Third Avenue Management is the asset management firm helmed by Martin Whitman, who first made his name as an investment banker and turnaround specialist. It is the successor firm to Equity Strategies Fund which Whitman took over in 1986.
Third Avenue new positions
Third Avenue Management took on a lucky number 13 new positions last quarter, the largest being a $28.9 million stake in the Axiall Corp (NYSE:AXLL), followed by $21.8 million in Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEK) and $20.9 million in Post Properties Inc (NYSE:PPS). It also invested $19.6 million in Syntel Inc, $19.5 million in Cullen/Frost Bankers, $17.4 million in Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD), $13.9 million in Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY), $16.5 million in Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB), $13.1 million in Blucora Inc (NASDAQ:BCOR), and $12.9 million in CST Brands Inc (NYSE:CST). Third Avenue also took smaller positions ($10 million or less) in UMB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UMBF), Homex Development Corp. (NYSE:HXM), Alexander’s Inc, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), Brookfield Office Properties Inc (NYSE:BPO), Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), Select Income REIT (NYSE:SIR), and Susser Holdings Corporation (NYSE:SUSS).
Third Avenue increased positions
The biggest percentage increase was in Comerica stocks, up 462 percent but still representing just .03 percent of the portfolio at $1.8 million in value. More significantly, Third Avenue increased its position in Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) by 161 percent to $91.7 million, making it the 14th largest holding in their portfolio, and Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) by 26 percent, raising it to $222 million and making it the third largest position. They also increased Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH) by 64 percent to $22.9 million, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) by 39 percent to $19.8 million, and Seacor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CKH) by 30 percent to $48.8 million.
Third Avenue closed out positions
Third Avenue Management closed out five relatively small positions: Lexmark International Inc (NYSE:LXK), Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:MRH), Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ:CZR), Assisted Living Concepts LLC (NYSE:ALC), and USEC Inc. (NYSE:USU) Each of these positions was less than 0.1 percent of the total portfolio and combined they only made up 0.22 percent of the fund.
Third Avenue decreased positions
The fund sold 97 percent of its stock in First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG), electing to hold onto $103,000, essentially nothing for a fund this size. They also sold 53 percent of shares in Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) dropping their position to $21.9 million, 49 percent of AVX Corporation (NYSE:AVX) dropping to $24.3 million in shares, 36 percent of Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE:TFX) to $37.7 million in shares, and 33 percent of The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG) to $33.2 million.