Mario Gabelli, the manager of GAMCO Investors is a money manager, whose activity we follow closely at Insider Monkey. One of Mr. Gabelli’s key points in picking stocks is that he focuses on cash flows rather than earnings. This allows the investor to calculate the so-called private-market value of the company, or what someone would be willing to pay to buy the company. This strategy workes well for GAMCO, which on average managed to beat the market every year and in 1997 Gabelli equity funds posted a return of almost 32%, which was the best result among all U.S. mutual fund groups. Following this exceptional performance, Gabelli was offered the “equity fund manager of the year” award by Morningstar, Inc. At the end of 2014, GAMCO revealed an equity portfolio valued at $19.20 billion. Moreover, Mr. Gabelli’s equity portfolio is highly diversified and contains over 900 long positions spread across several sectors, primarily Industrials and Consumer Discretionary, which in aggregate amass around half of the equity portfolio value. Mr. Gabelli was invited to CNBC today to discuss some companies that he likes, such as International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (NYSE:IFF), Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO), Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV), Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), and Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB). The investor owns shares of all this companies according to GAMCO’s latest 13F filing, the majority of holdings in these companies represent less than 1% of the total value of the equity portfolio.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (NYSE:IFF) is Mr. Gabelli’s favorite stock in the health and wellness segment. He considers that individuals will become more and more interested in consuming less salt and sugar and will develop an awareness towards ingredients exposed to antiobiotics, companies that operate in the flavor segment, such as International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (NYSE:IFF) will shine. International Flavors & Fragrances is not doing bad at the moment. The stock is up by 27% over the last year, and over the last three years the company posted solid top and bottom line growth. GAMCO holds 1.26 million shares of the company, valued at $127.96 million as of the end of 2014. However, the position amasses only 0.67% of the fund’s equity portfolio and ranks on the 35th spot in terms of value. Nevertheless, among the investors that we track, GAMCO is the largest shareholder of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (NYSE:IFF), followed by Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson‘s Adage Capital Management with 515,800 shares.
Mr. Gabelli also said that he is fond of companies engaged in providing care for companion pets, such as Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO), which is also engaged in providing dental supplies. Even though the company has some challenges, Mr. Gabelli is still bullish on the stock, one of the reasons being the growing number of pets in the U.S. and customers have to pay to buy products for their pets and pay for their care. GAMCO owns 1.80 million shares of Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) as of the end of 2014, the value of the stake amounting to $86.53 million. The position is 69th in terms of value, amassing 0.45% of the fund’s equity portfolio. The largest shareholder of Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) is Yacktman Asset Management, led by Donald Yacktman, which owns 2.39 million shares, according to its latest 13F filing.