Here's What These Slow-and-Steady $3 Billion Investors Are Buying

You can get some promising investment ideas by keeping an eye on big investors.

Feb 7, 2014 at 5:45PM

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 money managers Douglas C. Lane & Associates, founded in 1994 and based in New York City. The firm devotes a high-profile section of its website to its unofficial mascot, the turtle, chosen for its willingness to stick its neck out and its perseverance, among other things. A profile in Barron's summarized its investment strategy by noting "the firm invests long-only, aims for low portfolio turnover and takes a long-term view -- typically three to five years -- of securities." Between 1994 and now, the money it manages for clients has grown from $300 million to more than $3 billion, which suggests that the firm is doing something right.

The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $3 billion in value as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Interesting developments
So, what does Douglas C. Lane's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:

The biggest new holdings are Symantec Corporation and The Hain Celestial Group. Other new holdings of interest include Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI). Sirius XM Holdings recently posted its fourth-quarter results, pleasing many investors with a 12% revenue jump over year-ago levels -- revenue that crossed the $1 billion line for the first time. The company 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, while bears worry about competition from free and Internet radio services, such as Pandora.

Among holdings in which Douglas C. Lane & Associates increased its stake was Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG). Celgene is a biotech company that has made many long-term investors wealthier, with its stock averaging annual growth of 31% over the past decade. It just posted impressive fourth-quarter results, with revenue up 21% over year-ago levels, thanks in large part to its anemia drug, Revlimid, which now contributes 65% of revenue. Its pancreatic-cancer-treating Abraxane has smaller sales, but they grew briskly. Celgene's future is bright, as it has a promising pipeline and has been investing in other companies' promising drugs, as well.

Douglas C. Lane & Associates reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Altria Group (NYSE:MO). Finland-based Nokia has surged more than 70% over the past year, in which it sold its handset business to Microsoft. The company still boasts operations in mapping, networking, and more, along with lots of patents. After releasing mixed fourth-quarter results, management maintained optimism, with the chief of networking noting that "we are seeing excellent momentum in Greater China where we believe we are on track to become the leading foreign vendor."

Domestic tobacco titan Altria Group draws attention with its dividend yield of 5.5% and substantial free cash flow. But it's facing challenges from rising taxes, regulations, competition  from discount cigarettes, a shrinking smoker base, and even counterfeit cigarettes. Bulls are hopeful about its move into electronic cigarettes -- one analyst even sees them eclipsing regular cigarettes within a decade -- but the FDA might regulate those, too. Altria's fourth-quarter results were disappointing, with Marlboro volume shrinking by 5.7% over year-earlier levels.

Finally, Douglas C. Lane's biggest closed positions included Colonial Properties Trust and Sysco Corporation. Other closed positions of interest include Regions Financial (NYSE:RF), which is a regional bank focused primarily in the Southeast that emerged from the recent financial crisis in relatively good shape, having repaid its TARP obligation back in 2012. Its fourth quarter was a bit mixed, with earnings down from year-ago levels but full-year earnings are up over the previous year, and loans rising, as well. Management says it's positioned well for long-term growth, and in a conference call pointed to growth in auto loans and the beefing up of its wealth-management division, among other things. Bulls are hopeful about Regions Financial's mobile banking ambitions. Regions tripled its dividend in early 2013, yields 1.2%, and has some expecting further significant increases.

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.

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Selena Maranjian owns shares of Celgene and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Celgene, Hain Celestial, Pandora Media, and Sysco. The Motley Fool owns shares of Hain Celestial, Microsoft, and 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

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