Legg Mason's Bill Miller May Be Big Winner In Amazon's Pop

by: Bill Miller

Barron’s Online editor Randy Forsyth offers the following edifying observation about the surge in Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares this week following stronger-than-expected financial results on Tuesday:
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Probably nobody was smiling more broadly after the big pop in Amazon.com than Bill Miller, the beleaguered manager of the Legg Mason Value Trust [LMVTX], observes Rob Sellar, the affable Kiwi who oversees North American equities for Aberdeen Asset Management.

Amazon is Miller’s sixth-biggest holding, accounting for 4.65% of the fund’s $20 billion in assets, according to Morningstar, and Wednesday’s 25% pop in the stock surely was a big part of Legg Mason Value’s 1.7% gain that day. Even in Thursday’s horrific market with the Nasdaq Composite off 1.76% shortly after noon in the East, AMZN is holding onto a 0.75% gain.

And the e-tailer’s 118% gain this year has helped the fund offset drags from big losers such as Countrywide Financial (CFC), Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) and IAC/Interactive (IACI). But the fund’s year-to-date return of 4.19% still trails the S&P 500 by 3.91 percentage points by Morningstar’s calculation.

Amazon shares were up 18.35% in the last 5 days at $86.78.