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Ron Baron Launches New Fund, Buys CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. and GeoResources Inc., and Sells Lamar Advertising Company

January 09, 2010 | About:
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guruek

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(GuruFocus, January 09, 2009) On January 6, 2010, Investment Guru Ron Baron’s Baron Funds nnounced the launch of Baron Real Estate Fund. Jeffrey Kolitch, who has served as Baron's real estate analyst since 2005, will manage the fund. The fund seeks capital appreciation by investing primarily in stocks of U.S. and non-U.S. real estate and real estate-related companies. The Fund may invest up to 25% in securities of foreign issuers not publicly traded in the U.S. Here are some details from the www.baronfunds.com website:

· Baron Real Estate Fund invests primarily in securities of real estate and real estate related companies of all sizes. The Fund, managed by Jeff Kolitch, seeks to invest in well managed companies that we believe have significant long-term growth opportunities.

· Unlike many other real estate funds that invest primarily in real estate investment trusts (REITs), Baron Real Estate Fund expands its investment universe to include a more comprehensive group of real estate and real estate related companies.

· This expanded group includes home builders, hotels, manufacturers of building supplies and products, retailers with significant real estate holdings, real estate service companies, real estate operating companies, and infrastructure-related companies.

· Baron Real Estate Fund seeks to invest in "best-in-class" real estate companies that we believe have talented management, are well positioned against competitors and are attractively priced. The Fund uses bottom-up fundamental analysis to find companies that we think will generate long-term capital appreciation.

Aside from the launching of a new fund, Ron Baron also reported the following position changes in their stock investment:

Add: CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (CBG)

Ron Baron recently added to his position in CB Richard Ellis Group (CBG). He added 1.81% to his total holdings and brought the total to 12.2 million shares. The trading price was around $14.2 per share.

CB Richard Ellis Group is a commercial real estate services firm offering a full range of services to occupiers, owners, lenders and investors in office, retail, industrial, multi-family and other commercial real estate assets. Cb Richard Ellis Group Inc. has a market cap of $4.16 billion; its shares were traded at around $14.2 with a P/E ratio of 30.8 and P/S ratio of 0.8. Cb Richard Ellis Group Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 14.6% over the past 5 years.

Ron Baron has been trading in and out of this stock. He had at peak time (4Q08) about 13.79 million shares and sold down to 11.95 million shares in 1Q09. He has been adding to his position since then and held 12.01 million shares last time he reported as of 3Q09.

Reduce: Lamar Advertising Company (LAMR)

Ron Baron recently reduced his position in Lamar Advertising Company. He reduced 26.63% of his total holdings and brought the total to 2.98 million shares. The trading price was around $33.13 per share.

Lamar Advertising Company is one of the largest and most experienced owners and operators of outdoor advertising structures in the United States. They also operate the largest logo sign business in the United States and transit advertising displays on bus shelters, bus benches and buses in several markets. Lamar Advertising Company has a market cap of $3.04 billion; its shares were traded at around $33.13 with and P/S ratio of 2.6. Lamar Advertising Company had an annual average earning growth of 9.2% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Lamar Advertising Company the business predictability rank of 5-star.

Ron Baron has also been trading in and out of this stock. He had at peak time (4Q08) about 8.55 million shares and he has been reducing his position since then and held 4.07 million shares last time he reported as of 3Q09.

New: GeoResources Inc. (GEOI)

Ron Baron added a new position in GeoResources Inc. (GEOI). He bought 1.0 million shares of the GEOI recently and trading price was around $14.49.

GeoResources Inc. (GEOI) is a natural resources company engaged principally in the following two business segments: 1) oil and gas exploration, development and production; and 2) mining of leonardite (oxidized lignite coal) and manufacturing of leonardite based products which are sold primarily as oil and gas drilling mud additives. In addition to originating its own prospects, they occasionally participate in exploratory and development prospects originated by other individuals and companies. Georesources Inc. has a market cap of $278.8 million; its shares were traded at around $14.49 with a P/E ratio of 21.9 and P/S ratio of 3. Georesources Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 35.4% over the past 5 years.

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Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes)

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