Pinnacle Foods Inc (PF): Levin Capital Strategies Boosts Stake To Nearly 7%

Levin Capital Strategies, led by John A. Levin, has revealed in a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has upped its stake in Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF). The hedge fund disclosed holding 8.06 million shares of the company. The stake represents 6.9% of the company’s common stock, and is passive by nature. In its latest 13F filing, Levin Capital reported ownership of 4.21 million shares of Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF).

Pinnacle Foods

Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF) is engaged in production, marketing and distribution of high-quality branded food products. The company has a market cap of $3.73 billion. Recently, Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF) announced a secondary offering of 15 million shares of common stock by certain of its stockholders, consisting primarily of affiliates of Blackstone.

For the second quarter, Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF) reported that its GAAP diluted earnings per share jumped to $0.30, compared to a loss per share of $0.28 in the same period a year ago. The company posted an 8.6% increase in net sales to $617.8 million in the second quarter, compared to net sales of $569.0 million in the same quarter of 2013, primarily due to a 9.6% benefit from the Wish-Bone acquisition and a 2.0% increase from higher volume/mix, largely reflecting the benefit of the Easter-related shift of sales from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2014.

Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF) reaffirmed its adjusted EPS guidance for fiscal 2014 in the range of $1.70 – $1.75, or growth of 12% to 15% versus year-ago.

Aside from Levin Capital Strategies, Gruss Asset Management, managed by Howard Guberman, holds 1.11 million shares of Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF), and AQR Capital Management, run by Cliff Asness, owns 1.01 million shares of the company.

New York City Levin Capital Strategies was founded in 2005. The hedge fund typically invests in large cap stocks which it identifies using fundamental analysis to develop a bottom-up perspective on a company’s value. The value of the fund’s equity portfolio for the second quarter totaled $6.5 billion. The fund reported holding largest stakes in Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), and Eaton Corp plc (NYSE:ETN), owning 9.60 million shares, 9.20 million shares, and 3.09 million shares, respectively.

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