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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT), Office Depot Inc. (ODP), Anika Therapeutics Inc. (ANIK): Portolan Capital Management’s Top Picks

Portolan Capital Management, managed by George McCabe, recently filed a 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, disclosing its equity portfolio as held at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. The value of the fund’s portfolio amounted to just over $499 million, up from the slightly more than $440 million reported at the end of the third quarter of 2014. Portolan Capital Management had strong focus on Consumer, Healthcare, and Technology stocks. We have picked the three largest holdings, in terms of value, from Portolan Capital’s portfolio. In this article, we will talk about each of these holdings, which are comprised of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT), Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP), and Anika Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK).

Portolan Capital Management

Boston, Massachusetts-based Portolan Capital Management is a hedge fund which manages 12 accounts totaling $535 million in assets under management (AUM). George McCabe serves as the managing director and chief investment officer of the fund, which he founded in 2005 after previously having worked as a research analyst at the family office of Peter Lynch and the Lynch Foundation, where he helped to manage the fund’s major investments.

Portolan Capital Management’s top holding was Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT), in which the fund reported owning 550,820 shares, worth $15.7 million. The stake represents an increase of 35% from the 407,476 shares the fund held as of September 30, 2014. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT) is a tire company with a market cap of around $7 billion. The company is engaged in the manufacturing of rubber products in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world. The company’s stock gained 10.5% over the past year. For the third quarter of 2014, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT) reported net income of $161 million, or $0.58 per share, down from net income of $166 million, or $0.62 per share, in the third quarter of 2013. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, the company posted net income of $316 million, down from net income of $372 million.

Other investors betting big on Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT) include Richard McGuire’s Marcato Capital Management, which held 12.44 million shares as of September 30, 2014, and Appaloosa Management LP, led by David Tepper, which reported owning 11.28 million as of September 30, 2014.

Portolan Capital Management was bullish on Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP), in which it increased its stake in the fourth quarter by 28%. The fund held 1.79 million shares as of December 31, 2014, up from the just under 1.40 million shares the fund held previously. The holding is valued at around $15.4 million. Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP) has a market cap of $5.2 billion, and is based in Florida. The company is a global supplier of office products and services, and operates under the brand names Office Depot and OfficeMax.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP)

Recently, Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP). The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the 2015 calendar year, values Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP) at $11.00 per share, representing a premium of 44% over the closing price of the company’s shares as of February 2. The deal values the company at an equity value of $6.3 billion. Over the last year, the company’s stock moved up by 86.55%.

Among the funds we track, Jeffrey Smith’s Starboard Value LP was the largest institutional investor, with reported ownership of 53.35 million shares of Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP) as of the end of December 10, 2014. Smith’s fund, which also held 31.46 million shares in Staples as of February 4, helped push for the merger of the two companies. Lioneye Capital Management, run by Stephen V. Raneri, disclosed ownership of 9.33 million shares Office Depot shares as of the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Anika Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK) was the third largest holding in Portolan Capital Management’s portfolio. The fund reported holding 308,131 shares of the company, up 21% from the 252,833 shares held previously. The stake is valued at $12.6 million. Anika Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK) is engaged in the development and manufacture of therapeutic products for tissue protection, healing and repair. The company  has a market cap of $594.8 million. On Thursday, shares of the company are trading up by 1.38% at $41.17. The consensus average target price is $53.83 for the stock, while the consensus average recommendation is ‘Buy’. Since February 2014, the company’s stock gained 25.34%.

Millennium Management, led by Israel Englander, held 375,829 shares of Anika Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK) as of September 30, 2014. Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management reported holding 375,753 shares of the company as of the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Disclosure: none

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