Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, through "13-F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.
Today let's look at Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb, founded by the late William Ruane, a student of value-investing giant Benjamin Graham, along with Warren Buffett. Ruane founded the Sequoia (SEQUX) mutual fund in 1970, and its performance will show you why you might want to pay attention to the fund company's investments: Since inception and through the end of March 2012, the fund gained a cumulative 26,216%, versus 6,328% for the S&P 500. Annualized, that's 14.2% vs. 10.4%. Over the past decade, which has been a challenging one for the stock market, Sequoia averaged 6.3% annually, versus 5.3% for the S&P 500.
Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb's overall reportable portfolio (which may contain holdings other than those of the flagship Sequoia fund) totaled $12.3 billion in value as of June 30. The company's top three holdings, representing about 25% of its total asset value, were Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, TJX, and Berkshire Hathaway.
So what does Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb's latest quarterly 13-F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.
New holdings include IT consulting and outsourcing specialist Cognizant Technology Solutions
Among holdings in which Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb increased its stake was World Fuel Services
Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Corning
First Solar has fallen close to 75% over the past year, facing tough competition, supply and-demand issues, threatened government subsidies, and ever-changing technologies. It also recently announced a slowdown at an Arizona solar-power plant and got investors worried that it may have gotten ahead of itself and may even have recognized some revenue prematurely. Still, it posted strong results last month, after a string of ugly quarters, and has high hopes for its projects in emerging markets such as India.
Finally, Ruane, Cunniff, & Goldfarb unloaded several companies, such as insurance broker and reinsurance specialist Willis Group Holdings
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, and 13-F 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, owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Corning, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Corning. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Corning. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.