3 Stocks Billionaire Ken Fisher Recently Dumped

Super-investor Ken Fisher manages a multibillion-dollar fund that has beaten the pants off the stock market for nearly two decades. Every quarter, money managers like Fisher give us a peek into their stock maneuvers via their required SEC 13F filings. Many investors use this information to gain insight into what stocks the money pros are buying and selling.

Let's take a closer look at three investments Fisher completely sold out of this past quarter.

Kicked to the curb
Brinker International
(NYSE: EAT  ) owns, operates, and franchises Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant brands. Results for the fiscal third quarter ended March 27 included a 20% systemwide increase in earnings per share. Comparable restaurant sales for Chili's restaurants decreased 1.1%, while Maggiano's comp sales increased 0.4% and represented the chain's 13th consecutive quarterly increase. Currently trading near its 52-week high, Brinker has returned roughly 25% to shareholders year to date and 178% during the past three years. It's likely that Fisher sold his position because of unsustainable momentum in what Brinker CEO Wyman Roberts describes as "a tough industry sales environment" and a general feeling that the stock is fully valued. 

Fisher also detached his position in industrial goods manufacturer Snap-on (NYSE: SNA  ) . Earlier this week, the company unveiled that it achieved year-over-year sales and operating income increases for the quarter. The Wisconsin-based company announced in May that it'd acquire auto repair vehicle lift maker Challenger Lifts. Snap-on financed the $38 million deal entirely with cash, considered a good move since taking on any more debt would worsen its debt-to-equity ratio, which already stands at roughly twice the industry average. Trading near its all-time high, Snap-on is up nearly 52% during the past two years and 16% year to date. Fisher probably thought it was a good time to get out when he offloaded his shares last quarter.

Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN  ) operates roughly 248 stores in 33 states and carries brands targeting wealthy customers, resulting in high margins. Shares of the Seattle-based company fell after first-quarter results were announced in mid-May, as the high-end retailer missed its earnings estimate, mostly because of costs associated with Rack, its growing off-price division. Same-store sales, a key retail metric that excludes recently opened outlets to reflect more accurate overall sales traffic, increased 2.7% for the quarter, fueled by demand for women's apparel. Yet Fisher still thought stock came up short and trimmed his entire position.

Foolish takeaway
I don't own any of the stocks that Fisher sold. But while I agree with his decision to sell Brinker and Snap-on, I'm not so sure about Nordstrom. As a patient, long-term investor, I think the company has fared well in its comeback since the 2008-2009 recession and still holds potential in the specialty retail market.

Now we know three stocks one money guru recently dumped. How about a stock pick from one of our in-house money pros? The Motley Fool's chief investment officer recently unveiled his top stock pick for 2013. Check out his No. 1 pick for this year in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 2:24 PM, Lisun12 wrote:

    Have you ever had your own money with him? We have been with him for over 10 years and his performance was a joke. He just live off other people's hard earned money.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 5:07 PM, orthodr wrote:

    After begging my "adviser" at Fisher Investments to get me out of the market throughout 2007 and in to 2008, he continued to confuse us with crazy statistics and high pressure to remain fully invested. At the time Mr. Fisher predicted the housing crisis would only involve 2%of homes and the market would quickly absorb it. This cost me $1,000,000 and his fee was only$90,000 throughout the time of my misfortunate dealings with this firm. The email that Mr. Fisher sent after I complained was very defiant starting that if I sued him " he would prevail".

    Save yourself the expense and AVOID Fisher Investments!

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2013, at 1:50 AM, WDC1 wrote:

    Thanks for the honest feedback about FI. They chased me for years. Finally had one of their people at my home trying to "close". The guy instilled no confidence and we passed.

    There needs to be a site or page on a site where the average investor can find out about other peoples' investing experiences with investment "professionals".

    Does one exist?

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