(GuruFocus, March 4, 2010) Investment Guru, WL Ross and Co. Chairman Wilbur Ross is known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles. He specializes in leveraged buyouts and distressed businesses. In 2009, Forbes magazine listed Ross as the #196 richest American, with an estimated net worth of $1.8B.
Forbes also features a Twenty-two Question for Wilbur Ross session in which Wilbur Ross answered 22 questions very briefly. He regret going to business too later in his life (he started his own firm at age 60), thinks one should trade gold instead of hoard or sell it, and one should “Buy prime resort property in low-taxed areas at depressed prices.”
The economic downturn in real estate created some good opportunities for guys like Ross. In a recent interview, Ross talked about his latest involvement in a NYC apartment complex called Stuyvecant.
It could be the case that recently his focus has been on the debt rather on stocks. Usually, he tends to acquire common shares in distressed situations any way. As of December 31, 2009, these are his top holdings:
No. 1: Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO), Weightings: 47.04% - 16,016,396 Shares
Assured Guaranty is a Bermuda-based holding company providing credit enhancement products to the municipal finance, structured finance and mortgage markets. Assured Guaranty Ltd. has a market cap of $3.61 billion; its shares were traded at around $20 with a P/E ratio of 12 and P/S ratio of 7.3. The dividend yield of Assured Guaranty Ltd. stocks is 0.9%.
Ross held his 16 million shares of AGO in the quarter steady.
No. 2: Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. (MRH), Weightings: 16.12% - 6,896,552 Shares
Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd., through its operating subsidiaries, is a premier provider of global specialty property reinsurance products. Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. has a market cap of $1.48 billion; its shares were traded at around $17.73 with a P/E ratio of 5.8 and P/S ratio of 2.2. The dividend yield of Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. stocks is 2.1%.
Ross held his 6.9 million shares of MRH steady during the quarter.
No. 3: National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP), Weightings: 13.95% - 123,075,000 Shares
National Financial Partners Corp. is a independent distributor of financial services to high net worth individuals and companies. National Financial Partners Corp. has a market cap of $514.4 million; its shares were traded at around $12.44 with a P/E ratio of 5.4 and P/S ratio of 0.5.
This is a new holding for Ross. Back in 2005, this stock traded about $60 per share. The company is trading below book value and a P/E of 5.4, sounds like a good stock to look into.
No. 4: International Coal Group Inc. (ICO), Weightings: 12.78% - 24,537,423 Shares
ICG is a producer of coal in Northern and Central Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. International Coal Group Inc. has a market cap of $719.8 million; its shares were traded at around $4.67 with a P/E ratio of 21.1 and P/S ratio of 0.6.
Ross held his 24.5 million shares steady in 4Q09.
No. 5 MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS), Weightings: 3.42% - 3,322,020 Shares
MetroPCS Communications provides wireless communications services. Metropcs Communications Inc. has a market cap of $2.24 billion; its shares were traded at around $6.37 with a P/E ratio of 12.1 and P/S ratio of 0.6.
Ross maintained his 3.3 million share position in 4Q09.
There has been one change in the top five holding in Wilbur Ross’s top five positions: Satyam Computer Services Ltd. is out, and National Financial Partners Corp. is in.
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