Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, via "13F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today, let's look at Gardner, Russo & Gardner, a hedge fund company with a record that speaks for itself. Over the past 25 years, according to the folks at GuruFocus.com, it has posted a cumulative gain of about 2,341%, vs. 830% for the S&P 500. Over the past 10 full years, it gained 122%, vs. 35% for the S&P 500.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $7.3 billion in value as of Dec. 31, 2012.
The biggest new holdings are Heineken and American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG). With a recent P/E ratio near 3 and a forward one near 10, AIG looks attractive to many. But it has also turned off many investors by considering a lawsuit against the U.S. government that bailed it out not so long ago. Its stock has averaged annual losses of about 8% over the past 20 years, but is up 45% over the past year and is near a 52-week high. AIG recently cut a deal with HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) to sell insurance products in Europe and parts of the Middle East.
Among holdings in which Gardner, Russo & Gardner increased its stake were Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) . Bank of America has been selling off non-core assets and strengthening its financial condition. It has also been shutting down lots of ATMs as it beefs up its mobile-transaction apps. Meanwhile, lawsuits related to its toxic mortgage loans continue, but there seem to be some macroeconomic headwinds helping the company. The stock is up more than 50% over the past year.
Oracle has also recently hit a 52-week high, as it shifts its focus from hardware to the cloud computing realm. It's been posting double-digit revenue and earnings growth rates over the past few years, though revenue has shown some signs of softness. The company's hardware business hasn't been doing as well as software recently, but it will be expanding, thanks to its purchase of telecom infrastructure company Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT).