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Ron Baron Top Stocks: DeVry Inc., Arch Capital Group, FactSet Research Systems, MSCI Inc., Strayer Education Inc., Community Health Systems Inc..

November 20, 2009 | About:
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(GuruFocus, November 20, 2009) Investment Guru Ron Baron is a product of American Opportunity himself. According to this article in http://www.nysun.com/ , The successful entrepreneur in mutual fund world came from rather modest background. He was born in Asbury Park to an engineer Father. Like many of us, he had to make money as a youth by shoveling snow, waiting tables, serving as a life guard, and selling ice-cream – money.

The guy had some unusual trait with money: he vowed studied economic history at age 13 and vowed to make big money; and he at one time, he converted the $1,000 he made doing chores and after-school jobs into $4000.

His career in financial world started in 1970 as a research analyst and in 1982 he started his own firm Baron Capital Inc. He did not started his first mutual fund Baron Asset Fund until 1987, shortly before the great market crash of that year. Over the years, Ron Baron became very successful and his firm offers multiple mutual funds. For a detailed chronicle of Ron Baron’s career, click here.

GuruFocus tracks his stock holdings and as of September 30, 2009, he has a stock portfolio of $13.75 distributed among 233 stocks.

Discussing his investment strategy, he told the New York Sun reporter:
"We invest in companies that we believe have significant growth opportunities resulting from long-lasting societal, demographic and economic trends," Mr. Baron said. "We look for what a business might become, not just what it is at the moment."


That pretty much summarizes what he does. Where does he find the significant growth opportunities now? What are the long-lasting societal, demographic and economic trends? He spelled all that out in the recent Baron Funds Investor Conference on October 23, 2009. Here is the video:

RonBaronConferenceSpeech.jpg


The speeches of other money managers during the event can be found along this link.

True to his speech, these are the top companies he invested in at the end of quarter of 3Q09. Since Ron Baron emphasized “long-term” a couple of times during the speech, you can bet that he might still hold these stocks.

No. 1: DeVry Inc. (DV), Weightings: 2.85% - 7,073,385 Shares

DeVry Inc. owns and operates DeVry Institutes of Technology, DenverTechnical College, Keller Graduate School of Management and Becker Conviser CPA Review. DeVry Institutes, DeVry Canada, Inc., Denver TechnicalCollege and Keller Graduate School of Management are a part of DeVryUniversity. DeVry Institutes and Keller Graduate School collectively formone of the largest private, degree-granting, regionally accredited highereducation systems in North America. Becker prepares candidates for theCPA, CMA and CFA professional certification examinations. Devry Inc. has a market cap of $3.85 billion; its shares were traded at around $54.04 with a P/E ratio of 20.8 and P/S ratio of 2.7. The dividend yield of Devry Inc. stocks is 0.3%. Devry Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 4.3% over the past 10 years.

No. 2: Arch Capital Group Ltd. (ACGL), Weightings: 2.37% - 4,820,465 Shares

Arch Capital Group Ltd. is a diversified financial services holding company, with an emphasis on the insurance sector. The Arch Capital Group is engaged in a range of insurance and financial service activities through subsidiaries comprising Arch Insurance Services and the ownership of intermediaries, underwriting agencies, service providers and insurance companies. Arch Capital Group Ltd. has a market cap of $4.31 billion; its shares were traded at around $70.68 with a P/E ratio of 7.7 and P/S ratio of 1.5. Arch Capital Group Ltd. had an annual average earning growth of 48.9% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Arch Capital Group Ltd. the business predictability rank of 3-star.

No. 3: FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS), Weightings: 2.23% - 4,634,445 Shares

FactSet Research Systems Inc. supplies global economic and financial data to analysts, investment bankers and other financial professionals. The company combines databases from multiple suppliers into a single online source of information and analytics, including fundamental data on tens of thousands of American and international companies and securities. The company obtains financial information from several database vendors and when possible, seeks to maintain contractual relationships with a minimum of two database providers for each type of financial data. are on a flat or royalty ( Factset Research Systems Inc. has a market cap of $3.43 billion; its shares were traded at around $72.45 with a P/E ratio of 25.2 and P/S ratio of 5.5. The dividend yield of Factset Research Systems Inc. stocks is 1.1%. Factset Research Systems Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 22.6% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Factset Research Systems Inc. the business predictability rank of 5-star.

No. 4: MSCI INC (MXB), Weightings: 2.15% - 9,998,246 Shares

MSCI Inc. is a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investment institutions worldwide. MSCI Inc. products include indices and portfolio analytics for use in managing equity, fixed income and multi-asset class portfolios. Msci Inc has a market cap of $3.21 billion; its shares were traded at around $31 with a P/E ratio of 38.8 and P/S ratio of 7.5.

No. 5: Strayer Education Inc. (STRA), Weightings: 2.15% - 1,358,893 Shares

STRAYER EDUCATION, INC. The College is a regional proprietary institution of higher education offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 7,000 students at eight campuses in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Strayer Education Inc. has a market cap of $2.69 billion; its shares were traded at around $192.08 with a P/E ratio of 27.4 and P/S ratio of 6.8. The dividend yield of Strayer Education Inc. stocks is 1%. Strayer Education Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 19% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Strayer Education Inc. the business predictability rank of 3-star.

No. 6: Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH), Weightings: 2.14% - 9,217,340 Shares

Community Health Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of non-urban acute healthcare services. Their facilities, together with their medical staffs, provide a wide range of inpatient and outpatient acute care services and a variety of specialty services. Community Health Systems Inc. has a market cap of $2.93 billion; its shares were traded at around $31.62 with a P/E ratio of 12.5 and P/S ratio of 0.3. Community Health Systems Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 14.2% over the past 5 years.

Conclusions

Education, investment management, and healthcare, these are the megatrends that Ron Baron bet on for now. His top investment ideas speak for his mind.

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