Martin Whitman

Martin Whitman

Last Update: 2014-09-17
Related: Third Avenue Management

Number of Stocks: 37
Number of New Stocks: 2

Total Value: $2,072 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 8%

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

Martin Whitman Watch

  • Third Avenue Management Comments on Alleghany Corp

    From Third Avenue Management's second-quarter letter:

    We initiated a position in Alleghany Common (Y), which was purchased in TASCX and discussed in last quarter's TASCX shareholder letter. Curtis Jensen and I attended a lunch with a small group of investors and Alleghany's CEO, Weston Hicks, in April. Weston seems to be our type of CEO: he is non-promotional and focused on generating shareholder value by growing book value per share. The company has no dedicated investor relations person and does not do quarterly earnings calls, but instead provides comprehensive financial disclosures aimed at enabling long-term investors, as opposed to short-term speculators, to make informed investment decisions. Weston's presentation to investors consisted of a one page Excel spreadsheet showing the company's performance since 2002, when he joined the company. Over this period, the company's average combined ratio was 90% (i.e., a 10% underwriting profit margin), and book value per share increased at a 9% compounded annual growth rate ("CAGR"). This growth was particularly impressive given the difficult underwriting environment over the period with competitive pricing and an elevated level of insured losses.  

  • Third Avenue Management Comments on Devon Energy Corp

    From Marty Whitman's second quarter 2012 letter:

    As discussed in last quarter's letter, a new position was initiated in Devon Common (DVN). We added modestly to the position this quarter. Devon Energy Corp. is an Oklahoma-based oil and gas exploration and production company. In April, I attended the presentation of Devon's CEO, John Rickels, at the IPAA Oil and Gas Investor Symposium in New York City. The highlight was the company's discussion of its long-term growth outlook: production is projected to increase from 240 million barrels of oil equivalent ("BOE") in 2011, to 340 million BOE by 2016, representing a 7% annual growth rate. This growth is projected to be driven by high margin oil and natural gas liquids ("NGLs") annual growth of 16% to 18%, while natural gas production declines slightly. The company should retain a very strong financial position throughout this period, as most of the growth is expected to be funded by operating cash flow (the company expects to use only $1.5 billion of its $7 billion in cash over this period).  

  • Marty Whitman's Successor Ian Kapey Discusses Third Avenue Portfolio and Investment Strategy

    Third Avenue Value manager Ian Lapey talks about some of the changes he's made at the fund since taking full control while staying clear of a benchmark.

    This is what he said on what changes he is making after taking over the baton from legendary investor Marty Whitman.  

  • Marty Whitman: How Cash Can Be Used Most Productively by Corporations

    This is the latest commentary from legendary value investor Marty Whitman.

  • Third Avenue Funds Martin Whitman Third Quarter Letter

    Dear Fellow Shareholders:

    Throughout the years, I have frequently written about the great emphasis the Third Avenue Management ("TAM") investment team places on the quality and quantity of a company's resources when evaluating a potential investment. Put simply, most of the time, we seek to invest in the equity securities of companies with lots of cash and little, or no, debt. This quarter, I thought it might be of interest to my fellow shareholders to expand upon our thoughts on how cash can be most productively used by corporations.  

  • Marty Whitman's Third Avenue Management First Quarter Investor Letter

    In his first quarter letter for the period ending Jan. 31, 2012, Marty Whitman discusses the primacy of fundamental analysis in investing and hands the reigns over to his successor, though he says he will remain as chairman of the board for Third Avenue Management:

    Dear Fellow Shareholders:  

  • One-Upping Warren Buffett - Best, Worst and Next Stocks from Third Avenue's Ian Lapey

    The web is littered with lists, boasts from every corner, each claiming to be the penultimate collection of tips, tricks, lessons, and laws. Smart investment is driven by experience and data, and you often have to navigate through the digital debris to find good advice. But mistakes are just as instructive. Smart people are never entirely immune to bad judgment. So we are offering a new monthly series—My Best, My Worst, My Next—which offers three personal anecdotes from world-class investors. We hope to guide you towards success, warn you away from failure, and provide an advanced peek at the future.Confused by market-timing gurus divided over whether we are in for a major correction or the bull has further to run? Value investor Ian Lapey, a protégé of legendary investor Marty Whitman and co-manager of Whitman’s flagship Third Avenue Value Fund, looks solely at company balance sheets. Here are his best, worst and next picks.

    MY BEST: Tripling the Money   

  • Marty Whitman's Latest Buys and Adds: HUWHY.PK, TLAB, AMAT

    Marty Whitman, chairman of Third Avenue Management, is a bottom-up, value-oriented investor. He seeks companies with strong finances, competent management, and easily understandable businesses. He is also a long-term, buy-and-hold investor who buys companies selling at a discount to inherent value. He has a 91.5 10-year cumulative return, versus 16.4% for the S&P.

    He initiated one new position and added to two existing positions in the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2011: Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (HUWHY.PK), Tellabs Inc. (TLAB) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT).  

  • Third Avenue Value Fund Buys Tellabs Inc., Applied Materials Inc., Carver Bancorp Inc., Sells Brookfield Asset Management

    Legendary value investor Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Value Fund reported their portfolio of Oct. 31, 2011. The fund has been buying tech stocks, too, like many other value investors. The fund buys Tellabs Inc., Applied Materials Inc., Carver Bancorp Inc., sells Brookfield Asset Management during the 3-months ended 10/31/2011, according to the most recent filings. As of 10/31/2011, Third Avenue Value Fund owns 45 stocks with a total value of $3.3 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.

    For the details of Martin Whitman's stock buys and sells, go to  

  • Third Avenue Management Stategies and their top holdings

    Third Avenue Management is an investment management firm launched in 1990 by veteran value investor Martin J. Whitman. Whitman is considered to be a “career investment banker and turnaround specialist” with an educational background hailing from Syracuse University. Furthermore, Whitman holds a master degree in economics, is a recipient of the coveted CFA designation, and author of The Aggressive Conservative Investor, Value Investing: A Balanced Approach, and Distressed Investing: Principles and Technique. Symbolically represented by a New York Elevated Train logo, it serves as homage to the value philosophy of the firm as the El train historically cost a dime to travel from borough to borough in New York City. Third Avenue offers several different products to investors, from the classical value fund, to more exotic funds such as focused credit funds. Nonetheless, the flagship and originating fund of the firm is the Third Avenue Value Fund (TVFVX).  

  • Martin Whitman Buys Tellabs Inc., Sells Nabors Industries Ltd., Brookfield Asset Management

    Legendary value investor Martin Whitman reported his third quarter portfolio. Marty Whitman uses a bottom-up, value oriented approach to analysis. He seems to buy “cheap and safe” companies. Marty Whitman also writes great shareholder letter. If you missed his latest letter, please read it here.

    Marty Whitman’s Third Avenue Value Fund is now co-managed by himself and Ian Lapey. He bought more Tellabs Inc., reduced Nabors Industries Ltd. during the 3-months ended 07/31/2011, according to the most recent filings. As of 07/31/2011, Third Avenue Value Fund owns 42 stocks with a total value of $4 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.  

  • Marty Whitman Q3 Shareholder Letter

    Legendary value investor Marty Whitman just released his shareholder letter. Being an expert with debt investing, Mr. Whitman shared his view on the US debt. He finished his letter with these commentaries:


  • Marty Whitman's Second Quarter Sells — A Winner (XEC) and a Loser (BFSB)

    Martin Whitman is an influential investor known for his keen insight and in-depth shareholder letters. He is the founder and portfolio manager of the Third Avenue Value Fund (TAVFX) as well as adjunct professor at Yale University. He invests by buying and holding stocks that trade at significant discounts to intrinsic value. Usually, only when a company undergoes a fundamental change in its business or capital structure that significantly alters the security’s inherent value does he sell. Whitman has achieved a 10-year cumulative return of 91.4% compared to the 16.4% return of the S&P 500. In the second quarter of 2011, he sold out of two stocks, Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC) and Brooklyn Federal Bancorp Inc. (BFSB).

    Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC)  

  • Marty Whitman Quarterly Commentary: Investing in the Distressed Credits of Troubled Companies

    There are four specialized areas where a distress investor ought to be reasonably knowledgeable, say knowledgeable enough to be an informed, intelligent client: • Securities Law and Regulation • Financial Accounting • Income Tax Law and Regulation • Bankruptcy Law Distress Investing divides into five separate, but sometimes related, businesses.

    1) Performing loans, where the great weight of probability is that the credit instruments will remain performing loans.  

  • Stock Market Valuation: April 3, 2011

    The current level of the S&P500 is 1,332, and the Dow is at 12,377--nearly unchanged from last month. As evidenced below, market valuations did not change much over the last month.

    I update market valuations on a monthly basis. The point of this article is to measure the stock market based on seven different metrics. This article does not look at the macro picture and try to predict where the economy is headed. It only uses these several metrics which have been very good past indicators of whether the market is fairly valued.  


    In the latest quarterly letter, legendary investor Martin Whitman revisited the topic of diversification.

    Each and every fund registered under the Investment Act of 1940 as amended, which is managed by Third Avenue Management LLC (“TAM or TAM Funds”) is considerably less diversified than most Registered Investment Companies (“RIC”) with which the TAM Funds might be compared. Certainly TAM funds are far, far less diversified than mutual fund industry averages.  

  • Martin Whitman Buys Applied Materials Inc., Sells Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Ltd., Forest City Enterprises Inc.

    This is the portfolio update for Third Avenue Value Fund, run by legendary value investor Martin Whitman. The current portfolio date is 10/31/2010.

    We have observed that Third Avenue Value Fund continues to make more sales than buys. The only stock the fund bought was again a technology stock, Applied Materials Inc. This is after the purchase of Sycamore Networks Inc. in the previous quarters.  

  • Martin Whitman Publishes 4Q10 Letter

    Third Avenue Management’s Martin Whitman and his portfolio managers published the following collection of letters to shareholders:

    TAF 4Q 2010 Shareholder Letters

  • Martin Whitman: Repealing Section 382 Could Have Saved Ambac Financial

    Investment Guru Martin Whitman wrote a column article and argued the necessity of repealing Section 382 of the tax code. In his opnion: “The benefits of repealing Section 382 far outweigh the costs to the U.S. Treasury in lost revenue. Eliminating the rule would sharply reduce corporate failures--large and small--and would allow cash-rich companies and financial institutions to deploy capital to support economic growth and job creation, ultimately expanding the country's tax base.”

    On Nov. 8 Ambac Financial declared bankruptcy, needlessly. Had Congress acted to change the tax code to give troubled corporations a much needed break, Ambac probably could have raised enough equity to rebuild its core business.  

  • Martin Whitman Celebrates 20 Years of Stewardship

    Investment Guru Martin Whitman, Chairman of Third Avenue Funds, celebrates two decades of stewardship as the Portfolio Manager of the Third Avenue Value Fund (TAVFX), the flagship mutual fund of Third Avenue Management LLC. The Fund was launched on November 1, 1990 and has been managed by Mr. Whitman since its inception. Ian Lapey has co-managed the Fund with Mr. Whitman since 2009.

    The company release this article in celebration of the event:  

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