Generally, big investors with multi-billion dollar portfolios wait until the last possible date to release their 13F filing, which is not the case for Ken Fisher. The billionaire is one of the first behemots to disclose his equity portfolio for the previous quarter, and today Fisher Asset Management published its 13F report on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website. So we took it as an opportunity to see where one of the greatest minds of the money management world likes to put his money into. As usual, Fisher Asset Management owns a very diversified equity portfolio, where even the top holdings amass less than 3% of the total value, although it shows an inclination towards the financial sector, which concentrates around 30% of the total 13F portfolio. Moreover, there have been some changes among the top holdings, with Mr. Fisher further raising his exposure to mega-cap stocks (see our coverage of the last quarter’s 13F). In this article we will examine companies among top-largest positions on which the investor has been most bullish, which are American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE).
Loves Two Mega-Cap Financial Stocks
Mr. Fisher raised his position in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by around 5,500 shares and currently owns almost 11.39 million shares, valued at $996.86 million. The investor has been a shareholder of the company for many years, so with American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) more than doubling over the last several years, Mr. Fisher definitely profited from the investment. Moreover, there are many reasons why American Express seems like a good bet. First, the company is one of the largest in the consumer lending industry. Over the last year its stock gained around 4% and has performed better than Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA), which appreciated by 3.5% and 0.5% respectively.
In addition, recently American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) joined Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s new product, Apple Pay, which will allow consumers to pay for stuff using their Apple smartphones starting today. With the introduction of Apple Pay, the market of mobile payments will start growing at a much faster pace, so American Express (as well as other credit card companies) will profit from the new technology, especially if other smartphone makers follow in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s footsteps.
Another important point in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)’s basket is that American Express is a stock approved by Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway owns over 151.6 million shares of the company as of the end of June and Mr. Buffett has also been a long-term shareholder.
The second-largest position on which Mr. Fisher has been most bullish on is represented by another company that has Warren Buffett among its largest shareholders, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC). Wells Fargo is one of the biggest banks in the World. Fisher Asset Management added around 7,300 shares to its stake and owns 18.56 million shares, worth $962.55 million. Wells Fargo’s stock picked up by around 8% year-to-date, which is the best performance among mega-caps from the global banking industry and outperformed significantly the whole industry, which returned on average 0.25%.
At the same time, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is another company that joined Apple Pay, allowing its customers with debit and credit cards to make purchases by using the new software. Overall, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) remains a company with strong financial results and analysts are mostly also optimistic about the company’s perspective, the stock having a consensus rating ‘Overweight’ and an average target price of around $54.
Betting big on healthcare
After mostly reducing his exposure to Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) during the last several years, Mr. Fisher started again to increase his holding in the company. During the third quarter, Fisher Asset Management added some 220,000 shares, brining its position to 31.7 million shares, worth $937.44 million. In the meantime, Pfizer’s stock inched down by around 9% since the beginning of the year, and over the last five years it grew by over 57%.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is currently pursuing a takeover or merger deal, which will help the company to reduce its taxes in the US. According to rumor over the last months, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) held talks with Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT) regarding a potential cash and stock takeover offer, which however was declined. Moreover, the company was also exploring a merger with AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), which would be one of the largest in the healthcare sector, but the talks also ran into a dead-end. In general, since AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)’s attempt to acquire Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG) failed last week, the mergers & acqusitions among healthcare companies will most likely halt for a while.
Overall, Mr. Fisher has changed most of its holdings only marginally. The investor reduced his stakes in its top two most expensive positions. Fisher Asset Management reduced its stake in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) by 2,300 shares to 10.45 million shares, valued at over $1.11 billion and sold around 3,000 shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) during the third quarter and currently owns 10.74 million shares, worth $1.08 billion and. Nevertheless, Fisher’s equity portfolio shows a good example of solid investments made into some of the leading stocks among their industries.