Tweedy Browne: Long Ideas for Foreign Exposure and Dividends

by: Tweedy, Browne

William Browne, Tweedy BrowneExcerpt from value managers Christopher H. Browne (pictured left) and William H. Browne's 1st Quarter 2007 Commentary regarding the Tweedy, Browne Funds:

In terms of portfolio activity during the quarter, we added one new stock, SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM), the large South Korean wireless communications company, which at purchase was trading at roughly 9X estimated earnings, and had a dividend yield of roughly 4%. Our shares of Commonwealth Telephone, another Fund holding, were acquired by Citizens Communications (CZN) via a buyout during the quarter, and we received a combination of cash and shares in Citizens Communications. Citizens is a U.S.-based telecommunications company that currently trades at approximately 20x earnings, but has a dividend yield of nearly 6.5%. In terms of sales during the quarter, we sold our remaining shares in Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and pared back a number of positions including Transatlantic Holdings (NYSE:TRH), MBIA (NYSE:MBI), Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) and Great American Financial Resources (GFR).

We now have nearly 27% of our Fund invested in non-U.S. equities and ADRs. Europe’s 24 stock markets and Japan, taken together, now have an estimated market capitalization of over $20 trillion, which is 28% greater than the U.S. equity market’s capitalization of $15.6 trillion. While the Tweedy, Browne Value Fund will remain predominantly invested in U.S. companies going forward, the recent change in the Fund’s mandate to allow greater investment outside the U.S. will significantly increase its available opportunity set of stocks. At quarter end, the Fund was invested in 41 issues, including 6 ADRs and 2 direct foreign holdings. The international component, including ADRs, accounted for nearly 27% of net asset value.