Sheffield Asset Management’s Top Stock Picks

Sheffield Asset Management is an employee owned investment management firm established in 2003. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Sheffield manages hedge funds and other private investment funds for its clients.  Craig Albert’s Sheffield Asset Management invests in the public equity and fixed income markets across the globe and has a focus on value stocks of small and mid cap companies. It also focuses on investing companies undergoing financial distress. Sheffield employs fundamental and quantitative analysis and conducts in-house research to make its investments. We believe that by focusing on the best stock picks of Sheffield, investors are more likely to beat the market in the long term.

Below we compiled a list of top 10 positions of Sheffield Asset Management as of September 30, 2011.

Kohls Corp (KSS): Kohl’s Corporation operates family-oriented department stores that sell apparel, footwear and accessories, soft home products, and housewares. The company is going to unveil its latest earnings on November 10, 2011. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 78 cents per share, up 23.8% from its actual earnings for the same quarter last year. Sheffield had $25.9 million invested in KSS and it returned 13.40% since the end of September. KSS has a market cap of $14.70B and a P/E ratio of 13.76. Glenn Russell Dubin’s Highbridge Capital Management had $256 million invested in KSS. Steven Cohen had $37 million of KSS shares as well.

Children’s Place Retail Store (PLCE): The Children’s Place Retail Stores is a pure-play children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America. The company is going to webcast review of its third quarter financial results on November 17, 2011. For the 13 weeks ending July 30, 2011, the company reported total revenue of $343.51 million, compared with $345.30 million for the same period a year ago. It also suffered net loss of $9.78 million, compared with net loss of $8.23 million a year earlier. Sheffield had $25.9 million invested in PLCE and it returned 3.57% since the end of September. PLCE has a market cap of $1.19B and a P/E ratio of 15.23. Ken Fisher and Chuck Royce both had $50+ million invested in PLCE.

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE:SIG)

Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG): Signet is a specialty retail jeweler with stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Channel Islands. The company reported revenue of $797.6 million for the 13 weeks ending July 30, 2011, compared with $719.7 million for the same period a year ago. Net income was $66.30 million, up from the $38.70 million a year earlier. Signet announced a $300 million stock repurchase program on October 26. Sheffield invested $18.7 million in SIG and the stock returned 36.21% since the end of September. It has a market cap of $3.88B and a P/E ratio of 15.35. Jeffrey Vinik initiated a brand new $49.3 million of SIG stocks during the second quarter.

Packaging Corp America (PKG): Packaging Corporation of America is a producer of containerboard and corrugated products in the United States. The company reported third quarter profit of $41.8 million, or 42 cents per share, down from $93.3 million, or 91 cents per share for the same quarter last year. The fall in the profit was largely due to the higher costs and weaker sales. Sheffield invested $18.6 million in PKG and it returned 14.59% since the end of September. It has a market cap of $2.57B and a P/E ratio of 15.11. Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management had $79 million invested in PKG.

Minerals Technologies Inc (MTX): Minerals Technologies is a resource-based and technology-based company that develops, produces and markets a range of specialty mineral, mineral-based and synthetic mineral products and supporting systems and services. The company reported earnings per share of $0.87 and sales of $262.2 million for the third quarter, compared with $0.90 earnings per share and $249.81 million sales a year earlier. Sheffield had $17.3 million invested in MTX and it returned 16.46% since the end of third quarter. MTX has a market cap of $984.81M and a P/E ratio of 16.03. Chuck Royce had $41 million invested in MTX shares at the end of second quarter.

Sheffield Asset’s only mainstream stock pick is Microsoft which is one of the most favorite stocks among hedge funds. David Einhorn increased his holdings in MSFT and made it one of his top 5 stock picks. Conservative investor Seth Klarman initiated a brand new large position in the stock during the second quarter. We are also bullish about MSFT because its attractive valuation. Interestingly other technology stocks like HPQ, DELL, GOOG, and AAPL are also attractively priced. This is an area where we are invested and planning to invest more as the stocks get cheaper.

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