Great article by David Kass on Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. If you missed his other recent excellent piece check it out here.
How did Mr. Combs and Mr. Weschler outperform the S&P 500 and Mr. Buffett in 2013? From quarterly Form 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Berkshire’s portfolio of U.S. based equities is available through September 30, 2013. The 13F for the quarter ending December 31, 2013 will likely be filed on February 14, 2014. Mr. Buffett has said that the small positions in Berkshire’s portfolio of 43 stocks as of September 30 are very likely investments made by Mr. Combs or Mr. Weschler, while the larger ones are his. For example, since the arrival of Mr. Combs and Mr. Weschler, Mr. Buffett has acknowledged investments in IBM in 2011 and Exxon Mobil (XOM) in 2013 with yearend 2013 market values of $12.6 billion and $4.1 billion, respectively.
By examining Berkshire’s recent 13F filings through September 30, 2013, I have identified 19 stocks that are highly likely to be investments of Mr. Combs and/or Mr. Weschler. These 19 holdings, acquired since the arrival of Messrs. Combs and Weschler, had a combined value of $15.7 billion on December 31, 2013. They represent a small percentage of Berkshire’s U.S. portfolio of more than $100 billion. Since these positions have been relatively stable through the first nine months of 2013, I am assuming they remained the same as of December 31. All 19 investments had positive returns last year, with the highest percentage increases resulting from Starz (+120.2%), Chicago Bridge and Iron (+79.4%), and MasterCard (+70.1%). Their top four positions by year end market value (and date of initial acquisition) are:
Historically, the Chinese market has been relatively isolated from international investors, but much is changing there now, making China virtually impossible for the diversified investor to ignore. Earlier this year, CNBC pointed to signs that Chinese regulators may start easing up on their scrutiny of companies after months of clamping down on tech firms. That Read More
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