Can Highland Capital’s Small-Cap Picks Like High Dividend Stock Ocean Rig UDW Inc (ORIG) Outperform the Market?

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James Dondero is the man behind Highland Capital, an investment firm specializing in credit investments. Highland Capital uses a long-only credit strategy and has experience of over two decades of investing in credit products starting in 1993. In equities it employs a long/short equity strategy and has applied its investment strategies across different sectors including high yield credit, health care, structured products, distressed and special situation loans, emerging market investments, real estate, and the oil and gas industry. As a complete investment group, Highland Capital has assets worth $21 billion under management and a public equity portfolio valued at $4.86 billion as of March 31, and is among the largest collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) managers. Highland Capital launched three new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) earlier this month including Highland HFR Global ETF (NYSE:HHFR), Highland HFR Event Driven ETF (NYSE:DRVN), and Highland HFR Equity Hedge ETF (NYSE:HHDG). As per its latest 13F filing, the fund manager has its primary investments in healthcare, finance, and technology. Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ:LORL), Media General Inc (NYSE:MEG), and Ocean Rig UDW Inc (NASDAQ:ORIG) are among the top small-cap stock picks of Dondero, and we’ll look at those stocks in this article.

Offshore Oil Drilling BP RIG ESV 2

Highland Capital Management is just one of more than 700 hedge funds that we have in our database, whose equity portfolios we collate quarterly as part of our small-cap strategy. Even though most smaller investors believe that tracking 13F filings is a fruitless endeavor because they are filed with a delay of a maximum of 45 days after the end of a calendar quarter, the results of our research prove that is not the case. To be on the safe side, we used a delay of 60 days in our backtests that involved the 13F filings of funds between 1999 and 2012 and we still managed to gain an annual alpha in the double digits. Moreover, since the official launch of our strategy in August 2012, our small-cap strategy has obtained returns of more than 142%, beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by greater than 83 percentage points (see the details).

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Highland Capital holds 2.11 million shares of Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ:LORL) valued at $144.36 million. 30 hedge funds that we track at Insider Monkey have included the satellite company in their portfolio, which has a market cap of $1.43 billion. The investment manager holds 9.85% of the outstanding shares of Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ:LORL). The satellite service provider has received investments from other fund managers including Mark Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management, whose current position in Loral Space & Communications includes 8.13 million shares valued at $556.40 million. According to a 13D filed by MHR in March 2015, the investment manager wrote to Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ:LORL) asking for a class III director position in the company ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in 2015. Shares are down by 16% year-to-date.

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