units, actually reported increases in both revenue and earnings in Q3 2012 from their levels in the third quarter of 2011. At 11 times trailing earnings, and with a dividend yield of 4%, it actually looks like it might be worth doing further research on Gannett. Omega Advisors, managed by billionaire Leon Cooperman, owned 4.4 million shares of Gannett at the beginning of October (find Cooperman’s favorite stocks).

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

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