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Multi-Billion Dollar Hedge Fund’s Top Picks for 2013: First American Financial Corp (FAF), Interpublic Group of Companies Inc (IPG)

…but when you consider how financial services stocks have been doing as a result of the recent gains in the Dow and NASDAQ, Lazard might be able to ride the wave along with the rest of the crowd and break the $37.55 mark.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL) is No. 4 on Ariel Investments’s list.  Although the business calls itself a financial and professional services firm, it is more commonly known as a real-estate management and investment business with holdings across the globe.  As investors look for higher yields than those currently offered in the U.S. bond market, they are dipping their toes (ever so conservatively, however) back in real-estate stocks. Because of Jones Lang’s global positioning, the stock is doing remarkably well, outperforming both the S&P 500 and DJIA, and has recently seen a great deal of insider buying activity.  Analysts are recommending a buy in this stock with an upside of $101.60, with shares last around $99.80.

Last but not least is Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) at No. 5. Rogers sliced his position in the media giant by more than 15% from the second quarter of 2012, but this is clearly not reflective of the performance of Gannett since the start of the year. Better-than-expected earnings and the recent acquisition of has elevated this stock to a 3-year high of $21.59, and there seems to be further upside potential in respect of strong technical indicators along with analysts’ buy recommendation. Although revenue growth has become stagnant over the past several years, the stock is still priced cheaply to earnings and its book value.

Hedge funds’ favorite picks are always good to watch, and John W. Rogers’s “fab five” is no exception.

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