Here's What This $18 Billion Money Manager Has Been Buying

IT can pay to keep an eye on the big investors out there.

Jan 30, 2014 at 10:58AM

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 Eagle Asset Management, a massive money-management arm of Raymond James Financial. Tracing its history back to 1976, the company provides investment services via individual managed accounts, as well as mutual funds.

The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $17.6 billion in value as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Interesting developments
So what does Eagle Asset Management's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.

The biggest new holdings are Telus Corporation and Ophthotech Corporation. Other new holdings of interest include InnerWorkings (NASDAQ:INWK). InnerWorkings is a print management and promotions specialist, and its shares have roughly been cut in half  over the past year. Much of that drop occurred in November, when InnerWorkings' third-quarter results featured revenue up 16%. Oh, and both revenue and earnings came in below estimates. And management cut expectations for upcoming earnings by more than half. In a conference call at the time, management pointed to major new clients like Energizer and strength in the non-profit sector, too. Problems were blamed on the acquired Production Graphics business and inside sales weakness.

Among holdings in which Eagle Asset Management increased its stake were Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI) and Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE:SNV). Sirius XM Holdings recently extended a contract with Nissan, is being included in 70% of new cars, and sees an even brighter future in used cars than in new ones. Bulls see paths to international expansion via streaming, like its growing margins, and view its third-quarter earnings disappointment as a good buying opportunity. Bears worry about competition from free and Internet radio services, such as Pandora. Sirius is rewarding shareholders with massive share buybacks of up to 10.6% of its outstanding shares. It has more than 25 million subscribers and takes in close to $4 billion annually. Sirius reports its fourth-quarter and full-year results on February 4.

Synovus Financial, a 125-year-old Georgia-based bank, is far smaller than its main rivals in the South, and it has recently been losing market share to them, too. On the other hand, its bottom line has been growing and its commercial loan portfolio is strong. (Commercial loans can be more profitable than consumer loans.) Synovus Financial's third quarter revealed continued improvement in credit quality along with loan growth, and its CEO spoke of a switch to offense rather than defense, now that Synovus's TARP debt has been repaid. Loans kept growing in its fourth quarter, too, as credit costs fell, though its mortgage banking business took a hit. The stock yields 1.1%.

Eagle Asset Management's biggest closed positions included SHFL entertainment and Ariad Pharmaceuticals, (NASDAQ:ARIA). Other closed positions of interest include Tower Group International, Ltd. (NASDAQ:TWGP). Ariad Pharmaceuticals, recently trading in the mid-$7s per share, has traded between $2.15 and $23 over the past 52 weeks, clearly giving some investors a wild ride. Ariad's leukemia drug Iclusig was approved by the FDA, but the FDA later had it pulled from the market, only to reinstate it late in the year, with more restrictive labeling. Some wonder whether Ariad will be bought out, but others see it offering little beyond tax losses carried forward. Meanwhile, it's best not to invest based on rumors. Ariad does have more treatments in its pipeline, but most are based on Iclusig. Still, analysts at BMO Capital Markets recently upgraded Ariad Pharmaceuticals to outperform.

Tower Group International is a small insurance company -- but it hasn't always been so small, as its stock is down some 85% over the past year and has averaged 33% annual losses over the past five years. Tower Group has had to restate several years' worth of earnings, which is, reasonably, unsettling to investors, and a restructuring has lowered its ultimate profit potential, too. Early in January, analysts at Zacks downgraded the stock to strong sell, citing rising losses and a reserve shortfall, among other things. Soon after, it was announced that privately held ACP Re would acquire Tower Group.

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. 13F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.

The No. 1 Way to Lose Your Wealth Without Even Knowing It
You’ve fought hard to build wealth for you and your family. Yet one all-too-common pitfall could completely derail your dreams before you even know it. That's why a company The Economist hails as "an ethical oasis" has isolated five simple questions you must answer to ensure that your financial future is really secure.

Can you answer YES to all five of these eye-opening questions?
Click here to find out -- before it’s too late!

Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Pandora Media and owns shares of Sirius XM Radio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers