Billionaire Mario Gabelli’s Top Stock Picks Include DirecTV

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). Another Buffett favorite, American Express was one of the ten most popular financial stocks in our database of 13F filings (see the full top ten list). The credit and charge card issuer, which also acts as a travel management company, carries trailing and forward P/E multiples of 13 and 12 respectively. Its business was about flat in the company’s most recent quarter compared to the same period in the previous year.

National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG). Gabelli and his team also liked the $5.7 billion enterprise value company, which is fully integrated from exploration and production through pipeline, storage, and utility operations. The enterprise value is nearly 8 times trailing EBITDA and our guess is that GAMCO expects some kind of breakup or spinout to take place here; it’s rare to see a company which produces energy and acts as a utility, and perhaps shareholders would benefit from more focused management and more independently analyzed stocks.

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE:RHP). Ryman is another combination of disparate businesses: it operates Gaylord branded hotels and a number of entertainment venues in the Nashville area. The EBITDA multiple is high and there is considerable short interest in the stock. Billionaire John Paulson nearly doubled his stake in the company last quarter to a total of 3.8 million shares (check out Paulson’s stock picks).

Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB). Viacom rounded out GAMCO’s top five picks. The trailing P/E multiple here is 14, and the EV/EBITDA multiple is 8; neither of those is necessarily attractive on its own, though Wall Street analysts expect considerable earnings growth in the next several years. This is yet another stock Berkshire has a large position in. Tiger Cub Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global initiated a position in Viacom last quarter (research more stocks Viking Global is buying).

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