This Billionaire's Company Has Bought Boyd Gaming, Hewlett-Packard, and Hartford Financial

Do these stocks belong in your portfolio, too?

Feb 18, 2014 at 10:50AM

The latest 13F season is commencing, when many money managers issue required reports on their holdings. It can be worthwhile to pay attention, as you might get an investment idea or two by seeing what some major investors have been buying and selling.

For example, consider GAMCO Investors (NYSE:GBL), the diversified asset-manager and financial-services company headed by well-known value investor Mario Gabelli. According to its recently released 13F statement, the company upped its positions in Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG), and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ).

Boyd Gaming is a domestic casino operator, owning the Borgata property in Atlantic City, along with operations in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Bears worry about its debt load, which has been rising in recent years. Bulls like that the company is involved in online gambling, with revenue there growing 15% in January. It has more than 40% of the online gambling market in New Jersey and is rolling out gambling apps for smartphones and mobile devices. Analysts at FBR Capital Markets recently upgraded the stock, citing effective cost-cutting and expected improvement in Las Vegas. Boyd Gaming announces its latest quarterly results in early March and ahead of that it recently lowered its projections. (This, oddly, sent its shares up -- presumably because investors had expected even lower numbers.)

Hartford Financial Services Group has been shifting its focus from annuities, retirement planning, and life insurance toward property and casualty insurance. It's also working to reduce its significant debt. Following a strong third quarter, the company's fourth quarter featured core earnings up 78% thanks in part to price hikes. The company's outlook for 7% growth in 2014 sent shares down, though, as investors were hoping for more (though they possibly overreacted). Hartford Financial's dividend was hiked by 50% last year and recently yielded 1.7%.

Hewlett-Packard yields 1.9% and has a forward P/E ratio near eight, making it look quite attractive. It requires a lot more digging and thought, though, as some think the company may be dying, pointing to "several years of declining revenues and earnings due to internal strife, missteps, and a stubborn adherence to a dying PC industry." The stock has surged more than 80% over the past year, but that's partly due to cost-cutting that included a lot of layoffs. Hewlett-Packard seems to be exiting the mobile arena, selling its mobile patents to Qualcomm. This is seen by some as a welcome sign of increased focus on higher-margin opportunities instead of hardware. Still, the company faces many challenges, such as a weak PC market.

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Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitterowns shares of Qualcomm. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm. 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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