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Billionaire Mario Gabelli’s Top Stock Picks for 2013

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE:RHP) was another of Gabelli’s top picks. Ryman is a lodging and entertainment company which operates a number of resorts and convention centers as well as Nashville-area attractions. The most recent data shows that over 40% of the outstanding shares are held short, and the stock is very responsive to movements in the broader markets with a beta of 2.1. Paulson & Co., managed by billionaire John Paulson, owned 3.8 million shares at the end of the third quarter (check out more stocks Paulson owned). We don’t think that it is a good value.

Gabelli reported a position of 3.8 million shares in National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG), a $4.9 billion market cap company involved in the production and transportation of natural gas as well as its provision as a utility. Dividend yields are not particularly high for a utility, under 3%, and while sales and net income have been up moderately the earnings multiples are above 20. We would be hesitant to buy the stock at that price, particularly since the utility business at least would be expected to see little growth going forward.

Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA.B) rounded out Gamco’s top five picks. Viacom looks cheap with trailing and forward P/Es of 14 and 11, respectively. While revenue was down in its most recent quarter compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year, earnings were up considerably in percentage terms and given the valuation metrics it might be worth looking into if the fall on the top line might be a temporary setback. Tiger Cub Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global initiated a position of 2.6 million shares in Viacom between July and September of 2012 (research more stocks Viking Global was buying).

Disclosure: I own no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article.

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