Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at investment management company Avenir. Founded in 1980 and based in Washington, D.C., it oversees accounts for families, individuals, trusts, institutions, foundations, and retirement plans. The investors there seek a margin of safety in their investments, and eat their own cooking, putting their money where their mouths are.
Why should you look at Avenir's moves? Well, according to TickerSpy, Avenir has outperformed the S&P by more than 16 percentage points since the middle of 2007.
Avenir's stock portfolio totaled more than $700 million in value as of March 31, 2012. The fund's top holdings, representing 22% of the portfolio's value, were American Tower
So what does Avenir's latest quarterly 13F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details:
New holdings include General Electric
Among holdings in which Avenir increased its stake were Frontier Communications
Antares is somewhat unusual for a biotech company in that it develops drug-delivery systems (such as injections and gels) that can be used for all kinds of drugs. Also, Antares typically doesn't have to market these systems to doctors or the public -- those offering the drugs will do that. The stock has a lot of short interest, but its bulls point to strong growth projections for injectable drugs. Some speculate that the company may be an acquisition target, as well. The company has various drugs in development. Still, it's a penny stock at the moment, and pennies tend to be extra risky.
Avenir reduced its stake in lots of companies, including American Tower. The stock is the company's biggest holding, at nearly 9% of the overall portfolio, so the 15% drop in shares held might simply reflect some thinning of the position rather than a lack of faith in the company. American Tower recently became a real estate investment trust (REIT), which means it will now have to pay out at least 90% of its income in dividends. Its revenue has been growing at an accelerating rate, but earnings growth has been slowing and it carries a lot of debt. The company has long-term potential, as it builds infrastructure to support the exploding mobile communications industry.
Finally, Avenir unloaded several companies, including Sprint Nextel
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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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of American Tower. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.