Wallace R. Weitz Top Picks: Liberty Global plc (LBTYA), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) & Others

In its latest 13F, Wallace Weitz’s Wallace R. Weitz & Co. has reported its equity portfolio as at the end of the third quarter of 2013. The total value of the portfolio slightly increased to $3 billion in the fourth quarter from around $2.7 billion disclosed at the end of the third quarter.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX)

Weitz started his Wallace R. Weitz & Co. in 1983, just 13 years after graduating from Carleton College with his BA in Economics. Weitz uses a value investing philosophy which has evolved over the years. He characterizes it as a mix between Graham’s price sensitivity and insistence on a margin of safety.

In this article, we will talk about five companies, in which the fund holds the largest stakes, in terms of value.

The first position is held by Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), in which the fund disclosed owning 1.85 million shares, with a reported value of about $217.10 million. The stake was down from 2.04 million shares the fund held at the end of third quarter. Last month, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) announced the completion of a deal in which a subsidiary of the company would acquire Solta Medical Inc (NASDAQ:SLTM) at $2.92 per share in cash, or about $250 million in aggregate.

The second-largest holding in Wallace R. Weitz’s equity portfolio is represented by Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK), in which the fund slightly increased its stake to 1.72 million class C shares, worth $145.26 million, from 1.51 million shares. In late January, Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK) announced that the company’s board of directors approved the authorization of a $1.0 billion increase to its two-year $3.5 billion stock repurchase program, bringing its total program to $4.5 billion, of which about $700 million was utilized through September 30, 2013. In connection with the increase, the company’s board extended its intention to complete the program from mid-2015 to year-end 2015.

In Liberty Interactive (Interactive group) (NASDAQ:LINTA), the fund disclosed holding 4.92 million shares, with a reported value of around $144.47 million. The stake represents an increase from 3.99 million shares the fund held at the end of the third quarter.

DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is the fourth-largest holding, in which Wallace R. Weitz upped its stake to 2.03 million shares, worth around $140.52 million, from 1.98 million shares held at the end of the third quarter.

The fifth on the list is Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B), in which the fund owns 1.12 million class B shares, with a reported value of $132.67 million. The position has been slightly increased by around 3,000 shares during the October-December period.

Disclosure: none

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