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Top Ranked Articles

Investor Jim Rogers Tells Fox Business Agriculture Is “Going to Be One of the Great Industries of Our Time”
Chairman and CEO of Rogers Holdings Jim Rogers spoke with FOX Business Network (FBN) about the United States deficit and the path the nation and individuals need to take in order to prosper. Rogers said that the U.S. economy will not recover until we “accept reality, stop spending money we don’t have, go down to a lower level, and start over.” He went on to say that particularly in such an uncertain economy, “you should invest in only what you know, otherwise keep your money in cash.” Excerpts from the interview are below: Read more...
Answers from Tom Gayner's Interview with GuruFocus
Tom Gayner, a renowned valued investor, is president and chief investment officer of Markel Corp and president of Markel Gayner Asset Management, the investment subsidiary of Markel Corp., since 1990. He manages about $2 billion. Read more...
GuruFocus Interview with Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa
GuruFocus had an opportunity to speak with Prem Watsa, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, a $7.7 billion Toronto-based firm, where he has delivered a 5-year cumulative return of 176%, compared to 12.2% of the S&P 500. In 2008, when the market was spiraling to a loss of 37%, he achieved a 21% return for his clients. Read more...
Walter Schloss: The Essence of Value Investing
Here are some notes taken from the life of Walter Schloss, once an office roommate of Warren Buffett. He is still alive and kicking at 95, and is one of the investors who inspires me the most. He had several points in common with Philip Fisher and Philip Carret, some of his contemporary investing legends; they lived very long; invested since very young until late in life; and never looked for extreme fortune or fame. He also led a simple life and, until recent interviews, still invests his personal money. His life incarnates the essential substance of value investing. Read more...
GuruFocus Interview with Investor Arnold Van Den Berg
Arnold Van Den Berg is a value investor with 43 years of industry experience and founder of $2 billion firm Century Management. A short time ago, GuruFocus readers asked him their investing questions. His responses, in which he discusses MDC Holdings Inc. (MDC), Toll Brothers (TOL), Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), Cisco (CSCO), Applied Materials (AMAT), Walmart (WMT), Wells Fargo (WFC), are below: Read more...
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Commentaries and Stories

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Cooperman Purchases Humana, Dow Chemical in Q1 Leon Cooperman - Cooperman Purchases Humana, Dow Chemical In Q1
Leon Cooperman (Trades, Portfolio) is the founder and chairman of Omega Advisors, a hedge fund with annualized returns of about 14% over the past 25 years. During the first quarter, Cooperman added 31 new stocks to the portfolio, with a 20% quarter-over-quarter turnover rate. More...

LEON COOPERMAN, OMEGA ADVISORS, HUMANA, DOW CHEMICAL


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Value Partners Classic Fund Q1 2015 Commentary
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Why Investors Should Not Ignore Alcatel-Lucent's Prospects
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) looks pretty consistent and solid on its shift plan. Its shift or restructuring plan acts as a driving force for Alcatel-Lucent showing growth at a much better rate than anyone expected. The plan focuses on the most profitable products and minimizes costs as well as SG&A expenses. This was reflected in its fourth-quarter results for the fiscal year 2014. More...

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Why Crescent Point Energy Is a Risky Stock to Invest In
Crescent Point Energy (CPG) disappointed the street with its fiscal first-quarter results even as the company continues to reel under the pressure of weak commodity prices. In spite of a considerable increase in production, its numbers were negatively affected as oil prices plunged drastically from last year. More...

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The Olstein All Cap Value Fund’s Q1 2015 Letter to Shareholders
Dear Fellow Shareholders: More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on Mondelez International Inc
We sold Mondelez (MDLZ) as price converged with our value. The stock returned 45% since our late 2012 purchase when Kraft spun out the global snacking and food brands, including Nabisco, Cadbury, and Trident, and renamed the company Mondelez. Although emerging market sales weakened, CEO Irene Rosenfeld preserved value per share through margin improvements, share repurchases, and value-accretive moves such as placing the coffee business in a joint venture with DE Master Blenders. This was our third successful investment in Nabisco’s brands. Each time we were able to purchase this juggernaut at a readily ascertainable discount, directly or through a larger company. We hope for another opportunity down the road. More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on Travelers Companies Inc
Travelers (TRV), a leader in property and casualty insurance, also reached our appraised value. We made a 144% return over our 4+ year holding period. Jay Fishman is among the best operators and capital allocators in the industry, and his record at growing book value, even in challenging periods, greatly rewarded the Partners Fund’s shareholders. More...

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Michael Kors Earnings Report: Declining Sales and Stock Price
On Wednesday, May 27, Michael Kors Holdings Limited (KORS) released its earnings report for the quarter ended March 28, 2015. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter—one cent lower than the analyst expectation of $0.91. (Source: Michael Kors, May 27, 2015.) More...

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International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) Dividend Stock Analysis
International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) is the second largest business in the flavors and fragrances industry. The company was founded 125 years ago and has been publicly traded for 50 years. International Flavors & Fragrances currently has a market cap of $9.6 billion. More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on Abbott Laboratories
Abbott (ABT), a global healthcare company, reached our appraisal, resulting in a 120% return over our 4-year holding period. We are extremely appreciative of the value that CEO Miles White built for shareholders during our ownership. More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on Wynn Resorts
We added two new positions in the first quarter. Weakness in the Macau (China) gaming market provided the opportunity to purchase Wynn Resorts (WYNN) at a substantial discount to our appraisal. Wynn owns some of the world’s prime real estate through luxury gaming and hotel operations in Las Vegas and Macau as well as a future location outside Boston, Massachusetts. Through its 72% ownership of Wynn Macau, Wynn controls a gaming and hotel complex on the Macau peninsula and is completing an additional project in nearby Cotai. The company’s Wynn and Encore casinos are among the most profitable in Vegas, with a prime location on the Strip. Steve Wynn has been a successful owner- operator who has made money for shareholders over a long period. We bought Google as fears around a slowdown in the company’s dominant search and display advertising business became over-discounted in the market. More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on CONSOL Energy
CONSOL Energy (CNX) was down 17% on weak natural gas and coal prices. During the quarter the company reduced its capex budget and grew production strongly. The company is uniquely positioned to navigate these prices with low cost reserves and plans to monetize non-core assets, including the thermal coal master limited partnership (MLP) in mid-2015 and the met coal initial public offering (IPO) in late 2015. CONSOL is one of our most discounted holdings, and CEO Nick Deluliis expressed his agreement with a significant share repurchase announcement. More...

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Charles de Vaulx's IVA Funds Newsletter May 2015
Dear Shareholder: The period under review, October 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, saw continued appreciation of both the Worldwide and International Funds, despite two major developments: the collapse in oil prices and a rapid appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the euro. The International Fund had a negligible allocation to oil, and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar was mitigated by a large cash position in U.S. dollars, partial currency hedges on the yen and the euro, and the fact that a number of our investments in Europe are exporters, where the underlying businesses benefit from a higher U.S. dollar. The turmoil in commodities, in general, allowed us to make an investment in what we consider a large, reasonably low cost, and well capitalized copper mining company, Antofagasta Plc (LSE:ANTO), for both Funds, as well as First Resources Ltd. (SGX:EB5), a producer of palm oil, for the International Fund. The rout in oil prices however, did not yield opportunities (yet) in the U.S. exploration and production (“E&P”) businesses. The oil producers in the U.S. are high cost by global standards, and the low cost producers of oil are not listed (think Saudi Aramco and other national oil companies). Despite the price of oil in Texas falling from $90 per barrel at the beginning of October 2014 to less than $50 per barrel by the end of March 2015, the credit market and the equity market remained wide open even to poorly capitalized E&P companies. The Worldwide Fund’s performance was impacted by roughly 1% due to the fall in oil prices during the period, versus 1.7% for the MSCI All Country World Index. Our largest oil investment currently in the Worldwide Fund is Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC), which we think is an extremely well run and very conservative company. Cimarex’s strong balance sheet allows the company to retire rigs and cut new drilling in these lean times for the industry. Less fortunate companies are often forced to continue to drill and produce oil at inadequate returns to placate their lenders. This is a good illustration of the perverse effects of current monetary policies. Is it possible that the combination of too much debt and easy money, far from helping reflate the economy, might be deflationary, by forcing overcapacity in a number of industries, or keeping zombie companies alive? Do low interest rates force retirees to consume less because the capital they put aside for retirement is not providing much income? Post World War II, 10-year interest rates peaked to over 15% in the U.S. in 1981, and have fallen to less than 2% today. This has been a powerful engine to the bull market in the U.S. for more than a generation, one that cannot be repeated in the next generation. One thing is for sure: the years since The Great Financial Crisis have been marked by unprecedented manipulation of financial markets by central bankers around the globe. Quantitative easing, or the heavy printing of paper currency, started in the U.S. in late 2008, and spread to Japan and now Europe, where it will extend, we are told, at least until 2016. More importantly, the global imbalances existing in this derelict global monetary system in 2007 have worsened: global debt to GDP has continued to go up, driven by emerging economies this time. Today the situation has reached absurdity: investors pay some governments for the “privilege” to lend to them! Many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of government paper worldwide now carry negative yields, and some governments (Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, for example) have been able to borrow at negative rates. Over the period, we added to our gold bullion position in both Funds. Gold is a currency that central bankers cannot debase, and its price is reasonable in our opinion. The other (few and far between) opportunities unearthed by our 10 talented analysts were in Asia ex-Japan over the period. At IVA, we remain focused on understanding businesses and trying to acquire a stake in these businesses at attractive valuations: paying substantially less than what we believe a knowledgeable buyer would pay in cash for the whole business. We spend our time scrubbing the books; understanding previous transactions done for cash in the industry; assessing whether the balance sheet of investments under consideration is solid enough to weather a serious recession; and asking what the business may look like 10 years down the road. If our criteria is not met, we will let cash build up in our portfolios. Far from burning a hole in our pockets, we view that cash as an option on future bargains. Roughly 37% of the Worldwide Fund and 29% of the International Fund sits in cash as of March 31, 2015. The cash is in the form of commercial paper of our choosing, with short maturities and no direct exposure to financial institutions. We remain focused, more than ever, on preservation of capital. When it comes to that we believe IVA offers some rare characteristics: we are privately owned, we are not subject to the pressures of short-term relative performance or a necessity to grow assets through aggressive marketing, we eat our own cooking (partners and employees of the firm collectively have a very substantial amount invested in the Funds), and we have no desire to put the Funds’ shareholders’ capital at risk in the hope of making a quick buck to gather more assets. In fact, the Funds remain closed to new investors. The world may be as complicated and fast paced as ever today. But the bottom line is simple: one is not being compensated adequately for risk currently. We shall wait for the fat pitch. We appreciate your continued confidence and thank you for your support. Charles de Vaulx (Trades, Portfolio), Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager Chuck de Lardemelle, Portfolio Manager Important Information Concerning the Attached May 4, 2015 Letter from the IVA Funds Portfolio Managers The views expressed in this document reflect those of the portfolio manager(s) only through the end of the period as stated and do not necessarily represent the views of IVA or any other person in the IVA organization. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and IVA disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied on as investment advice and, because investment decisions for an IVA fund are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any IVA fund. The securities mentioned are not necessarily holdings invested in by the portfolio manager(s) or IVA. References to specific company securities should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. As of March 31, 2015 the IVA Worldwide Fund’s top 10 holdings were: Gold bullion (4.3%); Astellas Pharma, Inc. (4.0%); Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Class A, Class B (3.5%); Wendel 4.375%, 4.875%, 6.75% (3.1%); SIGB (Singapore Government) 2.375%, 2.875%, 3.75% (3.1%); Nestle SA (2.8%); News Corporation Class A, Class B (2.5%); Oracle Corp. (1.9%); Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (1.9%); DeVry Education Group, Inc. (1.7%). As of March 31, 2015, the IVA International Fund (Trades, Portfolio)’s top 10 holdings were: Gold bullion (5.1%); SIGB (Singapore Government) 2.375%, 2.875%, 3.75% (4.3%); Astellas Pharma, Inc. (3.8%); Nestle SA (3.0%); News Corporation Class A, Class B (2.8%); Wendel 4.375%, 4.875%, 6.75% (2.6%); Genting Malaysia Berhad (2.1%); Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (2.1%); Alten SA (1.8%); Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd. (1.7%). MSCI All Country World Index (Net) is an unmanaged index comprised of 46 country indices comprising 23 developed and 23 emerging market country indices and is calculated with dividends reinvested after deduction of withholding tax. The Index is a trademark of MSCI Inc. and is not available for direct investment. Mutual fund investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. There are risks associated with investing in funds that invest in securities of foreign countries, such as erratic market conditions, economic and political instability and fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Value-based investments are subject to the risk that the broad market may not recognize their intrinsic value. An investor should read and consider the funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. This and other important information are detailed in our prospectus and summary prospectus, which can be obtained by calling 1-866-941-4482 or visiting www.ivafunds.com. Please read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before you invest. The IVA Funds are offered by IVA Funds Distributors, LLC. Effective February 22, 2011, the IVA Worldwide Fund and IVA International Fund (Trades, Portfolio) are closed to new investors. This disclosure page must accompany the May 4, 2015 Letter from the IVA Funds Portfolio Managers More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on Chesapeake Energy Corp
The largest detractor in the quarter was Chesapeake Energy (CHK), one of the largest producers of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and oil in the U.S., which declined 27%. The company reported lower-than- expected price realizations and production in the fourth quarter. While the company cut 2015 budgeted capital expenditures (capex) over 40% versus 2014, the market was hoping for Chesapeake to balance lower cash flow with capex. The company maintains a flexible balance sheet, with $4 billion in cash and an additional $4 billion in an undrawn credit facility, which will allow CEO Doug Lawler to focus on driving the greatest value for shareholders for the long-term, either through the authorized $1 billion repurchase program, strategic acquisitions, or a combination of both. While our appraisal of the company has come down in the short-term with the collapse of oil and gas prices, the long-term thesis remains intact. Chesapeake’s second largest shareholder, Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio), More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on Level 3 Communications
Fiber and networking company Level 3 Communications (LVLT) appreciated 9% after another strong quarter of margin and revenue growth. The integration with recently merged tw telecom is proceeding smoothly as the transaction enhances Level 3’s competitive positioning with a complementary product set and larger footprint. Level 3’s growth in its North American enterprise business remains solid as CEO Jeff Storey and his team invest in expanding its fiber network and portfolio of connected buildings. More...

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The Olstein Strategic Opportunities Fund Q1 2015 Letter to Shareholders
The performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. The Olstein Strategic Opportunities Fund Class A return as of 3/31/2015 for the one-year period, five-year period, and since inception (11/1/06), assuming deduction of the maximum Class A sales charge of 5.50% was 10.17%, 15.42% and 8.98%, respectively. Per the Fund’s 4/28/2015 prospectus, the Fund’s Class A expense ratio was 1.61%. Expense ratios for other share classes will vary. Performance for other share classes will vary due to differences in sales charge structure and class expenses. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance quoted. To obtain performance data current to the most recent month end, please visit our website at www.olsteinfunds.com. More...

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Why Peabody Energy Can Get Better
Peabody Energy (BTU) is suffering from the ongoing decline in the global fuel demand with seaborne coal prices remaining low for significant duration owing to the worldwide slowdown of import demand and GDP. Moreover, the decline in U.S. gas markets over the previous two quarters has also led to notable increase in competition for electricity generation. More...

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This Coal Company's Performance Is Set to Improve in the Long Run
Arch Coal's (ACI) significant drop in cash costs is helping the company to offset the decline in sales price. Its cash costs have declined $7.00 per ton at Appalachia and by a significant margin at its Powder River Basin. It expects the costs at Powder River Basin to remain between $10.50 and $11.00 per ton this year. Meanwhile it expects the average cash costs at its Appalachia segment to come in the range of $57.75 to $61.75 per ton. More...

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Mason Hawkins Comments on CK Hutchison
The Partners Fund’s largest positive contributor, CK Hutchison (HKSE:00001) (formerly Cheung Kong), announced its intention to merge with subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa and spin out the combined property company. This latest savvy move by founder and CEO Li Ka-shing should lessen the holding company discount on the stock as underlying business exposures are clarified and the spin off highlights the value of the combined property business. The stock gained 22% during the quarter. An independent valuer recently appraised CK Hutchison’s property business 48% higher than stated book.(1) The company’s high profile dramatic restructuring of a blue chip Asia conglomerate has the potential to unleash similar restructurings in the region. More...

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Mason Hawkins’ Longleaf Partners Fund Q1 2015 Management Discussion
Longleaf Partners Fund declined 1.09% in the first quarter, trailing the S&P 500 Index’s 0.95% gain. While the Partners Fund has lagged the Index in the recent periods shown below, the Fund’s longer term outperformance over 15, 20, and 25 years reflects other stretches of falling behind the index followed by bursts of strong relative returns. More...

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