Michael Price Buys Anchor Bancorp, First Security Group, News Corp

Michael Price Buys Anchor Bancorp, First Security Group, News Corp

Michael Price, a hedge fund manager of MFP Investors submitted its 13F filing with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the fourth quarter. Its equity portfolio has market value of approximately $818 million.

Michael Price is a value investor. His investment philosophy was inspired by Max Heine, an opportunistic investor with a value-based approach toward investing.

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During the fourth quarter, Michael Price acquired new position in 17 companies including Anchor Bancorp, First security Group, Continental Resources, Helmerich & Payne, and News Corp. These five companies are the five new, major stock positions based on its portfolio.

Michael Price bullish on two bank holding companies

Michael Price acquired 425,000 shares of Anchor Bancorp for approximately $14.63 million. The shares of the bank holding company were up more than 2% to $22.14 a piece on Monday. Over the past year, the stock gained 21% in value.

Last month, Anchor Bancorp reported that its net income was $8.8 million or $3.55 per share for the quarter ended December 31. During the year-ago quarter, the company posted losses of $248,000 or $0.10 per share.

Michael Price bought 6.08 million shares of First Security Group worth approximately $13.74 million. The bank holding company operates 30-full service banking offices through DSGBank, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

The stock price of First Security Group dropped almost 2% to $2.23 per share on Monday. The bank holding company gained more than 20% of its stock value over the past year as it traded between $1.73 and $2.40 per share.

Early this month, First Security Group reported net income of $922 thousand or $0.01 per share for the fourth quarter. Its CEP Michael Kramer stated the primary goal of the company last year was its return to core profitability, net loan production of $50 million per quarter and funding the resulting asset growth with pure deposits. He emphasized that the companied achieved its goals.

Michael Price acquired positions in oil & gas companies

During the period, Michael Price acquired 200,000 shares of Continental Resources and 100,000 shares of Helmerich & Payne for approximately $7.6 million and $6.7 million, respectively.

Continental Resources is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The stock price of the company gained almost 3% to $48.67 per share on Monday, which probably driven by the improvement of oil prices. Over the past year, Continental Resources lost 14% of its stock value.

Helmerich & Payne is an oil and gas well contract drilling company. Last month, the company reported net income of $203 million or $1.85 in earnings per share and $1.06 billion in operating revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2015.  The company also indicated its intention to cut 2,000 jobs as it start to halt the operations of some of its rigs amid the declining oil prices.

The stock price of Helmerich & Payne rose more than 2% to $71.14 per share. Just like other companies in the oil & gas exploration sector, the company benefited from the rebound of oil prices today.  The company lost more than 21% of its stock value over the past year.

During the quarter, Michael Price also invested in News Corp, a media and information services company controlled by Rupert Murdoch. The hedge fund manager acquired 407,500 shares of News Corp worth approximately $6.3 million.

The shares of the company closed $17.11 per share, up by more than 1% on Monday.


News Corp reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings of $0.26 per share on $2.24 billion in revenue for the three month ended December 31, 2014.  The company recently disclosed that the U.S. Department of Justice will not file any charges in connection with the phone hacking controversy in 2011.

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