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Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, via "13F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today, let's look at Maverick Capital, founded by Lee Ainslie and Sam Wyly in 1993. Avoiding bonds, commodities, currencies, and options, it sticks with stocks, holding both long and short positions. It employs fundamental analysis and examines management closely.
The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $7.7 billion in value as of March 31, 2013.
So what does Maverick Capital's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
The biggest new holdings are HCA Holdings and Capital One Financial. Other new holdings of interest include mortgage insurers MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG ) and Radian Group (NYSE: RDN ) , which have done well over the past year, with MGIC's stock more than doubling and Radian's more than quadrupling. They stand to benefit from the recovery of the housing market, but they're not without risk, in part due to debt. MGIC has been cleaning up its balance sheet, but has also posted some disappointing results. Radian, too, reported widening losses in its last quarter.
Among holdings in which Maverick Capital increased its stake were Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS ) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP ) , while Maverick reduced its position in companies such as Cognizant Technology Solutions. Skyworks is a semiconductor company supplying, among other things, radio chips for iDevices. It sports a strong balance sheet and robust profit margins, but weakness from major players such as Apple and Samsung can hurt it. Skyworks recently posted strong earnings, topping estimates, and looks attractively priced to some, but others still worry about insufficient competitive advantages.
NetApp is a smaller rival of data storage giant EMC, and recently advanced in value on hopes that an activist investor might help the company's prospects. NetApp has initiated a dividend, announced layoffs, and plans to buy back many shares – though such share reduction is often offset by stock issuances for employees. The company recently posted disappointing revenue numbers, but it still looks attractive to some. There's also speculation that NetApp might end up acquired by bigger fish, such as Oracle, another key player in data.
Finally, Maverick Capital's biggest closed positions included Avago Technologies and United Technologies. Other closed positions of interest include Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT ) , a commercially focused online auctioneer and a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, was recently included on Forbes' list of America's Fastest Growing Tech Companies. It benefits from a relatively capital-light business model and solid profit margins, and specializes in surplus, wholesale, and salvage assets. Its stock has fallen more than 40% over the past year, though, in part due to worries about slowing growth and competition. Some view the stock as still overvalued, and it has significant short interest.
We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing. 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.