Tom Russo Boosts Stakes in Nestle, Philip Morris, and Wells Fargo

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Tom Russo Boosts Stakes in Nestle, Philip Morris, and Wells Fargo

Tom Russo’s Gardner Russo & Gardner’s updated portfolio for 2012 includes a larger position in Nestle SA (ETR:NESR) (FRA:NESR). Nestle makes up 10.7 percent of the firm’s portfolio and the position has been held since the beginning of 2011. The stake was increased by 6 percent in the last quarter. Gardner Russo increased holdings in all of its top ten, except in Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), which was reduced by 4.8 percent. The top ten holdings make 70 percent of the $6.89 billion assets. A number of changes were made in the portfolio, small positions in 28 stocks were closed and 2 new purchases were made in Q3. Some of the highlights are as under:

Buys

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In Q3, Gardner Russo started a new position in Lonrho plc (LON:LONR) with 150,000 shares and another in SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEARCA: SPY) . The position in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was increased by 6.5 percent, WFC is now 5.4 percent of the portfolio. Altria Group Inc (NYSE: MO) was reduced by 6.6 percent. The shares in Altria were sold for first time since Q2 2010.

Holdings in Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.A) (NYSE:BF.B) was increased by 50 percent. Brown-Forman was down 32 percent in the third quarter. The stock has been held by Gardner Russo since 2008’s end. Holdings in Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB), Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc-ADR (PINK:RBGPY) (LON:RB), L’Oreal (EPA:OR) were all increased.

A total of 35 positions were added to in last quarter.

Sells

Major sells were executed in Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS), the position was reduced by 98 percent. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was cut by more than 70 percent; Gardner Russo has been selling ABT in small amounts for the past five quarters. This is by far the largest sell off. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was reduced by 54 percent and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was reduced by 14 percent. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) was reduced by 11 percent in Q3.

Stakes were reduced in 65 stocks in total.