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Billionaire Jeffrey Ubben Trims 13F Portfolio, but Remains Bullish on These Stocks

Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW)

 – Shares Owned by ValueAct Capital (as of March 31): 7.68 million

 – Value of Holding (as of March 31): $911.31 million

Although technically Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) qualifies as a new stake in ValueAct’s portfolio during the first quarter, it actually isn’t. The fund already owned a stake in Willis Group Holdings before its merger with Towers Watson got completed on January 5 and it started trading as Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW). After the merger got completed, shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC plummeted, however, they have recovered from those losses in the past three months and are back to trading at levels they used to trade before the merger. The company currently pays a quarterly dividend of $0.48, which, based on its current stock price, translates into a dividend yield of 1.58%. On May 6, the company reported EPS of $3.41 on revenue of $2.20 billion for its fiscal 2016 first quarter, trumping analysts’ estimates of EPS of $2.85 on revenue of $2.21 billion. First Eagle Investment Management reported ownership of 3.53 million shares of Willis Towers Watson as of the end of March.

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Largest Holdings

#3 Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI)

 – Shares Owned by ValueAct Capital (as of March 31): 23.25 million

 – Value of Holding (as of March 31): $1.02 billion

ValueAct didn’t make any changes to its stake in Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) during the first quarter, however, this stake was constantly in the news last month after the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the fund seeking $17 million in damages. In its lawsuit, the Justice Department alleged ValueAct failed to properly disclose about $2.5 billion in purchases of Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI)’s and Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL)’s shares in late 2014 after the latter announced that it would be acquiring the former in a $35 billion deal. According to the Justice Department, ValueAct had tried to influence the management of both the companies regarding this deal, and hence it was mandatory for the fund to disclose the share purchase at that time. Interestingly, ValueAct sold its entire remaining stake in Halliburton Company during the first quarter after cutting it by 56% during the last quarter of 2015. Citing the Justice Department’s suit against ValueAct  as an early indication, several analysts feel that the chances of regulators passing the Baker Hughes-Halliburton deal are low now. Dmitry Balyasny‘s Balyasny Asset Management upped its stake in Baker Hughes Incorporated by 55% during the first quarter.

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