Bill Frels

Last Update: 11-16-2015

Number of Stocks: 174
Number of New Stocks: 3

Total Value: $6,398 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 1%

Countries: USA
Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Bill Frels Watch

  • Top 5 Dividend Stocks Among Guru Holdings

    Even though the S&P 500 is not particularly cheap right now with an average P/E of nearly 20, there are some very juicy dividends that pop up if you screen for it. The top yielding stocks, however, are often not the most safe dividends as they are usually distressed companies.

    Investors often go shopping a little below the absolute highest dividend yielding stocks, but for this article, I decided to do something different. Instead, I compiled a list of the top yielding stocks held by the gurus. Every stock on this list is held by many of the absolute best value investors as selected by GuruFocus. I have to warn you: The list contains several energy stocks that look speculative, but at dividends from 7.56% up to 12.88%, they also look very lucrative. 


  • Stocks Bill Frels Keeps On Buying

    Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio) is the portfolio manager at Mairs & Power, the investment advisory firm where he started in 1992. Mairs & Power Inc. is a small firm whose strength and success has resulted from applying a conservative growth investment approach consistently for more than 70 years.

    Frels manages a portfolio of 174 stocks with a total value of $6,398 million, and the following are the stocks he has been buying for at least the last two quarters


  • Mairs & Power Comments on C.H. Robinson

    C.H. Robinson (NASDAQ:CHRW) was a top performer in the quarter and a stock that illustrates our investment approach, where we seek out good companies with a sustainable competitive advantage over the long term. The company is well positioned in both consumer and industrial markets and should benefit as the industrial sector picks up. As the “just-in-time” movement of materials and finished goods grows more complicated, manufacturers and retailers are increasingly outsourcing their purchasing and distribution logistics to external companies. C.H. Robinson is an asset-light third party logistics provider focused on technology. The recent west coast longshoreman’s strike gave the company an opportunity to demonstrate the value of its technology investment to its customers. C.H. Robinson is able to keep customers informed on the movement of goods and, if it anticipates a delay, can suggest alternative routing and transportation options to keep its customers’ materials flowing. We look for the company’s valuation to move back toward its historic range as the industrial sector recovers, and we see evidence that the re-acceleration is on the horizon.

    From Mairs & Power's third quarter 2015 shareholder letter.


  • Mairs & Power Growth Fund 3rd Quarter Letter

    As the year began, many companies were battling a decline in energy prices, commodity prices and a strong dollar. Then, during the third quarter China started to show more incremental weakness in its economy as well, intensifying the weakness in agriculture and commodity prices. The market reacted and the dizzying one-day swing of more than 1,000 points in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on August 24th delivered the event that had been worrying investors, a market correction -- technically a 10% move off of recent highs. The correction was widespread, resulting in negative third quarter returns across every sector except consumer staples and utilities. Only consumer discretionary and healthcare remains in positive territory year-to-date.


  • Bill Frels' Mairs and Power Continues to View C.H. Robinson as Undervalued

    Mairs and Power is a boutique firm that applies a conservative growth investment strategy and has been doing so over the past 70 years. It runs a Growth Fund and Balanced Fund, which are both built around a core of quality growth stocks. In practice, it looks a lot like the Warren Buffett approach, with the firm holding investments for long periods of time to minimize tax impact and trading costs. Guru Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio) chairs the investment committee and is profiled on GuruFocus. The Mairs and Power Growth Fund just reported its third quarter results and there are a couple of interesting tidbits in its letter to shareholders. The firm is positive about the U.S. economy, although the comments about the dollar and euro relationship are already questionable, with the the dollar sliding on strong job news on Friday.


  • Ken Fisher Cuts His Stake in Royal Bank, Buys Roche Holding

    Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) is the chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Fisher Investments, which offers an array of educational resources to its 27,000-plus private clients —including quarterly reports, in-person seminars and regular phone communication. Fisher Investments extends these educational resources to the public through a series of investing guides, online videos and daily commentary at

    Fisher manages a portfolio composed of 592 stocks with a total value of $49.932 billion and the following are the largest of about 500 trades he closed during the second quarter.


  • Bill Frels Adds to Stake in American Express

    As the portfolio manager at Mairs & Power, Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio) was in a position to influence the firm’s investing philosophy. He is recently retired but still serves the firm as chairman of its investment committee. That’s quite a responsibility – as well as an endorsement of his skill – considering that Mairs & Power delivered returns of 8.12% in 2014, 35.64% in 2013 and 21.91% in 2012.

    Frels increased his position in 60 companies in the second quarter. He raised his stake in American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP), a financial services company based in Manhattan, by more than 300%, purchasing 316,810 shares for an average price of $79.32 per share. The transaction had a 0.35% impact on Frels’ portfolio.


  • Altria’s Impressive Dividend Growth Pays High, Consistent Dividends

    Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) recently raised its quarterly dividend to $0.565 from $0.52 a share. The stock now yields 4.2% if the share price stays at current levels. The hike reflects Altria´s policy of returning value to shareholders and helps to continue with a good dividend growth, now at 46 consecutive years.

    Behind the Growth


  • Ken Fisher's most weighted buys in Q2 2015

    Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) is the chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Fisher Investments and at the end of Q2, his portfolio had a total value of $49,932 million. During the Q2 he increased his stake in 281 stocks and started positions in 62 new holdings.

    The following are the most weighted buys/increases :


  • Bill Frels' Stocks With Highest-Growing Yields

    Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio) is the portfolio manager at Mairs & Power, which is Minnesota's oldest investment firm under private ownership and management. His portfolio is composed of 187 stocks with a total value of $7,270 million.

    The following are the stocks in his portfolio with the highest-growing yield:


  • Bill Frels' Stocks With Growing Yields

    Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio) is the portfolio manager at Mairs & Power, which is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm and is Minnesota's oldest investment firm under private ownership and management.

    His portfolio is composed of 187 stocks and it has a total value of $7,270 million.


  • 5 High-Yield, Predictable S&P 500 Companies

    According to GuruFocus backtesting results from 2008, only 3.3% of U.S. stocks can be rated as a perfect 5-stars for business predictability. Of these, only 3% had recorded a loss in the past 10 years.

    A company’s predictability is ranked according to the consistency of its revenue per share and EBITDA per share. The GuruFocus Predictable Companies screener can be used to find and sort these stocks. The following are the five highest-yielding S&P 500 stocks with a 5-star business predictability rating.


  • General Electric Plans to Eliminate its Financial Division

    In this article, let's take a look at General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), a $275.17 billion market cap company, which sells products ranging from jet engines and gas turbines to consumer appliances, railroad locomotives and medical equipment.

    $12 Billion Deal


  • Is Duke Energy’s Big Dividend a Buy?

    Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) stock has performed very well over recent years, pushing its dividend yield down from a high of 7% to its current 4.4%. Does the company have growth plans to help sustain this dividend payout and eventually grow it back towards its highs?


  • Bill Frels Adds to 63 Existing Stakes in First Quarter

    Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio) retired as portfolio manager at Mairs & Power at the end of 2014, but he has continued as chairman of the investment committee. In the first quarter, he added to a lot of existing stakes in his own portfolio.

    Frels added to his second-most valuable stake, Ecolab Inc (NYSE:ECL), a St. Paul, Minnesota-based provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets. Frels purchased 49,366 shares for an average price of $109.58 per share. The purchase had a 0.08% impact on his portfolio.


  • Mairs & Power Growth Fund Comments on Target

    On the other hand, last year the market thought the retail giant Target (TGT) could do nothing right while this year it can do nothing wrong (we disagree with both views). With all of its sales in the U.S., the company sources much of its merchandise overseas so the strong dollar boosts its buying power and margins. In addition, the company’s customers have benefited from lower gasoline prices. As a result, Target’s stock is hitting all-time highs. We view the stock as generously valued currently and have been using it as a source of funds to add to our positions elsewhere.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)’ Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • Mairs & Power Growth Fund Comments on Graco Inc

    With 53% of its sales overseas and all of its costs in dollars, at year end Graco (GGG) told investors the stronger dollar will present a headwind in its ability to grow earnings in 2015. We like the company. It holds a leading market position as an industrial supplier of pumps and coating equipment. It has an experienced and focused management team with a clear, positive and executable strategy. We view the stock as cheap so we are using the current weakness to add to our position.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)’ Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q1 2015 Commentary

    While we’ve only finished one quarter, 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the dollar, which has risen more rapidly against major foreign currencies than any time in the last 40 years. The dollar’s rapid rise and enduring strength have created significant changes in the outlook for earnings and the economy. This dynamic particularly hurts U.S. companies that do most or all of their manufacturing domestically and have a strong component of overseas sales. These companies, reporting their earnings in dollars, cannot fully offset weaker local currencies with pricing moves. As a result, many companies have reduced their outlook for earnings in 2015. Market expectations have adjusted accordingly, with earnings growth expected at just over 1% for 2015 with year-over-year declines in the first two quarters. Slow growth, along with valuations near a ten-year high, increase the likelihood of a stock market correction.

    The drop in energy and commodity prices worldwide continues to present a headwind for many companies, particularly in sectors such as industrial manufacturing, mining and agriculture. In addition, weather related factors and a labor shutdown of ports along the west coast combined to hold the first quarter back somewhat, giving a slow start to the year. We saw an illustration of this when industrial supplier Fastenal (held in the Mairs & Power Growth Fund) reported slowing sales beginning in January. Because of its broad exposure across multiple sectors, Fastenal is viewed as a “canary in the coal mine” in terms of the pace of the industrial economy.


  • Mairs & Power Growth Fund Comments on Stratasys

    We are always on the lookout for good companies at compelling values. Sometimes that means we return to names we have held in the past. Stratasys (SSYS) is one such stock which was newly added to the Growth Fund in the quarter. The company is a market leader in the rapidly growing 3D printing/ additive manufacturing space, generating over 30% organic top-line growth annually and holding a dominant position at the high end of the market. We believe the company is just scratching the surface on a very large opportunity going forward.

    The stock once traded as high as 15 times its trailing twelve months revenue as investor euphoria followed a spate of positive news reports, allowing us to take profits in a good company but an overvalued stock. It has now dropped back below 4 times its trailing revenue, a more reasonable multiple. The retrenchment was due to two main factors. Hewlett Packard has said it intends to move into the 3D printing space, but we believe competitive concerns are overblown given Stratasys’s strong market position and momentum. In addition, the market reacted negatively to the company’s increased spending plans to add technical sales people which strengthens its vertical market presence and builds barriers to competition. While near term profits will be impacted, we see the company’s durable competitive advantage continuing to improve, offering a compelling investment in the space.


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Actuant

    In the first quarter the Fund added two new stocks to the portfolio, Actuant and Stratasys. Actuant (ATU) is a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of high end tools with a strong competitive position in tools such as hydraulic lifts and presses. Its end markets include the energy and agricultural sectors, so the company’s revenues have been under pressure driven by lower oil and commodity food prices in these cyclical businesses. As the stock price has pulled back significantly, it has created a very compelling investment opportunity due to the company’s strong cash flow generation.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)’ Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

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