Chris Davis

Chris Davis

Last Update: 08-13-2015

Number of Stocks: 186
Number of New Stocks: 16

Total Value: $28,521 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 6%

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

Chris Davis Watch

  • Halvorsen Buys Amazon, Sells Out Micron Technology During Q2

    Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio) is a founding partner of Viking Global Investors LP, which is a global investment firm founded in 1999 and has offices in Greenwich, N.Y., Hong Kong and London and is registered as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    He manages a portfolio composed of 56 stocks with a total value of $26.47 billion and during the last quarter he increased 20 stakes and reduced 19 of them, bought 18 new stocks and sold out 19 of his existing stakes. The following are the most weighted of the above trades.


  • CEO of Univar Inc. Buys 10,000 Shares

    Erik Fyrwald (Insider Trades), CEO of Univar Inc. (UNVR), bought 10,000 shares of the company on Sept. 30. The average price per share was $18.75, for a total transaction cost of $187,500. Univar is a global partner dedicated to improving quality of life through products, expertise, and relationships that serve the world’s industries. The company has a market cap of $2.43 billion and a P/S ratio of 0.26.

    There were nine insider transactions with the company since June. Two of these transactions were insider sales, both conducted by 10% owners, totaling 46,982,536 shares for an average price of $21.76 per share on June 23. Frywald bought a total of 30,000 shares of UNVR since June 2015. His earliest trade of 20,000 shares with the company at an average price of $22 per share decreased about 17% in value since the purchase. Month end price decreased since June, but there is not an inverse correlation to the number of insider buys. 1443728772127.png 1443728780790.png For more information about insider trades with Univar, click here.


  • Chris Davis' Holdings With Wide Margin of Safety

    Chris Davis (Trades, Portfolio) is the portfolio manager of Davis Financial Fund, an independent, employee-owned investment management firm founded in 1969. He manages a portfolio composed of 186 stocks with a total value of $28,521 million.

    The following are the stocks he holds that are trading with a wide margin of safety and with a very low P/E ratio.


  • CEO of Cousins Properties Buys 27,000 Shares of Company

    Lawrence Gellerstedt (Insider Trades), CEO and president of Cousins Properties Inc. (CUZ), bought 27,000 shares of the company on Sept. 11. The average price per share was $9.24, for a total transaction cost of $249,480. Cousins Properties is a real estate company that invests in urban office assets and mixed-use developments in the Sunbelt markets. The market cap for the company is $2.02 billion and the P/S ratio is 5.27.

    Insider buys of CUZ increased, while insider sales decreased from 2013 to 2015. There were a total of 28 CUZ insider sales of 1,722,593 shares in 2013 alone, compared to one insider sale totaling 4,604 in 2014, and none from January to September 2015. On the other hand, there were no insider buys of CUZ during 2013, but five transactions totaling 321,943 shares, and four transactions of 152,000 shares in 2014 and January to September 2015 respectively. Gellerstedt made a total of 11 insider buys amounting to 152,611 shares of the company, and no insider sales since March 2007. His earliest insider buy decreased by about 70% since the purchase. CUZ CIO Michael Connolly (Insider Trades), also bought 38,807 shares of the company at an average price per share of $9.23 on Sept. 11. Additionally, Gregg Adzema (Insider Trades), CUZ executive vice president and CFO, bought 10,000 shares of the company at an average price of $9.08 per share on Sept. 10. 1442252401201.png 1442252421717.png For more information about insider transactions with Cousins Properties Inc., click here.


  • Davis Funds Comments on Whole Foods Market

    Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), the leading natural and organic grocer in America, experienced further challenges in the first half of 2015, with its stock price falling more than 20%, driven primarily by investor concerns about increasing competition from both grocers that focus on natural, minimally processed foods and traditional grocers, such as the Kroger Co. In addition to seeking­ to provide increased value to its traditional shoppers, Whole Foods has announced an initiative to build market share by more directly targeting the millennial generation (those born after 1980) and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium who are known for their preferences for value and convenience. Whole Foods believes the new chain, named 365 by Whole Foods Market in reference to the company’s popular private label brand, has the same market potential as the Whole Foods Market chain. While the company has not been specific about the number of stores it plans to roll out in total, opening just eight hundred “365” locations combined with the eight hundred additional locations anticipated for the original Whole Foods chain would nearly quintuple the company’s store count, offering Whole Foods the prospect of generating above-average sales growth for years to come.

    In addition, we believe that Whole Foods’ logistics infrastructure is currently underutilized. This is particularly true of the company’s distribution centers, which were built to accommodate growth and are not used to their full capacity today. The faster the volume of business in these centers grows, the more efficient the distribution infrastructure becomes as fixed operational costs are spread over a greater amount of business. Increased sales from the company’s recently updated business model and from the rollout of the new chain of 365 stores should accelerate the use of those infrastructure assets, generating cost savings that can be reinvested for growth. Despite the near-term challenges, we have come to respect Mr. Mackey for his long-term view in managing the business and believe the capable team he has assembled is acting both decisively and quickly to respond to increased competition.


  • Davis Funds Comments on Nabors Industries Ltd.

    As noted in our year-end 2014 report, the performance of our energy holdings hurt performance late last year. These companies continued to be a contributor to the Fund’s relative performance, both on the upside and the downside, during the first half of 2015. The severe dislocation in the energy markets presented an opportunity to increase our investment in Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR), an independent contract driller known primarily as a leading provider of high specification land drilling rigs, at prices not seen since the 2009 recession.

    Much of the turmoil in energy stocks reflects companies across the board struggling to cope with the impact of lower oil and gas prices. Energy companies are seeking to preserve profitability by demanding price cuts from their suppliers who are doing their best to cut their own costs and extract price concessions from their suppliers. In contract drilling, as prices continue to fall across the board, less capable rig operators and smaller companies are losing business to stronger drillers. Given Nabors’ scale and fleet quality, the company is well positioned to capital­ ize on the eventual turn in the cycle.


  • Davis Appreciation and Income Fund Semiannual Review 2015

    Performance Overview


  • Davis Funds Comments on American Express

    American Express (NYSE:AXP) is another representative holding in the Portfolio. This global financial services firm combines a strong, upscale charge card brand with ownership of the underlying payment network to create a unique business model. The company attracts some of the most desirable cardholders whose affluence leads to average spending about three times as great as ordinary bank cards. American Express reinforces this higher charge card spending with a market-leading cardholder rewards program, creating a virtuous circle of higher spending and higher rewards. The company earns much of its revenue from the transaction or interchange fees it charges merchants that accept its card. Because its payment network is wholly owned, American Express avoids sharing this important revenue source, generating significantly better economics than the payment networks of its competitors whose interchange fees are shared with banks. Recently, American Express announced it will not renew its exclusive arrangement as the only credit card accepted at U.S. Costco stores. While this move will slow the company’s earnings growth over the short term, we admire the strong capital allocation discipline of the American Express management team in walking away from an arrangement offering inadequate shareholder returns. We expect American Express will take steps to overcome this loss of business and once again deliver double-digit earnings growth for shareholders in the years ahead.

    From the Davis Financial Fund semi-annual review 2015.


  • Davis Funds Comments on Markel Corporation

    Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL), a specialty provider of nonstandard property and casualty (P&C) and life insurance products, is another example of a holding in the Portfolio. Markel generally underwrites policies in certain less competitive niche markets where it has developed significant expertise over many years, including P&C coverage for museums and private libraries, child care centers and camps, historic homes, private schools, and horse farms and riding clubs, among other niche markets. The company has also been successful in reinvesting the “float” (cost-free funds generated from premiums held on behalf of policyholders) provided by its insurance operations not only in stocks but also through the purchase of entire companies. By operating unobtrusively and shrewdly in its underwriting niches while earning good investment returns, Markel has created significant wealth for long-term shareholders.

    From the Davis Financial Fund semi-annual review 2015.


  • Davis Funds Comments on Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), a representative holding in the Portfolio, is one of the largest and in our view one of the best-managed financial services companies in the United States, serving one in three households nationwide.1 Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investment, mortgage, and consumer finance services across North America through its extensive branch network as well as other channels such as loan and wealth management offices, call centers and the Internet. A key competitive advantage is Wells Fargo’s sizeable, low-cost retail deposit base that enables it to generate one of the highest net interest margins in the industry. Wells Fargo has strong capital ratios, is a smart risk manager and is well positioned for continued growth over the years ahead.

    From the Davis Financial Fund semi-annual review 2015.


  • Davis Financial Fund Semi-Annual Review 2015

    Q: Please provide an overview of Davis Financial Fund.


  • Davis Funds Comments on Inc.

    In the cases mentioned above, our different point of view is based on an analysis of accounting and financial statements. In other cases, our different view of a company’s earnings power is based on research about the company’s business model and culture. In such cases, the valuation adjustments we make depend on judgment and informed opinions rather than accounting facts. Perhaps the best example of such qualitative adjustments concerns our analysis of, a company that looks very expensive based on reported earnings but that we believe is attractively valued based on true earnings power.

    We first met the management of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 1998 and have followed the company closely since then. (We highly recommend Amazon’s first letter to shareholders, a copy of which can be found at Based on our research, Amazon’s willingness to spend aggressively in order to expand its business masks the company’s true earnings power, making the shares far cheaper than they appear at first glance. In other words, if the company chose to stop expanding into new markets (such as China), creating new businesses (such as Amazon Prime Video), designing new hardware (such as the Kindle tablet), exploring long-term projects (such as drone delivery of orders), and developing new business lines (such as groceries), their profit margins would expand significantly. Moreover, even under this scaled-back scenario, the company would continue to grow at an above-average rate, as existing Amazon customers tend to increase their spending year after year. Although some shorter term investors might prefer a business plan where Amazon scaled back its investment to increase reported profits, we disagree. After all, this investment spending is overseen by the company’s principled and proven leader Jeff Bezos whose vision and foresight have made him one of the great value creators of all time. Amazon’s willingness to invest for the future is a point of differentiation that should increase shareholder value in the long term by widening the company’s lead over competitors and creating important new profit centers. One example of such value creation is Amazon Web Services, the world’s leading web hosting business. After many years of investing, this segment of Amazon’s business has become a new and important source of value that should generate almost $7 billion of revenue and more than $500 million of after-tax profit this year.


  • Davis New York Venture Fund Fall Review 2015

  • Chris Davis Acquires Nearly 24 Million Shares of Cabot Oil & Gas

    Chris Davis (Trades, Portfolio), portfolio manager for Davis Financial Fund, favors stable businesses that are well managed and available at value prices when he seeks investment opportunities. His approach has been pretty successful at Davis Financial Fund, which has recorded returns of 13.01%, 31.45% and 18.15% in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

    In the second quarter, Davis found more than a dozen prospects that met his criteria.


  • Smith Hayes Advisers Buys Visa, JP Morgan

    At the end of the second quarter of 2015, the hedge fund Smith Hayes Advisers reported a total value of its portfolio of $505.6 million, which increased by 0.51% over the previous quarter.

    During Q2 2015, the hedge fund bought 136 new stocks and increased 89 of its stakes. The following are the most heavily weighted buys during the quarter.


  • ValueAct Started to Buy American Express

    Jeff Ubben is a founder, chief executive officer and the chief investment officer of ValueAct Holding LP. Prior to founding ValueAct Capital in 2000, Ubben was a managing partner at Blum Capital Partners for more than five years. Previously, Ubben was a former chairman and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., a former director of Acxiom Corp., Catalina Marketing Corp., Gartner Group, Inc., Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc., Mentor Corporation, Omnicare, Inc., Misys, plc, Per-Se Technologies, Inc., Sara Lee Corp. and several other public and private companies.

    The hedge fund today has bought a big stake in American Express Co. (AXP) with an investment of about $1 billion that amounts to less than 5% of AXP’s outstanding shares. After the news, shares of the company has risen by about 7%, to $80 and now the price is -15.82% from its 52-week high and +7.51% from its 52-week low and is trading with a P/E ratio of 18.64. Value Act said AXP is not yet a core active target for them, even so they see a strong growth potential for the business of the company that together with its subsidiaries is a service company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.


  • Northstar Group Inc. Holdings bought JPMorgan and Microsoft in Q2 2015

    At the end of the second quarter of 2015, the hedge fund Northstar Group Inc. Holdings reported a total value of its portfolio of $130,988,000 with an increase of 0.97% since the previous quarter.

    During Q2 2015, the hedge fund bought five new stocks and increased 68 stakes, and the following are the most heavily weighted U.S. companies it bought.


  • Cue Financial Group sold out American Express in Q2 2015

    At the end of the second quarter of 2015, the hedge fund Cue Financial Group Inc. reported a total value of its portfolio of $106,266,000 with an increase of 6.92% since the previous quarter.

    During the Q2 2015, the hedge-fund bought eight new stocks and increased 97 stakes as summarized in my previous article. It also sold out 10 stakes and reduced another 27. The following are the most heavily weighted sales of U.S. companies the hedge fund did during that quarter.


  • Zenit Asset Management Ab's Sells Amazon in Q2 2015

    At the end of the second quarter of 2015, the hedge fund Zenit Asset Management Ab reported a total value of its portfolio of $647.56 million, with an increase of 7.46% since the previous quarter.

    During the Q2 2015, the hedge fund bought 13 new stocks and increased 12 stakes. In my previous article, I listed the top 5 buys, and here I want to list the top stakes the fund sold out.


  • BTIM Corp's Top Sales in Q2 2015

    At the end of the second quarter of 2015, the hedge fund BTIM Corp reported a total value of its portfolio of $6.56 billion, with a decrease of 2.65% since the previous quarter. During the same quarter, the fund bought 18 new stocks and increased 112 stakes as I previously reported; it also sold out 11 stocks and decreased its stake in 192 stocks. Listed below are the most heavily-weighted sales.


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