Billionaire Ken Fisher's New Stock Picks

by: Insider Monkey

Fisher Asset Management, managed by the famous billionaire investor Ken Fisher, disclosed its Q4 2011 portfolio holdings on January 26, 2012. The value of the firm's 13F portfolio increased from $30.56 billion at the end of September to $33.50 billion at the end of December, which is a nearly 10% expansion.

According to the filing, Fisher Asset Management made several significant adjustments to its portfolio. We compiled a list of top positions that the firm initiated during the fourth quarter 2011. We only focus on Nasdaq or NYSE-traded stocks and we exclude ETFs and stocks that are trading in other markets. Over the last 14 years, Ken Fisher's stock picks have beaten the S&P 500 overall on average, underperforming the S&P 500 in just three years. His investments outperformed the index by 24 percentage points in 2009 and 5 percentage points in 2010. We believe that by imitating the new stock picks of Fisher Asset Management, investors are more likely to beat the market in the long term.



Value (x$1000)

No. of shares

Stillwater Mining Co.




McDermott Intl Inc.




Belden Inc.




Saks Inc.




Tempur-Pedic International




Pegasystems Inc.




Click to enlarge

1. Stillwater Mining Co. is a palladium, platinum and associated metals miner. The company has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is now trading at $13 per share. The stock dropped to its 2-year low, about $8, in early October, and lost 51% in 2011. Ken Fisher bought 3.8 million shares during the fourth quarter, probably at from $10 to $12 per share. This gave him a nearly $40 million SWC position at the end of December. Kerr Neilson, Thomas E. Claugusm and Jim Simons had large positions in SWC prior to Q4.

2. McDermott Intl Inc. is a global offshore oil and gas projects company. It has a market cap of nearly $3 billion and is currently trading at above $12. MDR plunged in early August, and has been wavering between $10 and $14 after the third quarter, losing 44% for the whole year. Ken Fisher initiated a position of 2.3 million shares or $26.52 million in MDR during Q4, while Q3 filings also show that Cliff Asness and Steven Cohen had already invested in MDR before Fisher picked the stock.

3. Belden Inc. is a worldwide cable and networking products provider. The company has a market cap of $1.8 billion, approaching $40 per share right now. BDC reached its 52-week low in early October, about $24. Then, it rallied quickly and has regained its previous loss. Ken Fisher invested $7.12 million in 214,000 shares of BDC before January, and has made a profit of at least 20%. Matthew Lindenbaum, Cliff Asness and Chuck Royce are among the fund managers with large BDC positions at the end of September.

4. Saks Inc. is a luxury fashion products retailer in the United States. It has a market cap of $1.6 billion, and is now approaching $10 per share. SKS lost 9% in 2011, after having a mixed path in the fourth quarter. Ken Fisher had 672,000 shares in SKS as of the end of December, giving him a position of $6.55 million. Prior to Q4, Mason Hawkins' Southeastern Asset Management was SKS's largest stakeholder among the 350 hedge funds we are tracking.

5. Tempur-Pedic International is a mattresses and pillows manufacturer. The company has a market cap of $4.2 billion, and is now trading at about $66. TPX beat the S&P 500 to the ground over the past year, returning more than 30%. Ken Fisher might have paid about $53 per share for his $4.1 million TPX position in December, and it's possible that he has already gained 30%.

6. Pegasystems Inc. is a software and automating application company. It has a market cap of $1 billion and is currently hovering at around $28.50 a share. PEGA crashed in November after it released a poor FY2011 guidance, so it's possible that Ken Fisher entered at that time. As of the end of December, he had a $3.9 million position in PEGA. PEGA lost 20% in 2011.

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