SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM). Student loan manager Sallie Mae, which is also a favorite of billionaire Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors (check out Cooperman’s stock picks), was another of Jacobson’s top stock picks with a position of 46 million shares. The stock is cheap at trailing and forward P/Es of 8 and 7, respectively, but investors have at least some reason to worry about student loan debt- this is a classic case of an unattractive business at a low price.
DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV). The fund cut its stake in DirecTV by 16% but still owned about 11 million shares at the end of September. Revenue and earnings growth was moderate last quarter compared to the third quarter of 2011, and the trailing P/E is 12. It might be a value candidate. DirecTV was one of Warren Buffett’s top ten stocks last quarter as Berkshire Hathaway reported owning almost 30 million shares (find more of Buffett’s favorite stocks).
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). Jacobson increased the fund’s holdings of the megabank by 41% between July and September to more than 10 million shares. JPMorgan Chase trades at a small discount to book value and at 8 times consensus earnings for 2013, which we think is quite cheap. JPMorgan Chase joined fellow big banks Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) in our list of the ten most popular stocks among hedge funds.
Canadian Natural Resource Ltd (NYSE:CNQ). The $31 billion market cap integrated oil and gas company rounded out Highfields’ top five picks, and was the only one of the five where the fund had not had a position worth over $200 million a year ago. The stock has fallen 23% in the last year, and earnings were down strongly last quarter versus a year earlier. It is valued at 12 times forward earnings estimates.