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Steven Romick’s Top Growth Predictable Stocks

January 22, 2013 | About:
As the co-managing partner of Los Angeles-based First Pacific Advisors LLC, Steven Romick heads the firm’s Crescent Fund, through a contrarian value strategy. Romick has helped deliver about 125 percent cumulative return over the last 10 years, beating the S&P 500 by a long shot.

A former GuruFocus premium member, he is the ultimate bottom-up, absolute value investor with a long-term focus, relying on price and focusing on the macro economy to drive his valuations.

As of Dec. 31, there are 44 stocks in the FPA Crescent Fund portfolio, valued at $6.03 billion.

Below are some of Romick’s stocks that exhibit the highest 10-Year EBITDA growth rates, as well as a GuruFocus Business Predictability rank of four stars or more.

Western Digital Corp. (WDC)

Western Digital has a 30.4 percent 10-year EBITDA growth rate, and a 4.5-star Business Predictability rank.

Romick first acquired the stock in the third quarter of 2010, purchasing about 1.75 million shares at an average price of $27.35. He added to his stake in the following two years, until the fourth quarter of 2012, when he reduced in the stock for the first time, letting go of 41.73 percent that quarter.

Today, Romick holds 1.85 million shares of Western Digital Corp. It represents 1.3 percent of his portfolio.

Headquartered in California, Western Digital is a global provider of storage devices, networking equipment and home entertainment products.

In FPA Capital’s 2012 second-quarter commentary, the company mentioned:

“Fears of a slowdown and the uncertainties in Europe pressured our technology stocks. Western Digital was in addition hurt by concerns of excess supply of hard drives due to a recovery from the floods in Thailand. We believe these concerns are short sighted and that the earning power of Western Digital (WDC) has been greatly enhanced by its merger with Hitachi Global Storage. This combination should drive sizable synergies and the consolidated industry is likely to exhibit better price discipline going forward. Western Digital is selling at below 7x earnings and 3.5x EBITDA. This is before the expected synergies from its merger with Hitachi, which we believe will be substantial.”

According to Western Digital’s 10-year financials, its 10-year revenue growth percentage is 16.7 percent and it has a free cash flow growth rate of 196.8 percent in the last 12 months.

Today, Western Digital’s stock is up 5.29 percent, trading at $47.18.

Besides Romick, other Gurus who hold the stock include Charles Brandes, Robert Rodriguez and John Hussman (WDC: Guru Trades).



PetSmart Inc. (PETM)


Specialty pet and pet products retailer PetSmart Inc. has a 10-year EBITDA growth rate of 19.9 percent and a Business Predictability rank of four stars.

Romick first acquired PetSmart in the fourth quarter of 2009, purchasing more than 2 million shares at an average price of $25.14. As PetSmart’s market value began to soar, so did Romick’s stake decreases. In 2012, he sold about 1.3 million shares at an average price of $67.51.

PetSmart represents 1 percent of Romick’s portfolio, holding 915,000 shares.

According to PetSmart’s 10-year financials, its revenue growth rate in the last 10 years was 11.8 percent; it grew at a rate of 13.8 percent in the last 12 months.

Today, its stock trades at $69.23, having gone up 159.49 percent in the last three years.

Besides Romick, other Gurus who hold the stock include Meridian Funds, Jim Simons and John Keeley (PETM: Guru Trades).

Oracle Corp. (ORCL)

Enterprise software and computer hardware products company, Oracle Corp. has a 10-year EBITDA growth rate of 18 percent, and a Business Predictability rank of 4.5 stars.

Romick purchased the stock in the second quarter of 2012, with almost 4.5 million shares at an average price of $27.84. In the last year, Oracle has gone up 23.89 percent.

Market capitalized at $164.8 billion, Oracle engages in the business of developing and supporting database and middleware software, applications software and hardware systems, with the latter consisting mainly of computer server and storage products.

With its stock down 1.01 percent this afternoon, Oracle’s trade price is $34.75.

Romick holds 5.8 million shares of Oracle, representing 3.1 percent of his portfolio.

Besides Romick, other Gurus who hold the stock include Jeremy Grantham, Ken Fisher, Jean-Marie Eveillard and Chris Davis (ORCL: Guru Trades).

CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS)

Although large integrated pharmacy company CVS Caremark is ranked 3.5 stars in Business Predictability, it has a 10-year EBITDA growth rate of 18.7 percent. It continues to be one of Romick’s top holdings, representing 5.2 percent of his portfolio.

Romick has kept CVS in his portfolio since the third quarter of 2010. He began with 605,000 shares, purchased at an average price of $29.56. In the last three years, CVS has increased its market value by 53.67 percent.

Romick has made money in the rising stock, having sold 880,000 shares thus far, at an average price of $46.01. Today, Romick has 6.8 million shares of CVS, as it trades $52.21, up 0.62 percent this afternoon.

Besides Romick, other Gurus who hold the stock include John Hussman, Pioneer Investments and Ray Dalio (CVS:Guru Trades).

The rest of his top growth companies list can be found in Steven Romick’s Growth Stocks. Read more about Steven Romick in his October GuruFocus Interview. Also check out Steven Romick’s Undervalued stocks and High Yield stocks.

About the author:

Dianne Tordillo
Dianne Tordillo is staff writer for GuruFocus.com. She reports on a variety of financial news, primarily dealing with investor portfolios and stock trades. Her articles also highlight insider trades, as well as the many useful features of GuruFocus.

Visit Dianne Tordillo's Website


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