Huber Capital Management, founded by Joseph Huber, has recently added to its stakes in both Iconix Brand Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ICON) and Health Insurance Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:HIIQ), according to two new 13Gs filed with the SEC. Joe Huber’s investment firm disclosed owning 5.55 million shares of Iconix Brand Group, accounting for 11.50% of its outstanding common stock. This represents an increase of almost 3.06 million shares from the stake disclosed in its 13F filing for the June quarter. Moving on to Health Insurance Innovations, Huber Capital Management reported ownership of 804,331 shares, up from the 672,485 share-stake reported in the same 13F filing. The stake now represents 10.39% of the company’s outstanding shares.
Huber Capital Management is an employee-owned investment firm established by Joe Huber in 2007. Huber Capital employs a value-based investment process, which utilizes both fundamental research and behavioral psychology. At the same time, the California-based investment firm employs a bottom-up stock picking approach to build its portfolio. As stated by its latest 13F filing, Huber Capital oversees a public equity portfolio with a market value of $3.44 billion, while its top ten holdings account for 34.75% of this value.
Professional investors like Joe Huber spend considerable time and money conducting due diligence on each company they invest in, which makes them the perfect investors to emulate. However, we also know that the returns of hedge funds on the whole have not been good for several years, underperforming the market. We analyzed the historical stock picks of these investors and our research revealed that the small-cap picks of these funds performed far better than their large-cap picks, which is where most of their money is invested and why their performances as a whole have been poor. Why pay fees to invest in both the best and worst ideas of a particular hedge fund when you can simply mimic the best ideas of the best fund managers on your own? A portfolio consisting of the 15 most popular small-cap stock picks among the funds we track has returned 118% and beaten the market by more than 60 percentage points since the end of August 2012 (see the details).
Let’s turn our full attention to Iconix Brand Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ICON), a brand management company and owner of a diversified portfolio of global consumer brands. The company licenses its brands to a network of leading retailers and manufacturers in the United States and worldwide. The company’s stock performance has been impacted by allegations of lax accounting standards along with the departures of several executives. To be more specific, numerous lawsuits have been filed against Iconix Brand Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ICON) claiming that the company failed to disclose that the cost basis of its brands had been under-reported and that the company engaged in irregular accounting practices related to the booking of its joint venture revenues and profits, free-cash flow, and organic growth. As a result, Iconix’s earnings and revenues were overstated. Furthermore, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Neil Cole, recently stepped down after leading the firm since 2005. However, he will act as an advisor through the end of this month. Meanwhile, Peter Cuneo has been appointed as the chairman of the company’s Board of Directors and interim CEO. The stock has lost slightly over 61% since the beginning of the current year, so bottom-fishing investors may have an attractive trading opportunity at the moment. Wallace R. Weitz & Co., founded by Wallace Weitz, owns 2.82 million shares as of June 30, which account for 1.97% of its portfolio.