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AllianceBernstein LP is a U.S. based global asset management firm owned by AXA, a French insurance conglomerate. It has over $400 billion assets under management out of which ~$100 bn are deployed in equities. I discussed AllianceBernstein's Top Buys in a previous article. In addition to buys, it is also interesting to have a look at the top stocks where AllianceBernstein is booking profit and selling its holdings. The following is a list of some of the AllianceBernstein's top sells from the last quarter.



Shares Held as on 09/30/2011

Shares Held as on 12/31/2011

Change in shares

Amgen Inc.





Dell Inc.





Comcast Corporation





Wells Fargo & Company





JP Morgan Chase & Co.





Source: 13F filing.

I believe Amgen, Dell and Comcast present good shorting opportunity, while Wells Fargo and JP Morgan are good buys from the above list.

Amgen Inc., a biotechnology company, discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology in the United States, Europe and Canada. Its flagship drugs include Aranesp, Epogen and Neupogen.

Although the company reported inline last quarter results, I expect its fundamentals to deteriorate going forward. Amgen is entering a transition phase in which its drug pipeline needs to improve for investors to be comfortable with its long-term growth prospects. With decline in Epogen and Arnesp sales due to increasing competition in the mature market, I see little upside for Amgen in the near term. Also, I don't see much likelihood of Amgen's bone drug Xgeva getting approval from FDA for prevention of bone metastases in high-risk prostate cancer. Although, Amgen's late stage pipeline is starting to mature, potential catalysts look thin in 2012. At the current price Amgen's shares reflect a too-optimistic view that revenue from eroding franchises can be replaced, and hence I will recommend a sell on the stock.

Dell Inc. has garnered a lot of investor attention off late. Its stock saw 25% gains since the beginning of 2012 till February 21st, when it announced its financial results for its F4Q2012. The earnings results were mixed. However, the real disappointment came in the form of Dell's revenue guidance for April quarter which was down 7% q-q, much below consensus estimates. Further, it was disappointing that Dell did not provide FY2013 revenue guidance given uncertain demand due to macro uncertainty and continuing revenue pruning in certain segments.

I am bearish on Dell despite of its undemanding valuations. Dell's core PC consumer business is facing a secular headwind from increasing adoption of tablets. Although Dell is trying to focus on higher margin IT Services, software and data center businesses it lacks presence and technological expertise when we compare it with other companies in the space.

Comcast Corporation is a provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services. The company operates in five segments: Cable Communications; Cable Networks; Broadcast Television; Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks. Comcast appears to be a good sell given its continued investment spending in NCBU. Although its cable business reported strong last quarter results, it is expected to slow in 2012 due to product maturation and intense competition.

Wells Fargo and Company provides retail, commercial and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. It operates in three segments; Community Banking, Wholesale Baking and Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement.

WFC reported fourth-quarter EPS of $0.73 against the market consensus of $0.72. Revenue of $20.1 billion improved 6% quarter-quarter driven by mortgage results and the spread income fee. Net Interest Income was also better than expected and the loan growth was positive. A combination of lower funding costs and an increase in non-interest bearing deposits has resulted in better interest margins.

WFC remains one of the safest large-cap banking stocks with a relatively strong balance sheet. Its business fundamentals are going in the right direction with improved core loan growth and healthy deposits growth. WFC's asset quality is stable and NPAs reduced by $879 million last quarter. Its capital ratios also continue to improve: Tier 1 common ratio at the end of Q4 was 7.49% under Basel III standards, up by 9bp quarter-quarter, while under Basel I it was 9.46%, up by 12bp quarter-quarter.

WFC has also entered into an agreement to buy back 5.6 million shares in Q1 2012. While high operating expenses are a concern, the management reiterated that expense improvement is expected to occur in 2012. I recommend going long on the stock from a medium- to long-term perspective.

JPMorgan Chase is another stable bank with strong capital position, business mix diversity and good dividend yield. Since 2004 JPM has strengthened its risk controls and business rationale. This has enabled it to post solid growth and excellent relative navigation of credit crunch. Going forward, the company continues to invest in growing its global franchise in spite of regulatory challenges. In addition to its global growth, there is a good scope for it to gain share from competitors with relatively weaker balance sheet.

Source: AllianceBernstein's Top Sells: 3 To Short, 2 To Buy