Stockbridge Partners is a Berkshire Partners’ subsidiary managed by Robert J. Small since inception, in 2007. The fund is focused on marketable securities “with a bias toward being long-term investors, focusing on high quality companies that exhibit earnings sustainability and growth” (Berkshire Partners). Its equity portfolio, which consists of only 18 positions, worth over $1.46 billion, is diversified among several sectors, with technology stocks being the most popular (accounting for about 28% of its portfolio), followed by services, financial, and consumer goods stocks –each of these account for approximately 16% of the portfolio’s total value.
Mr. Small’s fund’s most valuable holding, TransDigm Group Incorporated (NYSE:TDG), has occupied this spot for, at least, two years. However, its position has remained mostly unchanged over time. The 1.05 million shares held by Stockbridge are worth more than $190 million. So, I will focus on some of the fund’s top bullish moves for Q1.
Sensata Technologies Holding N.V. (NYSE:ST), a $7.3 billion market cap developer, manufacturer, and marketer of sensors and controls, saw Stockbridge Partners increase its stake by 10% over the quarter. The fund now owns about 3 million shares, valued at approximately $130 million, which account for more than 8% of its total equity portfolio’s value.
Even larger is John Griffin’s holding. His fund, Blue Ridge Capital, owns 6.59 million shares, worth about $280 million. Alan Fournier’s Pennant Capital Management is the second-largest hedge fund stockholder. Although the fund decreased its stakes considerably, it still holds 3.8 million Sensata Technologies shares.
Another one of the fund’s most valuable holdings is that at Markwest Energy Partners LP (NYSE:MWE), a $10.9 billion market cap company engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of NGLs; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. Stockbridge started this position during the first quarter, and now owns 1.83 million shares, worth more than $114 million. This stake makes it the largest hedge fund shareholder of the company, followed by Charles Akre’s Akre Capital Management, which owns 706,965 shares.
Then, there’s RealPage, Inc. (NASDAQ:RP), a $1.6 billion market cap provider of on demand software solutions for the rental housing industry. During the first three months of 2014, the fund tripled its stakes in the company, and now holds 6.2 million shares, worth more than $127 million. The stock is up by over 13% since the end of the quarter.
The fund had already reported upping its bets on the company during the first quarter in an earlier filing. Aside from Stockbridge, John C. Walker’s Stonerise Capital Management started a position in the stock, which contains 900,000 shares, as revealed in its latest 13F.
Finally, there’s two more companies about which the fund seems to feel quite bullish. First off is Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a provider of cable services with a market cap of $15 billion. Stockbridge started a position in the stock, during the first quarter, revealing ownership of some 721,100 shares, worth about $99.9 million. The last company I would like to refer to is Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), a discount retailer in the United States that has a market cap barely shy of $17 billion. The company saw Mr. Small’s fund increase its stakes by 19% over the quarter, to 1.7 million shares, valued at approximately $95 million.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned.