Warren Buffett is the man most aspiring fund managers want to be. The “Oracle of Omaha” has been wildly successful, even in down markets, frequently producing double digit returns for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) by using a value-based approach. His success has earned him a sort of legendary status, causing his moves to be mirrored by mainstream investors and current fund managers alike.
Ravenel Boykin Curry III is no exception. Curry’s name frequently appears in the New York society press for his philanthropy and raucous dinner parties, but he is also the Managing Director, President and Chief Investment Officer of Eagle Capital Management, LLC. Curry uses a bottom-up strategy to pick his positions, with a marked tendency toward large-cap stocks.
In spite of slightly different investment approaches, the pair have several stocks in common. The most significant of these is Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO). Buffett owns shares valued at just under $13.5 billion; his position in the company makes up over 25% of his 13F portfolio. Curry takes a slightly more modest position, devoting just over 5% of his $9.8 billion portfolio to KO. Coca-Cola also plays a significant role in William Von Mueffling’s Cantillon Capital Management fund. Von Muffling devotes over 14% of his portfolio to the soft drink company (check out Von Muffing’s top picks). Coca-Cola has returned 1.1% since the end of June, compared to 13.8% loss for the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY).
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) also figures in both Berkshire Hathaway and Eagle Capital. Buffett had a position in the discount retailer that is valued at over $2 billion. Curry had $469 million invested in the company at the end of June. Wal-Mart has lost 1.63% since the end of the second quarter but it is still outpacing the market by over 12 percentage points. Shane Finemore of Manikay Partners is also a fan.
Both Buffett and Curry carry positions in Kraft Foods, Inc. (KFT) as well. After Kraft lost 3.89% since the end of June, Buffett’s position in the company is valued at $3.5 billion while Curry owns a position worth just over $300 million. Kraft is a favorite of Nelson Peltz of Trian Partners. Last quarter, he bought a position worth $609 million in the company, which is over 20% of his portfolio (read about Peitz’s top picks).
Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) carries a position in both portfolios as well, albeit a less bullish one. Buffett owns a $34 million stake in the company while Curry has a $618,000 position. XOM has lost 10.17% since the end of June but it is still outperforming the market. Exxon is also popular with Tom Gayner of Markel Gayner Asset Management.
Buffett and Curry also are bullish about Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE:BK). Buffett owns almost $46 million and Curry owns $426,000. Unfortunately, the stock has been performing poorly as of late. Since June, it lost over 27%. Mark Whitman of Third Avenue Management was also hit by BK’s downturn; it his fourth largest position.
The pair also lost on their ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) positions after it returned -15.04% since the end of the second quarter. Buffett was hit worst of the two; he holds a position in the company worth more than $2 billion. Curry’s position is worth just $421,000. Jean-Marie Eveillard of First Eagle Investment Management was also hit hard; he has a $438 million stake in the company but at least he decreased his position by 10% during the second quarter.
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) also produced a large loss for Buffett and Curry. It has lost over 18.5% since the end of the second quarter. Buffett owns $147 million while Curry has $351K in the company. The loss is significant but the market seems bullish on GE. For instance, fund manager Ken Fisher of Fisher Asset Management increased his position in the company by 83% during the second quarter while Malcolm Fairbairn of Ascend Capital upped his by 307% (check out what hedge funds are buying GE).
The last company Buffett and Curry have in common is Sanofi Aventis (NYSE:SNY). Buffett owns $163 million compared to Curry’s $281K. Sanofi Aventis also lost big, losing over 18% since the end of June, but, like GE, it is also a popular position with fund managers.
Disclosure: I am long SPY, COP.