Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • NetSuite: Consider This Tech Stock For Long-Term Growth.

    Since the cloud market has matured with time, various customers are now moving their ERP application to cloud, this leveraged growth of cloud enable ERP application software market. Market research companies like Price Water Cooper anticipates the market size of SaaS (Software As Application Service) based ERP solution would reach to a size of $78 billion by end of 2016, while the conventional ERP market can slide by 30% to $15 billion. Various software companies are now eyeing this growth market to leverage its top and bottom line.

    Netsuit (N) is one such company that provides ERP solution on cloud and has been witnessing a constant growth propelled by its innovative product and cloud market size. An investor of Tech stock can consider including NetSuite in their portfolio, as it can provide good returns in future.


  • Bernard Horn Increases Stakes in Three Positions During 1QFY15

    Bernard Horn (Trades, Portfolio) of Polaris Global Value Fund increased his stakes in three positions during 1QFY15, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks.

    Horn increased his stakes in Marathon Oil Corp (MRO) by adding 76,300 shares that were purchased at an average price of $27.13 a share.   

  • Mario Gabelli Comments on Kraft Foods Group Inc

    Kraft Foods Group Inc. (0.2%) (KRFT – $87.12 – NASDAQ), based in Northfield, Illinois, is the North American grocery business of Kraft Foods Inc., which was separated through a tax-free spin-off to shareholders on October 1, 2012. As a result, shareholders received one share of Kraft Foods Group Inc. for every three shares of Kraft Foods Inc. common stock, which was subsequently renamed Mondelēz International Inc. (0.5%). Kraft Foods Group is comprised of the North American grocery operations, excluding the snack businesses, which generated approximately $18.2 billion of revenue from leading brands such as Maxwell House coffee, Oscar Mayer meats, Jell-O desserts, Cool Whip toppings, and Cracker Barrel, Kraft, Polly-O, and Velveeta cheeses. On March 25, 2015, the H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft signed a definitive agreement to merge and form the Kraft Heinz Company. Accordingly, shareholders of Kraft will receive a $16.50 per share special dividend and 49% ownership of the newly formed company, which will be the third largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth largest globally. The remaining 51% will be owned by current Heinz shareholders, 3G Capital, and Berkshire Hathaway.

    From Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio)’s Asset Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • Mario Gabelli Comments on Exelis Inc

    Exelis Inc. (0.5%) (XLS – $24.37 – NYSE) is a leader in C4 (command, control, communications, computers) and ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) products and information and technical services. The company provides mission critical systems in integrated electronic warfare, sensing and surveillance, air traffic management, information and cyber security, and networked communications. Products in the Information and Technical Services segment include large scale ground communication networks for NASA and the DOD, national intelligence defense against chemical, biological, and explosive threats, space ground and range systems for U.S. military launch, logistics, and base operations to the armed forces, and air traffic control management. On February 6, 2015, XLS announced a definitive agreement under which Harris Corp. will acquire the company in a cash and stock transaction valued at about $24.70 per share. Under the terms of the deal, XLS shareholders will receive $16.625 in cash and 0.1025 of a share of Harris common stock. Based on the Harris closing price of $78.70 per share and including the $140 million of XLS net debt and underfunded pension liability of $2.1 billion, Harris is paying about $6.8 billion for XLS. The transaction EBITDA multiple of 12.6x (XLS estimated 2015 EBITDA is $540 million) is in line with the industry’s deals. The deal is expected to close in June 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and XLS shareholder approval.

    From Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio)’s Asset Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • Mario Gabelli Comments on AMETEK Inc

    AMETEK Inc. (1.7% of net assets as of March 31, 2015) (AME – $52.54 – NYSE) is a leading global manufacturer of analytical instruments for the process, aerospace, and industrial markets, and a leading producer of electric motors and blowers for the floor care and outdoor power equipment markets. In the near term, the company continues to experience growth in its longer cycle businesses in the aerospace, power generation, and process industries. Longer term, the company continues to make acquisitions to augment growth. In 2015, AMETEK expects one half to two thirds of its revenue growth to come from acquisitions. The company is focused on acquiring differentiated businesses with revenues of $150-$300 million. The company expects to spend ~$1 billion on acquisitions this year. AMETEK also decided to moderate its investment into the Floorcare and Specialty Motors end market within the Electromechanical Group; we believe the segment may be a prime spin-off candidate.

    From Mario Gabelli (Trades, Portfolio)’s Asset Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • Mario Gabelli’s Asset Fund Q1 2015 Commentary

    To Our Shareholders,

    For the quarter ended March 31, 2015, the net asset value (“NAV”) per Class AAA Share of The Gabelli Asset Fund increased 0.8% compared with an increase of 1.0% for the Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) 500 Index. See page 2 for additional performance information.


  • Ken Heebner's CGM Focus Fund Q1 2015 Letter

    To Our Shareholders:

    CGM Focus Fund increased 2.2% during the first quarter of 2015 compared to a return of 1.0% for the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index (“S&P 500 Index”).


  • KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Comments on Exelis Inc

    The Fund’s top position during the quarter was Exelis Inc. (XLS), a former spin-off of ITT Corp. (ITT), and Exelis also recently spun-off a division of their own in Vectrus Inc. (VEC). During the quarter the stock rose over 37 percent and added 46 basis points of performance to the Fund. Shares of the defense contractor jumped sharply in February after they agreed to be acquired by rival Harris Corp. (HRS) in a deal valued at $4.75 billion. While we believe there may be good synergies between the two companies, valuations became high enough that we exited the position soon after the announcement.

    From John Keeley (Trades, Portfolio)’s KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Comments on Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc

    The second largest detractor during the quarter was Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc. (SNOW) which fell over 26 percent and cost the Fund 24 basis points in performance. Shares of the leading mountain resort and adventure company were negatively impacted by the rise of the U.S. dollar, since almost half of their revenue is generated in Canada. Despite the revised guidance due to the currency impact, we believe the long-term fundamentals remain intact.

    From John Keeley (Trades, Portfolio)’s KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Comments on Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc

    Although energy stocks did not have a material impact on our results during the quarter, Helix Energy Solutions (HLX) was the Fund’s leading detractor after falling over 37 percent and detracting 38 basis points of return from the Fund. Despite having exposure to longer-term, offshore energy projects, Helix was not immune to price pressure given the dramatic weakness in the price of oil. With continued uncertainty around the price of the commodity, coupled with the fact that Helix and other service providers may be more vulnerable to an extended decline, we decided to exit the position during the quarter.

    From John Keeley (Trades, Portfolio)’s KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Q1 2015 Commentary.  

  • John Keeley’s KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund Q1 2015 Commentary

    In the first calendar quarter of 2015, the KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund (KSCVX) climbed 2.35 percent compared to a 4.32 percent rise for the Russell 2000 Index. After lagging for much of the last twelve months, small cap stocks rebounded in the first quarter, especially in March where they significantly outperformed their larger peers. A potential factor in this outperformance was the continued rise of the U.S. Dollar, which has climbed largely in response to global monetary authorities reacting to a weak growth outlook by easing monetary policies. More than 20 countries have eased monetary policy in 2015 and these extraordinary measures have facilitated a great deal of currency volatility in recent months. The impact of a strong dollar is mixed with respect to the U.S. economy. On a positive note, cheaper import prices will benefit the U.S. consumer and should continue the low inflationary environment that has contributed to recent economic expansion. On the other hand, the stronger dollar will be a headwind for U.S. exports, especially for multinational companies which we believe was a factor in the recent outperformance of small-cap stocks (which tend to have a domestic focus) compared to larger companies. The over 20 percent rise in the Dollar over the past year has also depressed commodity prices, which continues to batter the energy sector but should have a delayed, but positive impact on the U.S. consumer. Progress in the U.S. economy was mixed during the quarter with encouraging developments in the employment landscape with an impressive 295,000 jobs gained in February as well as continued gains in housing. However, soft patches in manufacturing and retail sales should temper enthusiasm about GDP growth rates in 2015. A number of economists as well as the Federal Reserve believe weather was the driving factor in the recent slowdown, and the validity of those beliefs will be a significant debate as we advance through the rest of the year. The Small Cap Value Fund trailed the Russell 2000 Index in the first quarter of 2015. The most significant drag on our results was an underweight position in the “growthier” areas of the Russell 2000, such as technology and healthcare (especially biotech) which were the top two performing sectors during the quarter. These two areas represent over 33 percent of the core Russell 2000 compared to slightly more than 15 percent of the Russell 2000 Value, a benchmark we also to use to evaluate our results. Healthcare was the only sector that produced double digit returns during the quarter, led by biotech stocks which were especially strong. Biotech is an industry that we typically avoid, and although this is a challenge when they perform well, we are comfortable with our lack of exposure to such a speculative short-cycle industry, especially with excessive valuations at the present time. As mentioned, technology also had a negative impact, both through stock selection and a relative under- weight. Strong stock selection in consumer staples, industrials, and materials made a positive contribution during the quarter.

    Due in large part to a stronger U.S. Dollar, the energy sector continued to be extremely volatile in the first quarter. Although energy stocks did not have a material impact on our results during the quarter, Helix Energy Solutions (HLX) was the Fund’s leading detractor after falling over 37 percent and detracting 38 basis points of return from the Fund. Despite having exposure to longer-term, offshore energy projects, Helix was not immune to price pressure given the dramatic weakness in the price of oil. With continued uncertainty around the price of the commodity, coupled with the fact that Helix and other service providers may be more vulnerable to an extended decline, we decided to exit the position during the quarter.


  • John Rogers' Investment Propels Two Stakes into His Personal Top 10

    John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Ariel Investment, LLC, is known to like to invest in small and medium-sized companies whose share prices are undervalued, believing that patience, independent thinking and a long-term outlook are critical to achieving good returns. Ariel had a 44.68% return in 2013 and a 20.32% return in 2012.

    In the first quarter, Rogers made additions to two stakes – Kennametal Inc (KMT) and Blount International Inc (BLT) – that were sufficient to land them in his Top 10 by volume.


  • Salesforce: Riding High On Cloud

    Salesforce (CRM) has been achieving a new level of performance and is growing faster than any of its nearest competitors like Oracle (ORCL) and SAP (SAP). Salesforce offers a unique platform that is designed for today's connected world for connecting and managing customers. The platform helps Salesforce's customers connect with their customers in a whole new way and ultimately create customer success. Ever since the inception of Salesforce, it has been focused on building strong relationships with it customers and churning out innovative products that have leveraged growth for the company.

    Quarter overview


  • Hotchkis & Wiley Large Cap Value Fund Q1 2015 Commentary

    Following six years of positive returns, the S&P 500 Index opened 2015 with a modest +1.0% return in the first quarter. The unprecedented corporate cost-cutting measures and general economic recovery following the financial crisis has fueled impressive earnings growth. Over the last six years, the S&P 500 is up +194% cumulatively. While such a rampant appreciation of market prices would normally give us pause, equity valuations are scarcely higher than historical averages due to these robust earnings.

    After six years of zero interest rate policy, investors are acutely focused on the Federal Reserve’s plan to taper its lax monetary policy. Equity investors are not fully insulated from such actions, however, we believe the effect on equities should be more subdued than many investors expect. Firstly, increasing interest rates are often correlated with positive economic developments, which is good for corporate cash flows. Secondly, long bond rates are a component of the cost of capital used to discount corporate cash flows. Fed tapering should impact short term interest rates disproportionately to long term rates, which already reflect expectations of a less intrusive Fed. Finally, the premium equity investors require above treasuries is considerably higher than historical averages. If interest rates rise, we may see a reversion of the equity premium back to normal levels, resulting in equity prices remaining stable despite higher interest rates.


  • Frank Sands More Than Doubles Stake in LendingCorp

    Frank Sands (Trades, Portfolio) is CEO and CIO of Sands Capital Management, a firm that was founded by his father in 1992 and has grown from roughly $900 in assets under management to more than $23 billion. Most of his transactions involve reducing or increasing existing stakes in his portfolio, not buying new ones or selling old ones, and the first quarter of 2015 was no exception.

    Sands more than doubled his stake in LendingClub Corp (LC), a San Francisco-based peer-to-peer lending company, in the first quarter. Sands bought 13,862,781 shares for an average price of $20.83 per share. The purchase elevated his stake to fifth place in his Top 20 holdings (by volume) and had a 0.65% impact on his portfolio.


  • Hotchkis & Wiley Keeps Buying Navistar

    Since its inception in Los Angeles in 1980, Hotchkis & Wiley (Trade, Portfolio) has focused exclusively on finding and owning undervalued companies that have a significant potential for appreciation. Hotchkis & Wiley are value investors focusing on important investment parameters such as a company's tangible assets, sustainable cash flow, and potential for improving business performance.

    Last quarter, Hotchkis & Wiley increased its position in Navistar (NAV) by buying 1,305,300 shares. In the previous quarters also, the investment firm was seen buying Navistar's shares. The following chart shows its holding history in the company.


  • Bank of America Gets Bullish on Oil

    After remaining on the sidelines for quite some time, Bank of America (BAC) has become more optimistic on Oil and Energy stocks. According to Bank of America analysts, WTI crude is likely to average around $57/bbl in 2016 and $75/bbl in the longer-term. Bank of America strategy team recommends buying what it calls ”Big, Old and Ugly” energy stocks as they are under-owned and have minimal sensitivity to oil prices.

    The report mentions Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP), Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Hess Corp (HESS) as names investors should look forward to buying. I like Exxon Mobil the most among these stocks.


  • FPA Capital Fund Comments on Apollo Education Group Inc

    Apollo (APOL) and DeVry (DV) were both poor performers in the quarter. There is no other way to say it, the second quarter numbers for Apollo were very disappointing – particularly the enrollment numbers. APOL has spent a lot of money on a new Learning Management System (LMS) for all University of Phoenix (UoP) students. This was a massive endeavor on the company’s part and will lead to a large differentiation experience for their students versus the competition. Unfortunately, like many new large software rollouts, the LMS rollout had a couple of bugs that needed to be fixed. For example, if your internet browser was updated to a new version, some of the automation links within LMS were not properly coded and the user experience diminished to the point where some students dropped out of the university. APOL believes the majority of the problems have been addressed and fixed, but management took its eye off the ball with respect to converting prospective students to new enrollees during the past quarter. Management indicated that they are now seeing an improvement in enrollments, but it is still very early in their fiscal third quarter to know for sure whether they have adequately addressed the problems.

    We are clearly focused on the U.S. business. However, it is important to note that the company’s global operations are in the process of turning around and will likely be generating positive operating cash flow in the second half of this year. With over $6 of net cash per share on the balance sheet and prospects to generate additional free cash flow for the remainder of the year, APOL has the resources to overcome these missteps and get back on track. For your reference, we bought most of our APOL stock between $16 and $19 per share and made it around a 3% position at around $20. When the stock hit $34, we sold over 25% of our position. The stock price is back to $20 and we are back to about a 3% position.


  • FPA Capital Fund Comments on Helmerich & Payne Inc and Ensco PLC

    During the first quarter of 2015, we swapped our position in Ensco (“ESV”) for Helmerich and Payne (HP) (“H&P”) because we believe they offered similar upside but H&P has less downside risk. H&P is the country’s biggest and most profitable onshore drilling contractor. At the time of our decision, H&P’s dividend yield was smaller (4.55% vs 10.37%) but it was still substantial and more secure than ESV’s dividend. Since our swap, Ensco cut its dividend exactly 80% (as of the end of the first quarter H&P yielded 4.04% vs 2.85% for ESV). We agree with ESV’s decision to cut its dividend. The market was not valuing the company based on this large dividend and there might be better ways to use those funds today such as buying back shares or purchasing distressed assets on the cheap.

    H&P’s balance sheet is significantly stronger with a net cash position vs. a net debt position for ESV. We also like the supply/demand dynamics in H&P’s market. There were ~1,370 rigs drilling horizontal wells before the OPEC meeting, but only ~800 were highly-efficient AC16-drive rigs (as opposed to diesel-powered mechanical17 rigs or slightly more advanced SCR18 rigs). In other words, the total market opportunity for AC rigs was bigger than the current number of AC rigs from all suppliers. Another positive in H&P’s favor is that shale producers are migrating down the cost curve more quickly than other types of producers.


  • Paul Tudor Jones Adds to His United Technologies Position

    Paul Tudor Jones (Trades, Portfolio) is the president and founder of Tudor Investment Corporation. He is one of the most successful investors of current times. Last quarter, he increased his stake in United Technologies (UTX) by buying 33,053 shares. As of March 31, 2015, he was holding 50,635 shares of the company.


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