Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF), Crown Holdings, Inc. (CCK), Liberty Interactive Corp (LVNTA): Activist Casablanca Capital’s Top Stock Picks

Even though Casablanca Capital was founded recently, only four years ago, it has managed to earn a name on the Street, mainly on the back of its battle with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) regarding the company’s week performance and the urge for changes. Recently, the investor marked its win with the nomination of six directors to the company’s board.

Casablanca is an event driven and activist investment fund that was founded by Donald G. Drapkin and Douglas Taylor in New York. The fund’s equity portfolio, worth $261 million, is diversified. However, the largest long position in terms of value is represented by the aforementioned Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF). Casablanca reported ownership of 7.91 million shares of the company, worth $118.78 million. This stake amasses over 45% of the fund’s total equity portfolio. The stock of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) has been declining and is down 34% YTD, but taking into account that Casablanca invests in underperforming stocks, but which have a high value, this play might turn into a very profitable bet in the future. John A. Levin‘s Levin Capital Strategies also seems to be bullish on this company, doubling its position during the first quarter to 3.5 million shares.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF)

Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCK) represents another significant long position in Casablanca’s portfolio. The fund owns 89,943 shares of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCK), worth $4.48 million. This is a new stake in the portfolio, which was added during the second quarter of the year. Crown Holdings is engaged in the production and sale of packaging goods. Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCK)’s stock has picked up 2% since the beginning of the year, and currently trails a P/E of 22.50, which is above the Packaging Industry average of 18.60.  Sq Advisors, led by Lou Simpson, is among the largest shareholders of Crown Holdings, owning 3.6 million shares as of the end of the first quarter.

On the other hand, Casablanca has halved its stake in Liberty Interactive Corp (NASDAQ:LVNTA), reporting a $4.30 million stake, which contains 58,316 class A shares. Nevertheless, the stake in Liberty Interactive is the third largest long position in terms of value. It is important to point out that Casablanca included the company in its equity portfolio during the first quarter, the previous (50% larger) stake being worth $3.72 million. The stock of Liberty Interactive Corp (NASDAQ:LVNTA) gained over 20% in the first half of the year, while over the past 52 weeks it surged by almost 60%. Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners was also among Liberty Interactive Corp (NASDAQ:LVNTA)’s shareholders during the first quarter, owning 3.3 million shares, according to its latest 13F.

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