Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (AMP), Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (MDRX): Here’s What This $28 Billion Money Manager Has Been Buying

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Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they’ve bought and sold, via “13F” filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions IncToday, let’s look at Columbia Wanger Asset Management. Founded in 1992, it’s a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE:AMP), managing mutual funds and serving investment companies, pension plans, and others. Its reportable stock portfolio totaled $22.8 billion in value as of June 30, 2013.

Interesting developments
So what does Columbia Wanger’s latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:

The biggest new holdings are WuXi PharmaTech and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:MDRX). Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:MDRX) delivers electronic health records (EHR) products and services and is getting a boost from Obamacare, which supports EHR systems. Its customer backlog tops $3 billion, but its second-quarter revenue and earnings were both below year-ago levels. Skeptics remember that not so long ago, the company tried to sell itself but was not bought and they question the value of EHR as well.

Among holdings in which Columbia Wanger Asset Management increased its stake was Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN), with a dividend that has been yielding more than 11% lately! Its just-reported quarterly earnings offer reasons to worry about the payout’s sustainability, with revenue down 2% over year-ago levels and net income down 22%. Still, management maintained the dividend — for now. Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN) has been shifting its focus away from rural telecom service and toward broadband service and business customers, but it’s also been losing customers (though its enterprise customer count grew by 6%). There’s still reason to be hopeful (it sports positive free cash flow, for example), but the stock is heavily shorted.

Columbia Wanger Asset Management reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (NYSE:SLW) and Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML). Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (NYSE:SLW)’s stock has been hurt by falling prices for precious metals. It has a most attractive business model, where instead of engaging in actual (and risky) mining, it simply buys the rights to income from mines in exchange for financing — but it’s not perfect, and the company has been burning cash. Meanwhile, its once-promising investment in a major Barrick Gold mine has run into trouble.

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