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Markel is one of the biggest companies in the property & casualty insurance industry, with $1.98 Billion in gross written premiums and $105 Million yearly in net income. Markel is investing its float in the stock market just like Warren Buffett’s Berkshire. Thomas Gayner has been the head of Markel Gayner Asset Management (Markel’s investment division) since 1990. Markel's equity portfolio returned 11.1% annually between 2000 and 2009.

On March 22, 2011 Markel Corporation announced that Ellicott Dredge Enterprises (a Markel Ventures company), has acquired the European and U.S. operations of Rohr Bagger GmbH. ROHR Bagger GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of automated floating clamshell and bucket ladder dredge systems with more than 500 dredging installations worldwide.

According to 13F filings, Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. has had at least 83 securities with a total value of $1.8 billion as of December 31st 2010. During the last quarter of 2010, it bought 23 new stocks and sold out only three positions, Comcast (CMCSA), Enterprise GP Holdings (EPE), Nestle ADR (NSRGY.PK). Here are the performances of Markel's new stock picks:

New Holdings

Stock

Value in Millions (USD)
As of Dec 31,2010

Return
Since Dec 31,2010

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)

53.22

-1.79%

Union First Market Bankshares (UBSH)

51.80

-22.67%

United Parcel Service (UPS)

51.20

0.04%

RLI Corporation (RLI)

32.47

7.36%

W.P. Carey (WPC)

30.19

19.69%

White Mountains (WTM)

27.36

8.45%

Sysco Corp (SYY)

23.63

-4.26%

Level 3 Communications (LVLT)

16.73

44.90%

Washington Real Estate Investm (WRE)

12.63

-2.55%

T.Rowe Price (TROW)

12.62

0.42%

Enterprise Products Lmtd Ptnsh (EPD)

10.39

4.02%

Walgreen (WAG)

8.67

2.96%

Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA)

6.34

-3.01%

Schlumberger (SLB)

5.87

5.80%

Procter & Gamble (PG)

4.08

-4.26%

Washington Post Co (WPO)

2.37

0.50%

Pool Corp (POOL)

2.14

6.96%

AbitibiBowater, Inc (ABH)

2.02

13.90%

State Street Corp (STT)

1.87

-4.88%

Kimberly Clark Corp (KMB)

0.77

4.60%

Clorox Company (CLX)

0.76

11.03%

Western Union (WU)

0.74

17.34%

Visa (V)

0.29

3.45%

Value Weighted Performance

358.2

1.53%

SPY

N/A

4.54%

Markel's new stock picks have gained 1.53% since the end of 2010, vs. 4.54% gain for the SPY. Wal-Mart was Markel's biggest new investment at the end of December 2010. Wal-Mart has lost 1.79% since then, underperforming the SPY’s 4.54% return. Markel has $53.2 million invested in WMT legendary billionaires George Soros and Warren Buffett are other investors of Wal-Mart.

LVLT has had one of the best performances in its portfolio since the end of December. Markel had $16.7 million in LVLT shares at the end of December. LVLT has gained 44.9% in the last three months, beating the SPY by a large margin. The worst performing stock among the new purchases of Markel was UBSH, losing 22.7% since the end of December.

We believe investors can beat the market by imitating Tom Gayner's new stock picks. He is a well known value investors with an excellent track record. Based on his 10 year track record, we can say that the new stocks Tom Gayner has bought promise higher returns than the market. Investors can benefit by imitating Gayner's new stock picks.


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Markel: Investors Can Benefit by Imitating Gayner's New Stock Picks