Mason Hawkins

Mason Hawkins

Last Update: 2014-11-20

Number of Stocks: 30
Number of New Stocks: 5

Total Value: $18,328 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 12%

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

Mason Hawkins Watch

  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Vivendi SA

    We initiated four new positions in the quarter: McDonald’s Corporation, Scripps Networks Interactive, Vivendi, and one undisclosed name. French company Vivendi (XPAR:VIV) consists of two key businesses — Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record label, and Canal+ Group, France’s biggest pay-TV operator. The recent auction of Vivendi’s Brazilian broadband business, GVT (Global Village Telecom), highlights Chairman and 5% owner Vincent Bolloré’s focus on creating value for shareholders. Southeastern has invested in Vivendi successfully twice before, and the company’s focus, asset quality, and management team has grown even stronger.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Scripps Networks Interactive Inc

    We initiated four new positions in the quarter: McDonald’s Corporation, Scripps Networks Interactive, Vivendi, and one undisclosed name. Scripps (SNI), a multi-year holding in our Small-Cap Fund, owns various channels, including 100% of HGTV and 69% of The Food Network. Its market capitalization has grown enough for us to own this company in the Partners Fund, and our appraisal has kept pace so that the attractive discount remains.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on McDonald's Corp

    We initiated four new positions in the quarter: McDonald’s Corporation, Scripps Networks Interactive, Vivendi, and one undisclosed name. Food quality issues at McDonald (MCD)’s China supplier, minimum wage pressure in the U.S., Russian challenges, European macro concerns, and improvements at competing chains pressured the stock and enabled us to own the company’s valuable real estate and dominant breakfast business at a discount.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Loews

    For the YTD period Loews (L) was the Fund’s primary performance detractor, down 13% after a 5% decline in the quarter. The stock fell because of pressure on its energy-related investments in Diamond Offshore, the drilling company, and to a lesser degree Boardwalk Pipeline. Loews recently announced the sale of Highmount Exploration and Production in line with our anticipated price. Through the last reported period in July, the company aggressively repurchased shares.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Murphy Oil

    Over the last three months, Murphy Oil (MUR) declined 14%. CEO Roger Jenkins made value accretive moves, announcing sales of its UK downstream assets and of 30% of the company’s Malaysian assets at a price above our appraisal. Moreover, as the shares became more discounted, the company initiated a share repurchase program, a move that Jenkins properly views as buying their proven barrels of oil for much less than it would cost to drill new wells or buy other plays.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on CONSOL Energy

    CONSOL Energy (CNX) posted a negative 18% return in the quarter. Over half of our appraisal is attributable to the company’s gas reserves in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. To monetize gas production value, Executive Chairman Brett Harvey and CEO Nick Deluliis successfully completed an initial public offering (IPO) of a midstream Master Limited Partnership (MLP) at metrics above both our appraisal and the projected price in the recent quarter. Approximately 40% of our appraisal is in CONSOL’s coal assets. As the low-cost producer in Appalachia due to its use of long wall mining methods, the company plans to shift more of its met coal sales to domestic customers — a competitive move that will pressure overleveraged, high cost producers. The company’s variety of assets, including the Baltimore port terminal, provides multiple options for gaining value recognition without reliance on commodity price increases.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Chesapeake

    Our appraisals of our three energy-related holdings did not fall in spite of large stock declines, because our models already incorporated lower commodity prices based on the futures curve pricing and the marginal cost of production in our various plays. Chesapeake (CHK) fell 20% in the quarter. While costs declined, capex remained on plan, and the company moved production estimates up slightly. During the two year tenure of the new board, balance sheet leverage has been reduced by $6 billion, primarily from noncore asset sales. CEO Doug Lawler is driving value recognition in ways he can control and is building additional upside with the $2–3 billion of annual discretionary capital spending that management projects should deliver strong returns on capital, even without higher commodity prices. The company’s 4.8 million net developed acres and 7.5 million undeveloped acres of oil and gas fields cannot be replicated.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Cheung Kong

    Although Cheung Kong (HKSE:00001) declined 7% in the third quarter, its 13% YTD return made this Hong Kong based conglomerate a large contributor for the year. In the first half, Hong Kong property sales were strong, and management made several value - enhancing asset sales across multiple business lines as well as returned capital to shareholders. More recently, Cheung Kong’s price was penalized amid protests and labor strikes in Hong Kong. Our appraisal remained intact. We are partnered with strong capital allocators who have not bought overpriced assets in China or Hong Kong. Cheung Kong’s strong balance sheet positions management to buy discounted land in the event of a real estate correction.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Bank of New York Mellon

    Bank of New York Mellon (BK) gained 4% in the quarter and 12% YTD. Expense controls helped results, although low market volatility and low rates this year have hampered revenue growth in asset services. The asset management business grew steadily along with the markets. The company emphasized the substantial earnings power that modest interest rate increases will create as money market fee waivers will end and net interest margins will expand. During the quarter BK repurchased almost 1% of outstanding shares, approximately one-third of the total buyback approved by the Federal Reserve.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Level 3 Communications

    Fiber and networking company Level 3 Communications (LVLT)’ 4% gain in the quarter took YTD return to 38%. Level 3 had a strong quarter with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) up over 20%, organic revenues up 7%, and positive free cash flow. The company’s purchase of tw telecom, announced in the second quarter, remains on track to close around year-end.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Berkshire Hathaway

    Another large contributor for the quarter was Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A BRK.B) which rose 9%. YTD the company advanced 17%. The company’s myriad of businesses performed well. In insurance, GEICO grew premiums 11% and wrote at a 92% combined ratio. Reinsurance was helped by few natural disaster claims. In rail, Burlington Northern’s revenues rose 8% as volumes increased and pricing improved, particularly in agricultural products following a record grain harvest and limited supply given increased oil shipments. Berkshire’s U.S. and U.K. utility revenues also grew. The manufacturing, service, and retailing businesses increased revenues and earnings. Overall, corporate revenues from these diverse businesses grew 6%, earnings increased 17%, and our appraisal increased.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on FedEx

    FedEx (FDX), the largest contributor for the quarter and a major contributor YTD, rose 7% and 13% respectively. The company reported strong operating results led by Ground, where revenue grew 8% year-over-year and operating margins expanded toward 20%. Express had healthy U.S. volumes, and Freight saw both volume and revenue increases. While Ground remains the majority of our appraisal, Freight’s results were notable with 70% operating income growth and double-digit margins. Sustained operating performance in this division would drive future value growth. During the quarter, the company continued to demonstrate its pricing power. The company repurchased 5.3 million shares, an annualized rate of 7%, and authorized an additional 15 million shares.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Longleaf Partners Q3 2014 Management Discussion



  • Mason Hawkins Comments on OCI

    OCI (XAMS:OCI), owned by Longleaf Small-Cap, International, and Global, consists of a legacy construction business and the much larger nitrogen fertilizer business. Natural gas is the primary component in nitrogen fertilizer production, and during the quarter, gas supply interruptions impacted production at OCI’s two Egyptian plants. Although the stock declined, our appraisal held steady, as it already incorporated 50% Egyptian utilization for 2014, and because OCI’s other plants around the world are operating at or near full capacity with low cost gas and higher prices for Ammonia and Urea, two primary outputs. The long-term case for OCI remains compelling as the company is the low cost industry leader in nitrogen fertilizer, essential for world food production. In the next 12–18 months the company will have higher production and lower capex with the opening of a greenfield plant in Iowa and the completion of the Beaumont, Texas extension. The company is also building the largest methanol plant in the country in Texas. CEO Nassef Sawiris has built and monetized substantial value historically; specifically, he has added enormous value for Southeastern’s clients and our partners in the Longleaf Funds through his work at Texas Industries and Lafarge. Most recently, he announced that in early 2015 OCI will separate the fertilizer and construction businesses to remove the conglomerate discount in the stock price.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Third Quarter 2014 Commentary.  


  • Mason Hawkins Comments on Melco International

    Melco International (HKSE:00200), the Macau gaming company held in the International and Global Funds, fell alongside all Macau gaming stocks. A meaningful drop in VIP visitors has led to lower revenues. The causes include China’s crackdown on corruption causing wealthier people to keep a lower profile away from Macau, slower Chinese economic growth hurting property sales that boosted gambler credit, and liquidity challenges faced by junket operators who organize VIP visits and extend credit to them. Other pressures impacting the stocks are difficult to quantify, such as tighter transit visa requirements, wage inflation and labor unrest, UnionPay credit card restrictions, and a smoking ban starting in October. The negative news flow did not impact our conviction in Melco. Our appraisal already incorporated lower growth in both VIP and mass revenues than most sell-side analysts had previously assumed for the year. Over 80% of Melco’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) comes from the non-VIP segment that is still growing gross gaming revenue at 15%. This important mass market has margins several times higher than the margins on VIPs whose revenues are split with junket operators. 100% hotel occupancy also has limited growth this year, but planned new hotels should increase visitation over the next few years as should the new Hong Kong–Macau bridge that will allow passengers at the Hong Kong airport to arrive in Macau in half an hour. Melco has a near-term supply advantage with its Studio City casino and hotel opening in Q3 2015. Despite analyst downgrades on Macau gaming stocks, Melco is estimated to have high EBITDA growth in 2015 and 2016. The company began repurchasing shares in Melco Crown in September, and our partner, CEO Lawrence Ho, has bought more stock personally in the last two quarters.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Third Quarter 2014 Commentary.  


  • Longleaf Partners Third Quarter Commentary

    Not only did those companies under the most price pressure meet our operating expectations, but their upside prospects increased due in large part to the actions of our CEO partners. To provide insight into these positions and why we continue to have long-term conviction in their potential to outperform, we discuss them below.


    In the U.S.

      


  • Longleaf Partners Fund Comments on Loews

    Although Loews (L) was flat in the second quarter, it remained a detractor YTD, down 9%. The first quarter price fell after underlying holdings Diamond Offshore (DO) and Boardwalk Pipeline (BWP) disappointed. In April, DO’s results improved, and the company announced its first share buyback since 2004. After being punished for cutting its dividend in February, BWP outlined several attractive potential projects going forward and recovered in the second quarter. Loews’ other major holding, CNA Financial Corp. had a solid quarter. Loews ramped up its own share repurchases given the discount in the stock and the lack of high-return alternatives for the company’s large net cash of over $8.50/share.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Fund Semi Annual 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Longleaf Partners Fund Comments on Royal Philips NV

    Philips (XAMS:PHIA, PHG) declined 7% in the second quarter and 11% YTD. Foreign currency headwinds impacted reported sales, although comparable revenue was flat. Net debt increased as free cash flow (FCF, excess cash from operations) went to a one-time pension payment and share buybacks. A temporary suspension of production at a U.S. healthcare plant also impacted FCF. Management reaffirmed expectations for a “challenging” 2014, comprised of improved results at Consumer and Lighting but a continued drag from Healthcare. Management previously delivered on every aspect of 2013 targets and remains committed to 100-200 additional basis points (1 to 2%) of margin improvement by 2016. At quarter-end, the company announced plans to merge the LED and automotive lighting units into a standalone company with €1.4 billion in revenue and will explore strategic options for outside investment. This advances management’s “Accelerate” plan to concentrate Philips around Health and Wellness and fundamentally increase shareholder value.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Fund Semi Annual 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Longleaf Partners Fund Comments on FedEx

    In the first quarter, terrible winter weather hurt FedEx (FDX) results, but the stock rebounded 14% over the last three months. When the price was weak, management repurchased almost 10 million shares at a discount, equating to a 13% annualized pace. The stock rose following strong revenue growth and profits in the Ground segment and higher package volume in Express. Management also set expectations for higher margins following the completed cost restructuring over the last two years. Our appraisal grew as the much more profitable Ground business outpaced the larger Express segment that receives most of analysts’ attention.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Fund Semi Annual 2014 Management Discussion.  


  • Longleaf Partners Fund Comments on Level 3 Communications

    Fiber and networking company Level 3 Communications (LVLT) announced a deal to acquire tw telecom and returned 12% in the quarter and 32% for the first half. With the deal, Level 3 gets increased tax benefits for its historic NOLs (net operating losses) due to the company’s increased equity capitalization. The transaction also affords an identified $200 million in synergies, roughly half of which come from the straightforward traffic switch onto Level 3’s backbone. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Beyond the merger, in his first year as CEO, Jeff Storey and his team have delivered solid revenue growth, margin improvements, and higher cash flow guidance.

    From Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio)’ Longleaf Partners Fund Semi Annual 2014 Management Discussion.  


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