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These Gurus Are Beating the Market Amidst the Selloff

Most stocks are down this year, but these gurus are finding names that buck the trend

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May 13, 2022
Summary
  • Amid the broad-based selloff, some stocks are still posting gains this year.
  • These gurus count such stocks as their top holdings, helping them outperform the market in this difficult environment.
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It’s no secret that the stock market is in a tough spot right now. The vast majority of stocks are in a recent downtrend, and the selloff is broad-based, with only the energy sector showing year-to-date gains. The S&P 500 is down 17% since the beginning of 2022, with industrials, communication services, consumer cyclical, technology and health care stocks performing worse than the benchmark on average.

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Amidst this environment, it’s rare to find an investor whose portfolio is doing well this year, especially since the market is just coming off a hot bull market in 2021. Many are still clinging to the stocks that multiplied their wealth following the Covid market crash in March 2020. Even long-term, high-conviction portfolio holdings are likely to be facing headwinds.

GuruFocus’ Score Board of Gurus, a feature that shows which investing gurus have seen the highest returns among their top 10 holdings over specific periods of time, can help us identify which fund managers are outperforming the market amidst the selloff.

The data for these gurus comes from several different sources depending on what country they are headquartered in and what regulatory filings they need to submit. Major U.S. investing firms file 13F reports with the SEC. These reports provide a snapshot of long equity positions in U.S.-listed stocks and American depository receipts as of the quarter’s end. They do not include short positions, non-ADR international holdings or other types of securities. U.S. mutual fund data comes from the reports on the relevant fund’s website, and these typically include long positions in both U.S. and international stocks as of the quarter’s end. Outside of the U.S., gurus file with their own country’s regulatory authorities.

Based on the data aggregated in the Score Board, let’s take a look at which gurus are managing to do better than the market average over the past six months, even amidst the ongoing selloff.

Posting positive returns

According to the Score Board, there are only 19 gurus whose top 10 holdings are collectively in the green over the past six months. Even among that number, there are only two that have seen their entire portfolio post gains over this time period: Azvalor Asset Management and

Francisco Garcia Parames (Trades, Portfolio).

Azvalor is a Spanish investment firm led by Alvaro Guzmán de Lázaro, founding partner, CEO and co-chief investment officer, and Fernando Bernad, founding partner and co-CIO. The co-CIOs recently did an interview with GuruFocus readers, which you can find here.

Several of Azvalor’s funds are included among GuruFocus’ Premium gurus. Of those funds,

Azvalor Iberia FI (Trades, Portfolio) has seen its top 10 holdings rise 129% over the past six months, while Azvalor Internacional FI (Trades, Portfolio) is up 105%, Azvalor Blue Chips FI (Trades, Portfolio) is up 103% and Azvalor Managers FI (Trades, Portfolio) is up 46%. Taking the full portfolio reported to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission into consideration, the Iberia and Internacional funds have increased over the period, and while the other two are down, they are outperforming the S&P 500.

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The top holdings of

Azvalor Iberia FI (Trades, Portfolio) include stainless steel pipe manufacturer Tubacex SA (XMAD:TUB, Financial), construction engineering company Elecnor SA (XMAD:ENO, Financial) and logistics company Compania de Distribucion Integral Logista Holdings (XMAD:LOG, Financial).

Francisco Garcia Parames (Trades, Portfolio), the chairman and CIO of Cobas Asset Management, has spent the past 25 years as one of the top-performing asset managers in Europe.

For this guru, GuruFocus tracks the mutual fund Cobas Seleccion FI. The fund’s top 10 holdings are up 81% over the past six months, and the portfolio reported to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission is also positive for the period in question.

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The top holdings of Parames’ fund include marine natural gas infrastructure company Golar LNG Ltd. (

GLNG, Financial), electrical and telecommunications retailer Currys PLC (LSE:CURY, Financial) and British aerospace and defense company Babcock International Group PLC (LSE:BAB, Financial).

Recording reduced losses

Next, let’s take a look at a couple of gurus that are losing less than the S&P 500, even if their equity portfolios overall might not be on the up and up:

Richard Snow (Trades, Portfolio) and Ronald Muhlenkamp (Trades, Portfolio).

Richard Snow (Trades, Portfolio) is the founder of Snow Capital Management, which he started with money from his family’s business. Snow focuses primarily on stocks that demonstrate both financial strength and value criteria.

The firm’s top 10 holdings are up 46% over the past six months. Overall, the equity portfolio reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission via the quarterly 13F filing is doing better than the S&P 500, though it is still in the red; the success of the top holdings isn’t quite enough to make up for the ones losing ground.

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Snow’s top holdings include electrical distribution and services provider WESCO International Inc. (

WCC, Financial), steel manufacturer Commercial Metals Co. (CMC, Financial) and American bank major JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM, Financial).

Ronald Muhlenkamp (Trades, Portfolio) is the founder and president of Muhlenkamp & Company Inc. as well as the portfolio manager for the company’s mutual fund. The fund’s strategy is value-based with a focus on return on equity.

Over the past six months, the fund’s top 10 holdings have gained 14%. Overall, the equity portfolio updated on the mutual fund’s website and reported to the SEC via mutual fund filings is doing better than the S&P 500, though it is still posting a loss for the period in question.

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Muhlenkamp’s top holdings include pharmaceutical and med tech distributor McKesson Corp. (

MCK, Financial), oil and gas exploration and pipeline company EQT Corp. (EQT, Financial) and commodity chemical giant Dow Inc. (DOW, Financial).

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Disclosures

I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and have no plans to buy any new positions in the stocks mentioned within the next 72 hours. Click for the complete disclosure
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