Fisher Asset Management was founded in 1979 by Ken Fisher, the author of seven money management books, three of which are New York Times bestsellers. Fisher has been writing the Portfolio Strategy column for Forbes for more than 26 years. His stock picks beat the S&P 500 overall on average, underperforming the S&P 500 in just three years within the last 14 years. His investments outperformed the index by 24 percentage points in 2009 and 5 percentage points in 2010. We believe that by imitating the best stock picks of Fisher, investors are more likely to beat the market in the long term.
Fisher disclosed owning $547 million worth of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) in its latest 13F. Fisher increased his position in AMZN by 6% over the third quarter. Amazon reported a 73% drop in its quarterly profit. Its third-quarter net income was $63 million, or 14 cents a share, versus $231 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. But its revenue was $10.88 billion, up 44 percent from the third quarter of 2010. The drop in the profit is mainly due to its heavy spending on new tablet computer and other long-term projects. AMZN returned 0.54% since the end of September. Andreas Halvorsen also invested more than $400 million in AMZN as of June 30, 2011.
Fisher also increased his position in International Business Machines (IBM) and Google Inc (GOOG) over the third quarter both by around 3%. As of September 30, Fisher had $383 million invested in IBM and $363 million invested in GOOG. IBM returned 7.58% and GOOG gained 18.12% since the end of September. IBM reported sales of $26.2 billion for the third quarter of 2011, up 7.8% from the same quarter last year, but still a bit lower than the $26.3 billion predicted by analysts. Third quarter earnings were $3.28 per share, beating the $3.22 per share expectation. Google reported revenues of $9.3 billion for the third quarter of 2011, compared with $7.3 billion for the same period a year ago. Third quarter net income was $2.73 billion, compared with $2.17 billion in the third quarter of 2010. Stephen Mandel initiated a brand new $400+ million of Google stocks during the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Fisher initiated a brand new $43 million position in Gaylord Entertainment Company (GET), a hospitality company operating hotels, and resorts and convention centers. For the three months ending September 30, 2011, Gaylord reported revenues of $225 million, compared with $158 million for the same period a year ago. GET returned 16.96% since the end of September and has a market cap of $1.07B. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group also invested $5.6 million in GET at the end of June.
Ken Fisher’s favorite U.S. stocks are Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Oracle (ORCL), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Schlumberger (SLB), and General Electric (GE). Fisher also likes to invest in large cap blue chip European stocks such as Siemens (SI) and Sanofi (SNY).
Fisher sold out Regis Corp (RGS), Synaptics Inc (SYNA), and Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID) over the third quarter. Fisher had $33.5 million, $21.1 million and $19.9 million respectively invested in these three stocks, and they had an average return of 26.81% since the end of September, beating the SPY by about 15 percentage points.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.