Billionaire Mason Hawkins’ Bullish Moves Involve Ralph Lauren, Vipshop Holdings & More

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The recently-submitted 13F filing by billionaire Mason HawkinsSoutheastern Asset Management seems to suggest that the famed value-focused hedge wasn’t much upbeat about the US equities going into the third-quarter. According to the filing, Southeastern reduced its stake in 50% or 16 of its 32 holdings and sold its entire positions in four stocks during the second quarter, while it made additional purchases in only two stocks and initiated a stake in four stocks during that time.

However, a closer look at the filing revealed that in most of the stocks that the fund reduced its stake during the second quarter, it brought its holding down only marginally. That’s why the value of the fund’s portfolio didn’t see a notable change during second quarter and was worth $9.8 billion at the end of June, compared to $10.45 billion at the end of March. In this post, we will take a look at the five major bullish moves made by the Tennessee-based hedge fund during the second quarter and will try to decipher why Southeastern is betting on those stocks.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 750 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see more details).

01 Mason Hawkins

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#5 Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS)

– Shares Owned by Southeastern Asset Management (as of June 30): 462,800

– Value of Holding (as of June 30): $5.17 Million

In terms of value, Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS) was the smallest holding of Southeastern Asset Management at the end of June despite the fund having increased its stake in the company by 62% during the second quarter. Shares of the Chinese online discount retailer have been highly volatile this year. In the period between late-June and mid-August they appreciated by over 50% and started trading in the green year-to-date. However, the stock has seen a notable correction since the company released its second-quarter results and is currently trading down by 8.5% year-to-date. Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS) reported EPS of $0.17 on revenue of $2.02 billion for its most recent quarter, compared to EPS of $0.14 on revenue of $1.50 billion a year earlier. In the period between April and June, the number of funds covered by us with holdings in Vipshop  Holdings declined by 17 to 42 and the aggregate value of their positions fell by $275 million to $604.27 million.

#4 Seacor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CKH)

– Shares Owned by Southeastern Asset Management (as of June 30): 128,510

– Value of Holding (as of June 30): $7.45 Million

Seacor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CKH) made its debut in Southeastern Asset Management’s equity portfolio during the second quarter and was the fund’s 27th largest holding in terms of value. The company lost more than half of its market capitalization between January 2014 and January 2016. However, its stock has performed well in the last six months  and is currently trading up by 12.38% year-to-date. On August 24, analysts at Stifel initiated coverage on Seacor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CKH)’s stock with a ‘Buy’ rating and a price target of $70. In their note, the analysts highlighted that the company is “making the most of a poor energy market,” and will likely be a consolidator in certain markets due to its insulated balance sheet, significant cash balance and diversified cash flow. Though the number of investors covered by us with long positions in Seacor Holdings remained unchanged at 31 during the second quarter, the aggregate value of their holdings in the company declined by $30 million to $696.94 million. Chuck Royce‘s Royce & Associates was one of the funds that lowered its stake in the company marginally during the second quarter, by 1% to 1.39 million shares.

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