Billionaire Howard Marks’ Most Promising Stock Picks

Marks and his team also liked Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE:OCR), a $4.3 billion market cap provider of pharmacy services primarily to assisted living facilities and other communities. Oaktree had about 680,000 shares of the stock in its portfolio at the end of the quarter according to the 13F. Omnicare is another popular short, with short sellers responsible for 15% of the float. Earnings have been up, though considerable future growth is already priced in to the stock given the trailing P/E of 27. Analyst expectations imply a current-year P/E of 11 and a five-year PEG ratio of 1. Two hedge funds with large positions in the stock at the end of September were Iridian Asset Management and First Pacific Advisors. Iridian, which is managed by David Cohen and Harold Levy, owned 7.7 million shares (see more of Iridian’s stock picks) while First Pacific owned 6.5 million shares. We like the company’s business but we are certainly taking note of the premium valuation.

Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE:VSH) was another small cap that Oaktree owned, reporting a position of 2.8 million shares. Vishay is a $1.6 billion market cap semiconductor company whose stock has slumped 11% in the last year. In the third quarter of 2012, revenue was down 10% from a year earlier and with margins contracting net income dropped 56%. However, the earnings multiples are in the low teens and due to a large cash position the EV/EBITDA multiple is a low 2.9x. As a result while the company may not be good quality the stock may be cheap enough to make it worth considering. Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates was another major holder of the stock (check out Royce’s stock picks).

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

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