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Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (SAN): Here’s What One of the Richest Americans Has Been Buying

Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they’ve bought and sold, via “13F” filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.

FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENTToday, let’s look at Fisher Asset Management, founded in 1979 by Ken Fisher. It manages money for more than 100 large institutions, and its strategy involves macroeconomic research and fundamental analysis. You may know Fisher by his longtime column in Forbes magazine, where he’s also No. 271 in the magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth of $1.9 billion. You may know his father as well: Phil Fisher wrote the seminal investing text, Common Stocks, Uncommon Profits.

The company’s reportable stock portfolio totaled $38.0 billion in value as of June 30, 2013.

Interesting developments
So what does Fisher Asset Management’s latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:

The biggest new holdings include CapitalSource, Inc. (NYSE:CSE) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD). Other new holdings of interest include Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP). Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) has investors hopeful about its oral Hepatitis C drug, sofosbuvir, which has cleared four phase 3 trials and received priority-review designation from the FDA. The company is also well known for its success with HIV drugs. The stock may not look like a bargain, with a P/E ratio in the 30s, but its five-year projected earnings growth rate is around 26%.

Recently yielding 6.8%, Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) boasts roughly 47,000 miles of natural gas gathering and transporting pipelines as well as other assets it got via its acquisition of Sunoco last year. The company is vulnerable to drops in natural gas prices and carries a lot of debt. It handily topped projections in its last quarter and has been restructuring itself effectively. Gross margins have been down lately, and free cash flow is negative, as capital spending has increased .

Among holdings in which Fisher Asset Management increased its stake were AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) and PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM). Fisher reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) and National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV). Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) yields 9.4%, beaten down by Europe’s woes. Unappreciated by many, though, is its heavy involvement in Latin America, where it benefits from faster growth rates. The bank’s most recent quarter improved on results from the previous quarter. Its stock valuation could be more compelling, but it does offer a huge yield.

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