Wallace Weitz

Wallace Weitz

Last Update: 11-14-2016

Number of Stocks: 69
Number of New Stocks: 3

Total Value: $2,611 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 6%

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

Wallace Weitz Watch

  • Weitz Funds Analyst Corner: A Perspective on Murphy USA

    Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) is the largest stand-alone fuel retailer in the United States. The majority of its stores are located adjacent to a Wal-Mart, and they pursue a low-cost, high-volume model.

      


  • Weitz Funds Comments on Oracle

    Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) is the market share leader in sales of database software and is number two in enterprise software, globally. Oracle has moved aggressively to rewrite its enterprise applications, which were previously available for on premise installation, as Software as a Service (SaaS) products. The company has gained significant traction in moving customers to SaaS and we believe will gain share in the overall enterprise applications market. Oracle recently announced the availability of its Database as a Service offering, which it believes will enable customers to move their database workloads to the Oracle Cloud. We believe the company will grow as its new applications gain acceptance with its large base of customers.




  • Weitz Funds Comments on Twenty-First Century Fox

    Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) is a diversified media and entertainment company. Shares of Fox declined in the wake of the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings report. The good news was continued strength in distribution revenues earned by its suite of Pay-TV networks around the world as well as a resilient ad market in the U.S. Unfortunately, Fox’s international ad revenues slowed considerably due to weakness in Northern Europe and India, rising only 1% in local currency after seven straight quarters of very strong, double- digit growth. Additionally, Fox’s three major summer film releases, X-Men: Apocalypse, Ice Age: Collision Course, andIndependence Day: Resurgence, all underperformed expectations. Moreover, management de-emphasized share repurchase within their capital allocation plans, preferring to preserve flexibility to either invest in the business organically (e.g., increasing investment in original content at the National Geographic channel) or to make acquisitions. Despite a more challenging international ad market and disappointing box office results, we continue to believe the underlying business is sound.




  • Weitz Funds Comments on Mastercard

    Mastercard (NYSE:MA) operates the world’s second-largest payment network and one of the best known global brands. During the quarter, shares rose as investors applauded continued payment volume growth and a slightly improved economic global outlook. Mastercard is among the most attractive businesses we own. Its network is well entrenched within the plumbing of payment systems across the globe. The transition from cash to digital forms of payment provide growth opportunities, while the core business produces healthy doses of excess cash flow with modest reinvestment requirements.




  • Weitz Funds Comments on Express Scripts

    Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) is the largest independent pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) in the United States, helping health benefit providers improve access to (and the affordability of) prescription drugs. As the U.S. election enters its final stages, pharmaceutical manufacturers have shouldered a significant portion of the public’s frustration with the growing lack of affordability in healthcare. In recent weeks, several drug companies have attempted to shift the conversation by pointing fingers at PBMs and other “middlemen” as contributing to (as opposed to minimizing) rising prescription drug costs. Express Scripts and its peers provide a necessary and valuable service to plan sponsors, constructing custom plan designs that balance customer desires for access, cost and flexibility. Providing the absolute lowest cost for each drug utilized is not often the sponsor’s only (or even primary) goal. Additionally, competitive intensity across the industry is high, with no less than two (and in most cases three) potential PBM models to choose from for managing drug costs. We believe Express Scripts keeps a reasonable amount of the savings it generates for clients (we estimate between 10-15%) and that demand for its services will remain high as cost challenges persist. Express Scripts’ shares currently trade at a meaningful discount to our estimate of intrinsic value.




  • Weitz Funds Comments on Allergan

    Allergan (NYSE:AGN) is a global specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on the development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of brand name, biosimilar and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical products. One week after closing the sale of Actavis generics to Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan reported mildly disappointing top-line results for the quarter. Importantly, however, Allergan’s “core” products continue to grow nicely, with five of the company’s seven core therapeutic categories growing by double digits (in constant currency) versus the prior year. Our base case valuation of $350-360 per share does not depend on Allergan hitting CEO Brent Saunders’ goal of double- digit organic growth. However, strong, high single-digit organic sales growth appears achievable, as the company’s recently launched products continue to scale. One near-term positive of a lower share price is that Allergan’s $5 billion in share repurchases between now and year end will go further, and deployment of a portion of the company’s nearly $28 billion in cash remains a possible catalyst for the stock. The re-emergence of drug pricing as a political issue is not surprising to us as we enter the home stretch of the presidential election. We believe Secretary Clinton’s plan to control and eventually lower prescription drugs costs could negatively impact Allergan’s long-term earnings trajectory (perhaps by $2-3 per share on a base of $18), should she win the election, but with the stock at $240, we believe the risk of permanent loss is low. In short, Allergan’s risk/reward ratio (upside to base case vs. downside to low case) continues to be skewed in favor of the long-term owner.

      


  • Weitz Funds Comments on Texas Instruments

    Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) is one of the largest Analog and Embedded Semiconductor manufacturers globally. Texas Instruments designs, makes and sells semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers across the world. Analog and embedded content is found in just about every electronic device made, including automobiles. Texas Instruments has continued to benefit from investor recognition of the company’s execution, disciplined capital allocation (returning all excess cash to shareowners) and the potential that the market for analog semiconductors has become slightly less cyclical as the industry has matured and consolidated.

      


  • Weitz Funds Comments on Range Resources

    Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) is an independent producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) based in Fort Worth, Texas, with operations in the Marcellus shale and emerging Terryville field. Range’s stock cooled some during the third quarter following a strong rebound during the first half of the year. As expected, Range completed its purchase of Memorial Resource Development during mid-September, adding another sizeable low-cost, high-return natural gas asset in northern Louisiana to its prolific Marcellus acreage position. An improved balance sheet and the opportunity to produce significant quantities of natural gas near growing demand centers at rates of return similar to the Marcellus are clear positives from the Memorial transaction. Overall, we believe the backdrop for the most efficient natural gas producers remains favorable in the intermediate term; though weather continues to pose near-term risks, given elevated gas storage levels. We believe Range shares are worth between $48-50 share.

      


  • Weitz Funds Comments on Redwood Trust

    Redwood Trust (NYSE:RWT) invests in mortgage-related and other real estate-related assets, and is engaged in residential and commercial mortgage banking activities. Redwood recently took meaningful steps to right- size its cost and business structure in light of market conditions. After a successful repositioning of the company’s mortgage-banking business and associated expense infrastructure, Redwood’s leaner and more nimble platform is well positioned to execute longer-term strategic initiatives intended to enhance growth opportunities and future earnings power. We believe Redwood Trust remains competitively advantaged as a residential mortgage credit investor and is well positioned to benefit from potential government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform and the eventual revitalization of private-label residential securitization. Trading under book value and generating a dividend yield of nearly 8%, the stock continues to represent a compelling investment value.

      


  • Weitz Balanced Fund 3rd Quarter Commentary

    Investment Style: Moderate Allocation

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on National CineMedia

    National CineMedia (NASDAQ:NCMI) operates digital, in-theatre media networks selling advertising and promotions. National CineMedia’s shares posted a modestly negative return during the quarter as investors adjusted to a slightly reduced outlook from the company’s management team. Although inventory sell-through and pricing remain strong, management indicated that current quarter results were being impacted by advertisers spending more with the Summer Olympics than previously anticipated. Shares were also likely pressured, to some degree, by a slightly disappointing summer box office, with a handful of key titles underperforming expectations. We continue to believe National CineMedia’s advertising network provides significant value and opportunity for marketers looking to reach large audiences, particularly with younger demographics.

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Fossil Group

    Fossil Group (NASDAQ:FOSL) is the fourth-largest producer of watches and the largest licenser of watches and jewelry globally. Following a strong first quarter earnings report, Fossil reported disappointing results in the second quarter due to a tough consumer environment and weakness in the wholesale channel in North America and Europe. The main drivers of the wholesale channel weakness were weak foot traffic, inventory destocking and continued moderation at their largest licensed brand, Michael Kors. This difficult environment led management to cut guidance for the full year. The retail channel and Fossil’s owned brands continued to outperform, with Skagen growing double- digits and the Fossil brand posting growth in a difficult environment. Despite low visibility through the end of the year, we expect a rebound in 2017 led by strategic investments and a large pipeline of product introductions, including wearables launches across 10 brands. Furthermore, investments in brand building and omni-channel initiatives should also benefit 2017 results.

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Range Resources

    Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) is an independent producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) based in Fort Worth, Texas, with operations in the Marcellus shale and emerging Terryville field. Range’s stock cooled some during the third quarter following a strong rebound during the first half of the year. As expected, Range completed its purchase of Memorial Resource Development during mid-September, adding another sizeable low-cost, high-return natural gas asset in northern Louisiana to its prolific Marcellus acreage position. An improved balance sheet and the opportunity to produce significant quantities of natural gas near growing demand centers at rates of return similar to the Marcellus are clear positives from the Memorial transaction. Overall, we believe the backdrop for the most efficient natural gas producers remains favorable in the intermediate term; though weather continues to pose near-term risks, given elevated gas storage levels. We believe Range shares are worth between $48-50 share.

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on ADT Corp

    ADT Corp (NYSE:ADT) is a provider of monitored security, interactive home and business automation, and related monitoring services in the United States and Canada. After reaching a 2016 low of $24.94, ADT shares rose on February 15, 2016, in response to the announcement that private equity firm Apollo Global Management had agreed to acquire ADT for $42 per share, a slight discount to our mid-$40s estimate of business value. Apollo plans to combine ADT with its own alarm monitoring business, Protection One. We exited our roughly two year position at the end of February for a modest gain.

      


  • Wally Weitz's Hickory Fund 3rd Quarter Commentary

    Calendar Year-to-Date Contributors

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) is a financial services company. The opening of bogus bank and credit card accounts at Wells Fargo was a serious violation of customer trust. Management’s pressure on employees to “make the numbers” and their apparent slow response to the problem once it surfaced are serious lapses of judgement and culture. Members of top management are paying a financial price, and some may lose their jobs. The bank may face additional penalties, and the reputational damage is significant. From an investment perspective, though, while the stock will probably be under a cloud for some period of time, we do not expect a permanent impairment of the company’s business value. The company’s very low- cost deposit base, ubiquitous distribution, ample capital and diverse business lines give us confidence in the durability of Wells Fargo’s franchise. The stock trades at less than 12x our earnings estimates, and we continue to own the company at quarter end.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s third quarter 2016 Partners III Opportunity Fund.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Berkshire Hathaway

    LiLAC Group (NASDAQ:LILA) is a tracking stock distributed by Liberty Global during the third calendar quarter of 2015 designed to provide an avenue to tap growth opporutnities available in Latin America and the Caribbean. In May of 2016, Liberty Global closed its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications and attributed the operations to LiLAC Group. The consideration paid included new shares of both the Latin American and European tracking stocks. To compensate the European tracker stockholders, Liberty Global received a 67% intergroup stake in LiLAC. In an effort to remove this complexity and restore the Latin America tracker to full public ownership, Liberty Global announced on June 2 the intergroup stake would be distributed directly to shareholders. Shares were subsequently pressured, as many shareholders either sold short the new LiLAC shares before they were received or sold outright after the distribution. As the selling pressure abated, shares fell again after LiLAC missed earnings expectations in the most recent quarter.


    LiLAC Group’s shares declined after LiLAC reported third quarter results that were below Wall Street’s expectations. This was the first quarter since LiLAC closed the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications. Outside investors largely overestimated the newly acquired asset’s near-term contributions to the combined entity due to different accounting treatments between the two companies and a lack of general information. Missing expectations has created near-term price pressure, but we anticipate that in the coming quarters LiLAC will demonstrate the benefits they saw in this acquisition, beginning with identifying operating synergies for investors.

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Berkshire Hathaway

    Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) is a conglomerate holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of business activities. Berkshire shares were helped by the closing of the Precision Castparts acquisition in the first calendar quarter, improved operating performance at its Burlington Northern railroad subsidiary and the potential of further capital allocation opportunities. Additionally, Berkshire shares were helped by the diversification of its underlying businesses as well as the appreciation of the publically traded securities it holds. Furthermore, momentum resulting from management’s general optimism about the company’s long-term prospects continues to excite investors.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s third quarter 2016 Partners III Opportunity Fund.   


  • Wally Weitz's Partners III Opportunity Fund 3rd Quarter Commentary

    The Partners III Opportunity Fund’s Institutional Class returned +4.06% in the third calendar quarter, compared to +3.85% for the S&P 500 and +4.40% for the Russell 3000. For the calendar year to date, the Partners III Opportunity Fund’s Institutional Class returned +4.72%, compared to +7.84% for the S&P 500 and +8.18% for the Russell 3000.

      


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Avon Products

    Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) is a manufacturer and marketer of beauty and related products. Avon shares responded positively to developments during the quarter, including continued improvement in local currency sales and the identification of $70 million of cost savings in 2016. In addition, the outlook for the Brazilian economy, Avon’s single largest market, is slowly improving. Although the stock responded well this quarter to positive developments, the allocation is sized in accordance with the economic headwinds that still persist and the variance of possible outcomes among our estimates of intrinsic value.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Liberty Global

    Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) is the largest international cable company, with operations in 14 countries providing video, broadband Internet, fixed-line telephone and mobile services to its customers. As the worst of the Brexit fears began to abate (the United Kingdom represents roughly 38% of Liberty Global’s cash flow generation), shares of Liberty Global recovered some of their losses of the prior quarter. Shares also likely benefited from the EU’s approval of the previously announced formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Vodafone combining Liberty’s strong cable and broadband businesses with Vodafone’s mobile offering to create a more competitive “converged” bundle. We remain confident of continued growth for Liberty Global’s cable offerings and management’s ability to deliver operationally.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Twenty-First Century Fox

    Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) is a diversified media and entertainment company. Shares of Fox declined in the wake of the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings report. The good news was continued strength in distribution revenues earned by its suite of Pay-TV networks around the world as well as a resilient ad market in the U.S. Unfortunately, Fox’s international ad revenues slowed considerably due to weakness in Northern Europe and India, rising only 1% in local currency after seven straight quarters of very strong, double-digit growth. Additionally, Fox’s three major summer film releases, X-Men: Apocalypse, Ice Age: Collision Course, andIndependence Day: Resurgence, all underperformed expectations. Moreover, management de-emphasized share repurchase within their capital allocation plans, preferring to preserve flexibility to either invest in the business organically (e.g., increasing investment in original content at the National Geographic channel) or to make acquisitions. Despite a more challenging international ad market and disappointing box office results, we continue to believe the underlying business is sound.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on QVC Group

    QVC Group (NASDAQ:QVCA) is owned by Liberty Interactive. QVC is an American television network and multinational corporation specializing in televised and online shopping experiences. Shares of QVC Group fell after management indicated that its U.S. business had experienced significant sales headwinds, which are likely to continue into the next quarter. QVC’s U.S. business, which has not seen a sales decline since the Great Recession, appears to be tracking down in the mid to high single- digits, as its fashion business has slowed and a large beauty vendor is dealing with customer complaints on its hair care products. Importantly, we don’t view these issues as a sign of the QVC model suddenly being broken. QVC’s customer retention and loyalty remain strong, as does viewership of their network. Additionally, the international businesses appear unaffected by the current U.S.-centric slowdown. Although the decline in QVC shares is disappointing, we believe management will take advantage, growing their per share business value by continuing to execute their share repurchase strategy.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Express Scripts

    QVC Group (NASDAQ:QVCA) is owned by Liberty Interactive. QVC is an American television network and multinational corporation specializing in televised and online shopping experiences. Shares of QVC Group fell after management indicated that its U.S. business had experienced significant sales headwinds, which are likely to continue into the next quarter. QVC’s U.S. business, which has not seen a sales decline since the Great Recession, appears to be tracking down in the mid to high single- digits, as its fashion business has slowed and a large beauty vendor is dealing with customer complaints on its hair care products. Importantly, we don’t view these issues as a sign of the QVC model suddenly being broken. QVC’s customer retention and loyalty remain strong, as does viewership of their network. Additionally, the international businesses appear unaffected by the current U.S.-centric slowdown. Although the decline in QVC shares is disappointing, we believe management will take advantage, growing their per share business value by continuing to execute their share repurchase strategy.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Endo

    Endo (NASDAQ:ENDP) is a specialty healthcare company engaged in developing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing branded pharmaceutical and generic products and medical devices. Endo experienced significantly worse-than-anticipated erosion at Qualitest, its legacy generic drug platform. Simply put, our analysis of the company’s competitive positioning in controlled substance generics was wrong. The competitive environment changed quickly, and we were slow to recognize it. After conversations with both management and a couple of the larger drug buying consortiums, we could not gain comfort in the durability of Endo’s now lower earnings base. The company’s balance sheet and potential legal obligations (liabilities relating to the company’s legacy vaginal mesh products) leave less room for error given growth challenges on the branded side of Endo’s business. Considering the erosion in our investment thesis, questions about management’s ability to identify and navigate risk, and a growing list of unknowns surrounding the business, we elected to close our position in the second calendar quarter and refocus our capital in more attractive opportunities.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Colfax

    Colfax (NYSE:CFX) is a leading manufacturer of pumps, gas handling products and welding equipment. Shares have risen through the year at the prospect of a bottoming in many of Colfax’s end markets, which include oil & gas, power generation and mining. This potential bottoming provides confidence that sales growth may return in the near future. In addition, the use of the Colfax Business System, a management philosophy and a set of tools based on the concept of continuous improvement to drive new product development and cut costs, has improved the margin outlook for the business.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz Comments on Liberty Broadband

    Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDA) holds a 20% ownership interest (25% aggregate voting power) in Charter Communications. Charter Communications reported quarterly results for the first time since closing on its mergers with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. As such, investors had their first look at the combined entity, even if Charter had only operated these assets for 43 days. Results from the legacy Charter footprint remained strong, and management provided a helpful overview of the combined company as well as their integration and synergy plans. We, and other investors, are excited by the opportunity to run the “Charter playbook” with the newly combined company. Charter shares were also aided by the company’s September inclusion into the S&P 500 Index.

    From Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Partners Value Fund third-quarter commentary.   


  • Wally Weitz's Partners Value Fund 3rd Quarter Commentary

    The Partners Value Fund’s Institutional Class returned +3.82% in the third calendar quarter, compared to +3.85% for the S&P 500 and +4.40% for the Russell 3000. For the calendar year to date, the Partners Value Fund’s Institutional Class returned +4.62%, compared to +7.84% for the S&P 500 and +8.18% for the Russell 3000.


    Calendar Year-to-Date Contributors

      


  • Weitz Funds 3rd Quarter Value Matters

    Dear Fellow Investor:


    The third quarter of 2016 was a good one for our stock funds. In a relatively lackluster year for the stock market, each showed gains for the quarter and all are up year to date. All but one of our bond funds also showed gains in the quarter and all have earned strong returns during the first nine months of the year. The table on our website shows for all of our funds over various time frames. As usual, we suggest that the longer measuring periods are more meaningful.

      


  • Wallace Weitz's Largest 2nd-Quarter Trades

    Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio) manages a portfolio composed of 68 stocks with a total value of $2.663 billion. During the second quarter the guru’s largest trades were:


    The investor bought 4,268,970 shares in Liberty SiriusXM Group Class C (LSXMK) with an impact of 4.95% on the portfolio.

      


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