Hess Corp. (HES), Intel Corporation (INTC), Columbia Banking System Inc (COLB) Amongst Michael Price’s Top Picks

As we continue to track hedge fund holdings, we would like to take a look into the equity portfolio of MFP Investors, managed by Michael Price. This activist hedge fund focuses on value investments. Most of its top holdings remained unchanged over the last reported quarter. However, a couple of them changed places, leaving some space for a newcomer amongst the fund’s top five stock picks.

Mr. Price’s largest stake continues to be in Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), a $31 billion market cap oil and natural gas Exploration and Production (E&P) company. The fund last reported having increased its exposure to the company by 15%. MFP currently owns 800,000 shares of Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), worth more than $66 million. The stock is already up about 19%, year-to-date, and has been in a sustained uptrend since early February.

Michael Price

In addition to MFP, other top hedge funds also seem to feel quite bullish about Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES). Paul Singer’s Elliott Management last reported holding 17.3 million shares, worth more than $1.4 billion –which accounted for roughly 28% of its Q1 equity portfolio. Actually, most of the company’s biggest hedge fund shareholders have increased their stakes in it over the last reported quarter.

The second spot also remained unchanged, occupied by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), the $153 billion market cap designer and manufacturer of integrated digital technology platforms. The fund kept its position untouched –same as in the previous quarter- over Q1. It last declared ownership of 1.85 million shares of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), worth more than $47 million.

Similar to the previous case, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s stock is up already 18.6% year-to-date. However, median price targets suggest that the stock will remain around its current price point for a while going forward.

Columbia Banking System Inc (NASDAQ:COLB) came in third. This $1.4 billion market cap banking and financial services holding company saw MFP Investors almost double its stake over the first quarter of 2014. The fund now owns roughly 1.33 million shares of Columbia Banking System Inc (NASDAQ:COLB), valued at approximately $38 billion.

On the contrary, probably discouraged by the swings in the stock price, which has been quite volatile this year, and down 4%, year-to-date, all of the other top hedge fund investors, except for Ken Griffin, have decreased their exposure to Columbia Banking System Inc (NASDAQ:COLB).

The fourth position, same as in the previous quarter, is held by Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y), a $7.2 billion market cap property and casualty reinsurance and insurance company. The fund left, once again, its position unchanged over Q1. MFP owns 74,500 shares of Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y), with a reported value of $30 million.

On top of Mr. Price, Chuck Royce and Jean-Marie Eveillard have placed big bets on of Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y). The latter increased her exposure by 79%, to 513,111 shares of the company, while Mr. Royce kept his stake unmodified, at 581,513 shares.

Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX), a $17.2 billion market cap developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices, is last in this list. The company counts with the support of several major hedge funds, including Mr. Price’s MFP, which owns 2 million shares of Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX), worth $27 million.

Other funds in the list of Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX)’s supporters are Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital, with 21 million shares, and Donald Chiboucis’ Columbus Circle Investors, with 12.2 million shares.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks or funds mentioned.

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