Move Inc. (MOVE), Astec Industries Inc. (ASTE), MOCON Inc. (MOCO): Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors Continues to Make Bullish Moves

Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors continues to show itself bullish on the market. Yesterday, the funds affiliated with Mr. Gabelli (GAMCO, Gabelli Funds, GSI, Teton Advisors, Gabelli Foundation) disclosed significant boosts in its –acitivst- stakes in Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE), MOCON, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOCO), and Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE). According to the Schedule 13D forms filed with the SEC, GAMCO can be deemed beneficial ownership of 7.33% of Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE)’s Common Stock, 9.36% of MOCON, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOCO)’s shares outstanding, and 6.50% of Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE)’s outstanding stock.

Mario Gabelli

Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) is an $839.85 million market cap company that operates an online network of websites for real estate search, finance, moving, and home enthusiasts, and provides an important resource for consumers seeking the online information and connections they need regarding real estate. Just recently, we got to know that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) has made a bid to acquire Move Inc. and all of its subsidiaries for $950 million. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

According to a recent 13D filing, GAMCO went activist in the company after adding 2.6 million shares of Common Stock to its holdings, which only reached 37,500 shares by the end of the second quarter of 2014. Its current 2.63 million shares account for 6.5% of the company’s shares outstanding, and make it the second-largest institutional shareholder (amongst those we track) at of Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE), only trailing Peter S. Park’s Park West Asset Management, which last disclosed ownership of 2.67 million shares.

Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE) is an $838.55 million market cap company that designs, engineers, manufactures and markets equipment and components used in road building, utility and related construction activities as well as other products. Mr. Gabelli’s funds recently acknowledged having almost doubled its wage on the company over the past couple of months, to 1.68 million shares of Common Stock, which account for 7.33% of the company’s shares outstanding.

GAMCO is the largest institutional shareholder in Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE), trailed by Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, which declared ownership of 719,520 shares by the end of the first half of the year.

MOCON, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOCO) is an $83.85 million market cap company that designs, manufactures, markets and services products, and provides consulting services, primarily in the test and measurement, analytical instrument and services markets. Over the past few weeks, GAMCO more than septupled its exposure to the company, and now owns 530,182 shares of Common Stock, representing 9.36% of the 5.66 million shares outstanding.

This stake makes of GAMCO the largest institutional investor, amongst those we track, in the company. Another major fund betting on MOCON, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOCO) is Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, with 58,700 shares –as of the end of the second quarter of the year.

As I’ve stated in previous articles, there’s a reason behind me tracking Mr. Gabelli’s moves. Gabelli has managed to beat the S&P 500 by more than 2% per year since inception. One of its top stock picks (if not the top one), DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), is up more than 21.8% year-to-date, while its largest small-cap bet (a category in which all of the companies mentioned above fit), placed on Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (NYSE:RHP), returned about 13.6%, compared to the S&P 500’s 6.3%.

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