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Arnold Van Den Berg Top Purchases: Comcast Corp., Cirrus Logic Inc., Frontier Oil Corp., M.D.C. Holdings Inc., Maxwell Technologies Inc.

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GuruFocus, November 25, 2009) Value Investing Guru Arnold Van Den Berg deserves our special attention. Like Warren Buffett, he practices what he says and says what he practices.GuruFocus would like to draw your attention to the library on his company’s website, especially the historical newsletters.

His practice as a value investor has been largely successful. His primary equity fund, CM Value I Composite, has had an average annual return of 14.88% net of fees for 33 years, from 1974 through 2007, according to this document. Here are the performances for the past ten-years as compared to S&P 500:

Performance of CM Value I Composite

YearReturn (%)S&P500 (%)Excess Gain (%)
2008-33.54-373.5
2007-4.45.61-10.0
200615.5215.79-0.3
200511.544.916.6
200410.1512-1.9
200326.528.7-2.2
20020.49-22.122.6
200111.07-11.923.0
200045.05-9.154.1
199938.472117.5


In my previous article on Van Den Berg’s top holdings, I stated that he seized the opportunity of the market weakness and moved into large-cap stocks. Further, as the large-cap stocks rose above their intrinsic value, he is selling them in stages, leaving money on the table even the stock market continue to rise. However, contrast to his talks of trimming positions and raising cash, he bought the following stocks.

No. 1: Comcast Corp. Special (CMCSK), Add: 0.25% of the portfolio - Total: 1,332,114 Shares

Comcast Corporation is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks, and in the provision of electronic commerce and programming content. Comcast's commerce and content businesses include majority ownership of QVC, Comcast-Spectacor, Comcast SportsNet, and The Golf Channel, a controlling interest in E! Networks, and other programming investments. (Company Press Release) Comcast Corp. Special has a market cap of $41.58 billion; its shares were traded at around $14.25 with and P/S ratio of 1.2. The dividend yield of Comcast Corp. Special stocks is 1.9%. Comcast Corp. Special had an annual average earning growth of 46.5% over the past 5 years.

No. 2: Cirrus Logic Inc. (CRUS), Buy: 0.05% of the portfolio - Total: 139,115 Shares

Cirrus Logic Inc. is a premier supplier of high performance analog circuits and advanced mixed-signal chip solutions. The company's products, sold under its own name and the Crystal product brand, enable system-level applications in mass storage, audio and precision data conversion. Cirrus Logic Inc. has a market cap of $365.5 million; its shares were traded at around $5.6 with a P/E ratio of 80 and P/S ratio of 2.2.

No. 3: Frontier Oil Corp. (FTO), Buy: 0.47% of the portfolio - Total: 499,525 Shares

Frontier Oil Corporation is an independent energy company engaged in crude oil refining and the wholesale marketing of refined petroleum products. Their refineries are complex refineries, which means that they can process heavier, less expensive types of crude oil and still produce a high percentage of gasoline, diesel fuel and other high margin refined products. Frontier Oil Corp. has a market cap of $1.29 billion; its shares were traded at around $12.32 with a P/E ratio of 34.2 and P/S ratio of 0.2. The dividend yield of Frontier Oil Corp. stocks is 2%. Frontier Oil Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 74.4% over the past 5 years.

No. 4: M.D.C. Holdings Inc. (MDC), Add: 0.28% of the portfolio - Total: 742,495 Shares

M.D.C. HOLDINGS, INC. is engaged in the construction, sale and related financing of residential housing and the acquisition and development of land for use in its homebuilding activities and sale to others, in the Denver, Phoenix, Maryland, Virginia, mid Atlantic region, Las Vegas, Dallas, California metropolitan areas. They are also is involved in real estate brokerage, property management, condominium conversions and fee construction of apartment and commercial buildings. M.d.c. Holdings Inc. has a market cap of $1.44 billion; its shares were traded at around $30.75 with and P/S ratio of 1. The dividend yield of M.d.c. Holdings Inc. stocks is 3.2%.

No. 5: Maxwell Technologies Inc. (MXWL), Add: 0.43% of the portfolio - Total: 1,247,120 Shares

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Company's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell modules and POWERCACHE backup power systems provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation and telecommunications. Maxwell Technologies Inc. has a market cap of $444.9 million; its shares were traded at around $17.13 with and P/S ratio of 5.4.

Conclusion

It is hard to tell what theme Van Den Berg is playing based on the top purchases. However, since he has a reputation of a savvy value investor, whatever he purchases deserve a closer look.

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