This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to David Winters' US stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Winters' regulatory 13F Form filed on 02/14/2014. Please visit our Tracking David Winters' Wintergreen Advisers Portfolio series to get an idea of his investment philosophy and our previous update highlighting the fund's moves during Q3 2013.
This quarter, Winters' US long portfolio decreased from $949M to $905M. The number of holdings decreased from 14 to 11 - a large investment in Philip Morris International along with smaller stakes in Lorillard Inc. and NV Energy were eliminated this quarter. The top five holdings represent over two-thirds of the US long assets making it a heavily concentrated portfolio. The largest holding is Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) at 16.02% of the US long portfolio.
The mutual fund (WGRNX) has a global orientation and the US allocation is at around 39% of the overall portfolio. The three largest investments are a 7.37% allocation in Jardine Matheson Holdings (OTCPK:JMHLY), a 6.79% allocation in Swatch Group (OTCPK:SWGAY), and a 5.96% allocation in Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA (VTX:CFR). JMHLY is a Singapore listed conglomerate focused on the growing Asian consumer while SWGAY and VTX:CFR are Swiss luxury goods businesses.Stake Disposals:
Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM): PM was a large 10.57% position that was eliminated this quarter. A starter position was purchased in 2009 and it was aggressively built up over the next two years to a 12.65% position by EOY 2011. Since then, the position was marginally increased. The about-turn this quarter indicates a clear bearish bias.
Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO): LO was a 1.12% of the US long portfolio stake established last quarter at prices between $42 and $46.50. It was disposed of this quarter at prices between $44 and $53. The stock currently trades at $48. Wintergreen had a ~30% exposure to cigarettes in the US long portfolio with large positions in Altria, Philip Morris, and Reynolds American as of last quarter and it has now been reduced to a still significant ~20% allocation. In the global mutual fund (WGRNX), the exposure is ~13% and includes a large 5.58% stake in British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT:BTI).
NV Energy (NYSE:NVE): NVE was a very small 0.53% of the US long portfolio stake established in Q2 2013 at prices between $19.28 and $24. The stock was eliminated this quarter as the merger transaction ($23.75 per share cash) between NV Energy and MidAmerican Energy closed on 12/27/2013.New Stakes:
Berkshire Hathaway : BRK.B is Wintergreen's largest US long portfolio position at 16.02%. The stake saw minor buying last year but had since been kept steady. Last two quarters saw a minor stake reduction at prices between $111 and $119. The stock currently trades at around $115. Except for a few minor stake reductions, the position has consistently been bought since 2006. Wintergreen is very bullish on BRK.B.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO): MO was a huge 11.4% stake that was purchased in Q1 2012 at prices between $28 and $31. It has since been trimmed to an 8.36% position currently. Most of the trimming happened in Q1 2013 when the position was reduced by 26% at prices between $31.44 and $35.32. Last two quarters saw a marginal stake reduction at prices between $33.46 and $38.57. The stock currently trades at $35.57.
Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA): MA is a 11.25% of the US long portfolio position that had been kept remarkably steady ever since the stake initiation in 2011. This quarter saw minor selling at prices between $65.39 and $83.55. The stock currently trades at $77.39. The large position size indicates a bullish bias. MA has more than doubled since the initial stake establishment and so Wintergreen is sitting on large long-term capital gains on this position.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC): NSC was a 1.51% of the US long portfolio position purchased in 2011 which had been kept relatively steady. This quarter saw an about-turn as the position was almost eliminated at prices between $76.27 and $92.87. The stock currently trades at $92.84.Stake Increases:
Canadian Natural Resource Ltd. (NYSE:CNQ): CNQ is a very long-term position that has been in the portfolio since 2006. The stake has been built up over several years from 5.8% to 11.60% of the US long portfolio. This quarter saw a marginal stake increase. The share count has increased around 10-times as a result of the stake build-up and the 2-for-1 stock-split in 2010. But, as a percentage of the US long portfolio, the position has increased only by around 60% as the portfolio value has increased from ~$266M to ~$905M in the 2006-2013 timeframe. The stock price has not budged much and Wintergreen is continuing to stay very bullish on the position. For investors attempting to follow Wintergreen, CNQ is a very good option to consider.
Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO): KO is a very long-term position that has been built-up to an 11.32% stake. The position saw aggressive buying in Q4 2012 when 670,000 shares were purchased at prices between $35.97 and $38.58 to increase the stake by over 50%. Last quarter saw a marginal stake increase at prices between $37.88 and $41 and this quarter saw another ~18% stake increase at prices between $37 and $41.31. The stock currently trades at around $38.93. Wintergreen is very bullish on KO.
Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI): RAI is a 11.80% of the US long portfolio stake that was increased by ~4% in Q2 2013 at prices between $44.20 and $50. This quarter saw a minor stake increase. The stock currently trades at $48.21. RAI is a very long-term position that has been in the portfolio since their first 13F filing (Q4 2006). By EOY 2007, the position was aggressively built up to a 12.6% of the US long portfolio stake. During the market turmoil, the position was substantially reduced and by EOY 2009 the stake was at ~7% of the US long portfolio. Since then, the position was rebuilt through consistent buying almost every quarter. The stake build-up over several years represents a clear bullish bias.
Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP): UNP is a small 1.86% of the US long portfolio stake established in Q2 2013 at prices between $135 and $160. This quarter saw a ~4% stake increase at prices between $150 and $168. The stock currently trades at around $180.
The remaining three positions were left untouched during the quarter:
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN): BEN is Wintergreen's second largest US long portfolio position at 14.85%. The stake was first purchased in 2008 and has seen consistent buying since then. Q1 2013 saw a 5% stake increase at prices between $41.90 and $50.24 and the position has been kept steady since. The stock currently trades at $52.81. Wintergreen is bullish on BEN.
Consolidated-Tomoka Land Company (NYSEMKT:CTO): CTO is a very long-term stake. It was the largest US long portfolio position at over 24% in 2006. The position was increased by over 60% in 2007 as well. Since then, the stake has been kept relatively steady. Wintergreen owns over 1.5M shares which translates to an ownership of 26.3% of the business. As a percentage of the US long portfolio, the position stands at 6.19%. The stock currently trades at $34.69, much higher than Wintergreen's average purchase price. For investors attempting to follow Wintergreen, CTO is a decent option to consider.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG is a 4.63% of the US long portfolio position purchased in 2011. It has since been kept relatively steady.
The spreadsheet below highlights changes to Wintergreen's US stock holdings in Q4 2013: