BAC Rallies Above 10: Buffett and Berkowitz Win, Paulson Misses Out

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) went over $10 today after massive losses in value during 2011. The company’s low of 4.92 occurred last December but the stock has rallied since as news of an economic recovery in the US continues to accumulate. But which funds lost and which gained from the company’s rally? We examine three of the most important results of the rise in the bank’s value.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSEBRK.A), (NYSE BRK.B) has been a clear beneficiary of the rally. He made large investments in the stock beginning last August including a $5 billion buy on the 25th of August. That purchase got him warrants to purchase 700 million shares at $7.14 each. If he capitalized on that investment today with the shares at $10 he stands to make a return of $2 billion. However the company looks like it won’t cash in any time soon. Buffet’s investment seems to be based on a longer term projection of the bank’s recovery. With the stocks continued rally his investment will reap large rewards. Buffet’s confidence in the bank’s recovery from its disastrous 2011 has probably helped in the banks recovery almost as much as the increasingly positive outlook on the economy.

Bruce Berkowitz, fouder of the Fairholme Cpital Management LLC (MUTF:FAIRX) is another investor who got into Bank of America at the right time. His fund currently holds 104.3 million shares in the bank and he has stood by his investment, in speech at least, and the increasing value of the share seems to have proven him right. His outspoken support of the bank and its CEO Brian Moynihan has been widely publicized. His fund’s actions have not entirely supported his statements however. The company sold 700,000 shares in Bank of America in the fourth quarter of 2011 as the bank reached its lowest value.

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John Paulson’s exposure to Bank of America was widely blamed for his funds awful performance in 2011. The company divested itself of 64 million shares in the bank in the last quarter of 2011 leaving them facing all of the losses and none of the benefits. Paulson’s fund Paulson & Co. have been facing challenges lately and the loss of potential value increase on the Bank of America rally will compound these problems. If the rally continues the decision to cut the shares form his portfolio will be a black mark against his practice for some time.