John Vincent

Long only, value, special situations, fund holdings
John Vincent
Long only, value, special situations, fund holdings
Contributor since: 2007
Hi All,
If someone reports a comment using the "Report Abuse" link, SA looks at it and makes a decision on whether it stays in the comment stream. I believe this is the way SA's comment moderation works. So, if your comment disappeared, then it means someone reported it and SA agreed with that assessment and so took it out. If you feel strongly about the value of your original comment, you may be able to take it up with SA editors.
On interest on Fisher Asset Management's activity, the perceived lack of interest is mostly due to misconceptions. They have a slight image problem as their aggressive marketing activity is fairly well known. But, they have been around and very successful for a long time. I can tell you that readership on "Tracking Ken Fisher's..." article series is in the top one-third of my "Tracking..." series articles - there is surely plenty of interest...
All the best,
John.
Hi All,
I should probably add the following as a note to future updates on Fisher:
Fisher manages ~24,000 private client accounts & over 100 institutional accounts. Each such portfolio is personalized to client requirements and beating the S&P is not the focus for many of them. "13F Portfolio performance" which would be the performance of the sum total of all such monies in 13F securities is an unknown.
We do know that Ken Fisher is very talented and can consistently generate alpha - his Forbes picks are his most visible performance cues and those have outperformed the S&P 500 in the vast majority of years.
All the best,
John.
Hi Richard,
Nice article. A minor correction - based on your fair value of $297.14, the upside from the current price of ~$138 is ~114% not ~214%.
All the best,
John.
Hi fp41724,
Thank you for your comment.
The figures are rounded. BRK.B traded at $144.51 on July 20th and that was rounded to $145.
All the best,
John.
Hi SpoliedRottenBrat,
The 13F portfolio is only the US long equity portion of the overall portfolio. From the 13F report, we know the total value of such holdings decreased ~20%. But, they may have had a corresponding increase in areas not in the realm of the 13F report - cash, short-positions, bonds, non-US listed securities, etc - such positions are not generally disclosed as there is no regulatory requirement to do so.
All the best,
John.
Hi 2Fatcats,
Thank you for pointing this out. I have put in a correction request.
All the best,
John.
Hi SpoiledRottenBrat,
Thank you for your comment.
Soros and Robbins did not lose billions. It is just that the asset allocations shift quarter over quarter and so 13F portfolio value shifts as well.
All the best,
John.
Hi MFITZ,
Thank you for your comment.
One defining attribute of BB is gut-wrenching concentration. While at Lehman in 1994, he had just two holdings: Berkshire Hathaway & Fireman's Fund Insurance. His bosses did not like that and that was partly the reason why he went out on his own.
All the best,
John.
Hi Bruce,
Thank you for your comment.
The spreadsheet is mine. It is done by comparing the current 13F with the previous one.
All the best,
John.
Hi Ross Tafarian,
HLF is a short stake. There is no regulatory requirement to disclose them and so it is not in the 13F report.
All the best,
John.
Hi tincup67,
Yes, the estimates were out on the 20th. See http://goo.gl/A0IUlq . Ordinary income: $0.55 - $0.60. LTCG: $11.00 - $11.75. Payable December 11.
All the best,
John.
Hi Mark_A,
Thank you for your comment.
I can see how your suggestion would be very useful if the main stocks in the portfolio have moved significantly after the quarter ended. I will look into this and see what can be done for the next round.
All the best,
John.
Hi rijensen,
Greenlight's long-term record is exceptional: Since inception in May 1996 thru EOY 2014, it returned 2,416% cumulatively or 18.9% annualized, both net of fees and expenses. As their focus is on absolute returns, they can lag S&P performance on market bull runs. Down years are very rare and 2015 is turning out to be one such occurrence.
All the best,
John.
Hi RoHughes59,
Thank you for your comment.
The total return swap was for CNX, not CNXC and I read the Form wrong - the exposure was increased, not reduced - I have submitted a correction. Please see http://1.usa.gov/1MYzMCY . There are 3 other Form 4's filed between 11/3 and 11/12. The number of shares involved is ~10.7M (so far) which implies that the net exposure is increased by roughly one-third.
All the best,
John.
Hi jssmcnet,
The 13F portfolio lists their equity investments. It has no direct relation to BRK.B stock price.
There is some correlation of BRK.B stock price to the book value which is at $101.23 as of 9/30/2015. It has not moved much since March 2014 when it was at $97.36.
Berkshire buybacks have an upper-end threshold of 120% of BV which means Buffett thinks that the stock is really undervalued below ~$121.50. Also note that tangible book value (TBV) ~70% of BV.
All the best,
John.
Hi moseharper,
Thank you for your comment.
BAC warrant details: 700M shares that can be acquired for $5B (cost-basis would be $7.14) before expiry in 2021.
All the best,
John.
Hi TimNeuman,
Your interpretation is correct - Appaloosa's exposure to 13F equities was reduced by ~29% this quarter. It is has no relation to the fund's performance. Per Forbes (http://onforb.es/1HTi8EQ), Appaloosa's main fund was up 10.5% YTD through August 2015.
There is no regulatory requirement to disclose their other (cash, bonds, etc.) holdings. So, unless they volunteer the information, that data is not public.
All the best,
John.
Hi HumbleB,
Not sure why. There was a slight difference as of Q4 2013 - 6.43M shares per Form 4 and 6.33M shares per 13F. From that point on, there have been several purchases per Form 4's but none per 13F.
All the best,
John.
Hi oriocookie,
The spreadsheet is made from Q3 & Q2 2015 13F reports (see link at the beginning of the article). The trading info and other details on each holding is derived by historical comparison of 13F reports and information from other regulatory filings.
All the best,
John.
Hi All,
The maneuvers to make that $2.5B in profits and similar activity by other hedge funds are what makes at-least some of the superinvestors seem invincible: their legal fire power allows them to take advantage of the legal loopholes in the system and make huge profits. Small investors wouldn't consider such options as they are obviously illegal.
Reminds me of a Buffett quote about how perilous shorting is for hedge funds: “Basically, for a hedge fund, the stock concerned is just one position, but for the company and the management, it is the whole ballgame. So, they will say and do things hedge funds wouldn’t consider doing in order to win” - that might be so, but many hedge funds play to win illegally, as long as they can get away with it.
All the best,
John.
Hi Scootrd,
Thank you for this great comment - I have made it the author's pick.
Most probably, PSX was a holding for which Buffet used the section 13(f) Confidential Treatment Request (http://tinyurl.com/ojl...) to not disclose the position in the Q2 2015 13F report. The stake was being built in Q2 2015 and by late August crossed the 10% threshold, thereby triggering the regulatory requirement to file Form 3/4.
You are absolutely correct that blindly mimicking Berkshire is a losing strategy. 13F based reporting has many pitfalls and the Confidentiality Treatment Request is one that Berkshire uses periodically. Recent examples - IBM, Exxon, and Deere.
All the best,
John.
Hi vigma,
Thank you for your question.
The issue you touch on is a rather important point with the 13F reports. Basically, the regulation says to report long stakes on 13F securities but does not indicate whether/how to report nominal long positions established using options. In Southeastern's case, the Longleaf fund reports indicate around half their CHK position is synthetic - wrote puts (also has a knock-in feature) and bought calls at the same strike. The 13F report on CHK does not designate how the long is structured at all and so it is unclear.
Also, note that what Longleaf funds hold is a subset of what Southeastern reports in the 13F as that report also includes positions held in separately managed accounts.
All the best,
John.
Hi Sunshine123,
The best work I have read on recent market action is http://seekingalpha.co... . There are a couple of links in that article to other works from the same author which are golden as well.
All the best,
John.
Hi user158,
Thank you for your feedback. I will be sure to incorporate that info, if available.
All the best,
John.
Hi jraskib,
Thank you for your comment.
Regarding IEP, there are a couple of things that should be considered:
a) IEP is more volatile compared to the overall market,
b) IEP Price/BV has come down in the last few months but is still above the range it traded at before 2013: http://bit.ly/1SvzY2W .
All the best,
John.
Hi Anonymous Valueinvestor,
Thank you for your question.
The 13D regulatory filing (http://1.usa.gov/1Jp7MLy) has the following line: "The Funds expended an aggregate of approximately $2,122,774,805 of their own investment capital to acquire the 52,500,000 shares of Common Stock held by them. "
All the best,
John.
Hi giofls,
Thank you for your question. We had this conversation in the comments section on my previous update (see the comments stream at http://seekingalpha.co...) and came to the conclusion that there is double counting, when looking at the 13F holdings as a portfolio.
As a clarification, the following note is included near the beginning of this article:
Note: Icahn's 13F filing is a consolidated report and so should not be viewed as a single portfolio. Specifically, Icahn Enterprises holds several of the businesses and the entities in turn hold Icahn Enterprises. For an idea on the business structure, check-out Icahn Enterprises Investor Presentation (Slide 9 in http://bit.ly/1WHcGsN) and the "Included Managers" list in the 13F Header (http://1.usa.gov/1WHcGsP).
All the best,
John.
Hi Mike Serebrennik,
Thank you for your comment.
He has PYPL but it is not in the report as the spinoff happened after the quarter ended.
All the best,
John.
Hi Balance sheet guru,
Thank you for your comment.
My numbers are from Einhorn's Q2 2015 letter and so should be accurate as of 6/30/2015. The link you provided includes the numbers for July and so is different.
All the best,
John.
There is confusion surrounding cost-basis vs business ownership stake:
a) Stock splits affect cost-basis while ordinary dividends and buybacks do not.
b) Buybacks affect ownership stake while dividends and stock splits do not.
Hope this helps.
All the best,
John.
Hi Sunshine123,
Thank you for your interest.
The Q2 2015 update on Peltz and Icahn will be out in the coming days.
All the best,
John.
Hi StreetWyze,
Thank you for your comment.
The $17 number is from Watsa's letter to shareholders for 2012: "We own approximately 10% of the company at an average cost of $17 per share and we are excited about its prospects under Thorsten’s leadership and Mike’s technical genius." The cost basis on the common has not changed much as his share count came down from ~51M shares (EOY 2012) to ~47M shares now.
The cost-basis would come down to approximately $14 after conversion of the Q4 2013 convertible debentures (around 100M share implied dilution of which half is to Fairfax at a cost of $10).
All the best,
John.