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Tracking Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb's Portfolio - Q1 2020 Update

John Vincent profile picture
John Vincent


  • Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb’s 13F portfolio value decreased from $8.09B to $6.24B this quarter. The number of positions decreased from 40 to 38.
  • They increased Charles Schwab and UnitedHealth, while decreasing Jacobs Engineering and Berkshire Hathaway.
  • The top three positions are Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway, and CarMax, and they add up to ~35% of the portfolio.

This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb’s 13F portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on their regulatory 13F Form filed on 05/15/2020. Please visit our Tracking Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb’s Portfolio article for an idea on their investment philosophy and our previous update for the moves during Q4 2019.

This quarter Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb’s 13F portfolio value decreased ~23%, from $8.09B to $6.24B. The number of holdings decreased from 40 to 38. 18 of those stakes are significantly large (more than ~0.5% of the portfolio each), and they are the focus of this article. The top three positions are at ~35%, while the top five are at ~47% of the 13F assets: Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), CarMax (KMX), Arista Networks (ANET), and Charles Schwab (SCHW).

The firm is best known as the investment advisor of the Sequoia Fund (MUTF:SEQUX), which has a venerable ~50-year track record (July 15, 1970 inception, 12.94% annualized return compared to 10.50% for the S&P 500 index). After new management took over in Q1 2016, the portfolio has seen a significant shift to information and services businesses from asset-intensive manufacturing and retail. Also, the cash allocation, which had averaged ~20% since inception, is now just ~3%. The following significant stakes in Sequoia’s portfolio are not in the 13F report, as they are not 13F securities: Constellation Software (OTCPK:CNSWF), Rolls-Royce Holdings plc (OTCPK:RYCEY), Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY), Hiscox Limited (OTC:HCXLF), a2Milk, Eurofin Scientific (OTCPK:ERFSF), Prosus NV (OTCPK:PROSY), and Melrose Industries plc (OTCPK:MLSPF). Bill Ruane was a Benjamin Graham pupil. To learn about Benjamin Graham's teachings, check out the classics The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis.

Stake Disposals


New Stakes


Stake Increases

CarMax Inc.: KMX is a top-three ~8% of

This article was written by

John Vincent profile picture
Focused on analyzing 13F reports & building tools to help DIY investors generate absolute returns through exploiting inefficiency, volatility, and momentum.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long AMZN, BRK.B, GOOGL, RYCEY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (3)

Analyst990 profile picture
Thanks John! What’s your view on RYCEY? See you’re long & Ruane, Goldfarb have been bullish for a while - not sure if they sold out? Covid has prob changed the long thesis in terms of risk/reward there.
John Vincent profile picture
Hi Analyst990,

Thank you for your comment/question. I am holding at a much higher cost-basis having originally followed ValueAct whose activist stake was from 2015. They had board representation thru Bradley Singer but he left last December. They also sold at-least half the position this quarter. These give me pause but I am holding as it seems very likely that they will have very good cash-flow in the coming years. It is a razor-razorblade model but much more capital intensive. One can argue the capital intensive nature creates a good natural moat. Having made a lot of that investment in the past few years, they should see the other side come thru.

All the best,
Analyst990 profile picture
Thanks John. All the best
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