Ken Fisher manages a multibillion-dollar fund that has beaten the pants off the stock market for roughly two decades. Every quarter, money managers like Fisher must disclose their stock maneuvers via SEC 13F filings. Many investors use this information to gain insight into which stocks the money pros are buying and selling. Here are three stocks Fisher completely unloaded during the third quarter.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Genesco (NYSE: GCO ) sells footwear, apparel, and accessories in nearly 2,500 stores throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K, and Ireland under retail names Journeys, Lids, Schuh, and Johnston & Murphy. The $1.7 billion-market-cap company rang up more than $2.5 billion in sales during fiscal 2013. Despite Genesco's stellar growth rate over the past several years, its enticing forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11, and its minimal 8.8% debt-to-equity ratio, Fisher completely liquidated his position in the retailer. Trading near its all-time high, Genesco shares are up almost 200% over the past five years and nearly 24% year to date. Fisher likely thought it was a good time to get out and off-loaded his shares last quarter.
While cleaning out his closet, Fisher also purged his shares of Saks (UNKNOWN: SKS.DL2 ) . The upscale retailer operates 41 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 70 Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth locations in the U.S., and it also sells its products online. The high-end merchant booked a nearly $20 million loss for the second quarter, compared to a $12 million loss in the same quarter last year. Yet same-store sales, a key retail metric that excludes recently opened outlets in order to more accurately reflect overall sales traffic, increased 1.5% for the second quarter, fueled by demand for women's apparel, accessories, and fragrances. Earlier this year, it was announced that Hudson's Bay Company would acquire Saks for roughly $3 billion. The deal is expected to close before year-end.
Stillwater Mining (NYSE: SWC ) extracts, processes, and sells metals, primarily platinum and palladium. Even though platinum and palladium prices have pulled back, these metals are benefiting from strong automotive demand in both North America and China. Both metals are essential to the auto sector, which has recovered significantly since the recent recession. In fact, more than half of the global supply of platinum and palladium is used in manufacturing our cars' catalytic converters. Despite the upward momentum, shares in Stillwater Mining aren't far from their 52-week low. These facts weren't enough to save Fisher's position in the stock.
Personally, I don't own any of the stocks mentioned above that Fisher sold. While I agree with his decision to sell Saks, I'm not so sure about Genesco and Stillwater Mining. As a patient, long-term investor, I think both of these companies hold potential in their respective industries.
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