Analyzing 13-Fs (IEP)

I often look through 13F filings to get investment ideas.  The last time I did it, one of my readers asked a question like this:

It’s nice to see how large the positions are of the investors that you track, but wouldn’t it be better to track the changes in positions?  After all, new allocations are more indicative of better value than older holdings.

That’s probably correct, though for my own investing it might not be as accurate, because I rank current positions against challengers – my current positions have to justify their existence to stay in the portfolio.

But I thought it would be worth trying to do that, and also do it as a percentage of each stock’s market capitalization.

Now, there are difficulties in doing an analysis like this:

  • CUSIP changes
  • M&A (takeovers, spinoffs
  • CUSIP formats (some managers make it difficult to read)
  • Deliberately difficult formatting
  • One firm fills out the from wrong, swapping fields
  • Multiple holders within a given firm
  • You have to create a CUSIP/ticker database (paid my 13-year old assistant $50 to do that.)
  • In short, a lot of data scrubbing.

Now the results of looking at 13Fs can be valuable, and there is a small cottage industry doing so.  Mebane Faber has done good work with this, as has Insider MonkeyManual of Ideas and Street of Walls.  Following the ideas of some of the best investors leads to better returns, even if there is a lag involved.

And the lag doesn’t matter much.  Most of these investors invest for years not months, so if you get a signal it should be valid for some time after it is received.

Anyway, I calculated the positions for 74 investors that I have some respect for (listed at the bottom).  My objective is to look at them as a group.  For the most part, I don’t care which of them is investing in a given company.

Following this are a variety of tables with some commentary on what might be going on.  I think you might find some valuable ideas in the companies where  there are large additions or holdings as a proportion of market capitalization.

Tables

Stocks with the most new investors:

NewTickerName

9

DLPHDelphi Automotive PLC

6

LVLTLEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC

6

LMCALIBERTY MEDIA CORP NEW

5

ORCLOracle Corp

4

TRIPTRIPADVISOR INC

4

KORSMICHAEL KORS HLDGS LTD

3

BACBANK OF AMERICA CORP

3

CVXCHEVRON CORP NEW

3

DELLDell Inc

3

EPEL PASO CORP

3

VRUSPHARMASSET INC

3

TDCTERADATA CORP

 

Stocks that had the most investors increase positions (including new owners):

IncreasedTickerName

15

GOOGGOOGLE INC.

9

DLPHDelphi Automotive PLC

9

AAPLAPPLE INC

8

ORCLOracle Corp

7

LMCALIBERTY MEDIA CORP NEW

7

CCITIGROUP INC

7

LOWLOWES COS INC

7

PEPPEPSICO INC

7

MSFTMICROSOFT CORP

7

VVisa Inc-Class A Shares

6

LVLTLEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC

6

INTCIntel Corporation

6

SYYSYSCO CORP

 

Stocks that have the most owners at the end of the fourth quarter:

OwnedTickerName

22

GOOGGOOGLE INC.

21

MSFTMICROSOFT CORP

17

AAPLAPPLE INC

14

CSCOCISCO SYS INC COM

14

WMTWAL-MART STORES INC

14

WFCWELLS FARGO & CO NEW

13

JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON

12

ORCLOracle Corp

12

CCITIGROUP INC

12

MAMastercard Inc – Class A

11

BACBANK OF AMERICA CORP

11

BRK.BBERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC-CL B

11

BRK.ABERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC-CL A

 

Stocks with the most selling out entirely (including M&A-related):

SoldTickerName

6

EXPEExpedia Inc.

6

LVLTLevel 3 Communications

5

CCITIGROUP INC

5

SINASINA CORP

5

AcquiredNALCO HOLDING COMPANY

4

EBAYEBAY INC

4

CVICVR Energy Inc

4

CCECOCA COLA ENTERPRISES INC NE

3

LINTALIBERTY INTERACTIVE CORP-A

3

CVSCVS CAREMARK CORPORATION

3

AMZNAMAZON COM INC

3

VIABViacom Inc Cl B

3

EXCExelon Corp

3

DVNDEVON ENERGY CORPORATION

3

COVCOVIDIEN PLC

3

XOMEXXON MOBIL CORP

3

MOSThe Mosaic Company

3

RLRALPH LAUREN CORP

3

IRMIRON MTN INC

3

HFCHOLLYFRONTIER CORP

3

GRGOODRICH CORP

3

CTXSCITRIX SYS INC

3

AcquiredCEPHALON INC

3

ELNKEARTHLINK INC

3

TINTEMPLE INLAND INC

 

Stocks with the most decreases in positions (including selling out in entire):

DecreasedTickerName

12

MSFTMICROSOFT CORP

10

WFCWELLS FARGO & CO NEW

10

CCITIGROUP INC

8

BACBANK OF AMERICA CORP

8

PFEPFIZER INC

8

EBAYEBAY INC

8

NWSANEWS CORP

8

LINTALIBERTY INTERACTIVE CORP-A

7

AAPLAPPLE INC

7

CSCOCISCO SYS INC COM

7

WMTWAL-MART STORES INC

7

BRK.BBERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC-CL B

7

CVSCVS CAREMARK CORPORATION

7

DELLDell Inc

7

AONAON CORP

7

AMZNAMAZON COM INC

7

EXPEExpedia Inc.

 

With a few exceptions, the above reads like lists of common large cap stocks, with a few midcaps thrown in.  It doesn’t look that much different when the lists are done by dollar amount of change.  But what if we do this as

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