New Stock Purchases In Tom Gayner’s $2.4 Billion Fund: Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (AHGP), Starz (STRZA), Bunge Ltd (BG)

Markel Gayner Asset Management is the investment division subsidiary of Markel Corp. and is headed up by Tom Gayner, who also spends his time as the CIO of Markel. The fund is directed by the SEC to release its holdings every quarter in a document known as a 13F filing. We look forward to the release of these filings, as we use them to create proprietary, retail-friendly strategies that have proven to beat the market in real-time (read about our small-cap strategy that has netted 29% in the past six months here). See below for our take on the five largest new positions initiated by Gayner in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Tom GaynerAlliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP), a producer and marketer of coal, stands out as Gayner’s largest new purchase with a commitment of nearly $8mm. AHGP’s only assets are derived from its ownership interests in mining company Alliance Resource Partners (NASDAQ:AHLP), which recently emerged from a difficult 2012. AHGP’s last earnings announcement in January delivered a beat of $0.08, continuing the company’s trend in exceeding analysts’ expectations in recent quarters. Revenue grew almost 16% year over year. Billionaire Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies has a $428,000 investment in Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP) (read about his portfolio here).

Premium subscription media provider Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) received a $1.4mm dedication from Markel Gayner. The entertainment channel was recently spun off from Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA), with previous shares of LMCA renamed as STRZA shares. New shares were then generated under the LMCA ticker at the end of January. STRZA has already returned an incredible 53% to investors so far this year. Last month, Sony extended its movie-licensing deal with Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) until 2021, which is estimated to be valued at $300mm annually.  Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp purchased 2,500 shares last quarter as well (take a look at his top five stocks here).

Bunge Ltd (NYSE:BG) took the third spot in terms of capital allocated to new purchases, earning $700,000 from the fund. The $11bn agribusiness and food company reported Q4 2012 results at the beginning of last month, unveiling a huge disappointment amounting to 76% below expectations. The stock plunged over 9% on the news, undoing some of the double-digit returns it had achieved going a year back. Bunge Ltd (NYSE:BG)’s operations and prosperity suffer when commodity prices decline; weather and currency exchange rates also have a significant impact. Billionaire Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group reduced his call position in BG according to his latest 13F (check out his favorite stocks here).

Continue reading to see the fund’s other latest purchases.