Dynegy Inc. (DYN), First Bancorp (FBP), Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (SBLK): Howard Marks’ Oaktree Capital Management’s Top Picks for The Third Quarter

Howard Marks’ Oaktree Capital Management disclosed today, with the SEC, its long equity positions for the third quarter of 2014. According to a Schedule 13F form, the fund’s equity portfolio is highly diversified, across almost all of the sectors of the economy, and has a market value of more than $6 billion. Between July 1 and September 30, inclusive, Oaktree started 24 new stock positions, increased its exposure to another 31 companies, and sold out of 25 of its previous stakes. In this article, however, we will focus on the fund’s top three positions: Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK), Dynegy Inc. (NYSE:DYN) and First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP).

Oaktree is a Los Angeles-based investment firm founded in 1995, by Howard Marks and a group of former TCW Group employees. It specializes in alternative investments and maintains an emphasis on distressed debt, corporate debt and convertible securities. Within equities, the fund focuses on companies that are less known by major investors and other funds, and are generally considered contrarian investments.


Over the first two quarters of 2014 (check out Oaktree’s second quarter picks), Oaktree’s largest bet has placed on EXCO Resources Inc (NYSE:XCO). Nonetheless, the company was displaced from its front-runner position in the third quarter, despite the fund’s wage saw no changes. EXCO Resources Inc (NYSE:XCO) was replaced by Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK), an $896.03 million market cap international company providing worldwide transportation of drybulk commodities through its vessel-owning subsidiaries for a range of customers of major and minor bulk cargoes, including iron ore, coal, grain, cement and fertilizer. Following the purchase of 45.46 million shares of Common Stock, Oaktree owns 51.23 million shares, worth more than half a billion dollars. This activist stake comprises more than 61% of the company’s shares outstanding.

This stake makes of Oaktree –obviously- the largest institutional shareholder, amongst those we track, in Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK), trailed by Michael Weinstock’s Monarch Alternative Capital and Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies. Monarch Alternative Capital disclosed ownership of 5.77 million shares by the end of the second quarter, while Renaissance Technologies acknowledged holding 107,384 shares by the end of the third quarter of the year.

Dynegy Inc. (NYSE:DYN) also felt Oaktree’s bullishness. This $4.2 billion market cap power generation company saw the fund boost its stake by 14% over the third quarter, to 7.92 million shares of Common Stock, worth more than $228 million, which account for roughly 3.8% of the fund’s equity portfolio’s total value

Once again, Oaktree is the largest institutional shareholder amongst those we track. Another fund that’s bullish on Dynegy Inc. (NYSE:DYN) is Mark Weissman, Adam Cohen and David Coleto’s Caspian Capital Partners, which boosted its exposure by 30% over the quarter, to 2.07 million shares.

Finally, there’s First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP), same as in the second quarter. Also same as in the previous quarter, the $1.08 billion market cap provider of financial services and products witnessed no modifications in Oaktree’s position, which comprises 41.84 million shares. However, the stock price fell more than 12.6% over the third quarter, so the stake’s market value from $227.6 million to $198.7 million.

Yet again, Oaktree is the largest institutional shareholder in First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP), followed by Emanuel J. Friedman’s EJF Capital, which disclosed an 11% reduction in its exposure to the company over the third quarter. The fund now owns 7.82 million shares, worth $37.1 million.

Also recently, the fund disclosed a major position in Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE). Oaktree reported holding around 15.71 million shares of the company, which represent almost 42% of the company’s common stock. The stake is activist by nature.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks or funds mentioned.