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Tiziano Frateschi
Tiziano Frateschi
Articles (2304)  | Author's Website |

Zeke Ashton's Top Trades During 4th Quarter

Investor buys Apple and increases stake in Berkshire Hathaway

Zeke Ashton (Trades, Portfolio) is the managing partner of Centaur Capital Partners and manages the investments for the Centaur Value Fund. He is also manager of the Tilson Dividend Fund. He manages a portfolio with a total value of $35 million, and the following are his most heavily weighted trades during the fourth quarter.

The investor acquired 38,500 shares in Apple Inc. (AAPL) with an impact of 11.7% on the portfolio.

The company designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, portable digital music players and sells a variety of related software. Fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. Fourth quarter gross margin was between 39% and 40%.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 9 out of 10 with positive returns of ROE of 5.98% and ROA of 0.77% that are over performing 98% of the companies in the Global Consumer Electronics industry. Financial strength has a rating of 6 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 0.61 that is below the industry median of 1.32.

Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio) is the largest shareholder of the company among the gurus with 0.83% of outstanding shares, followed by Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.2%, Chase Coleman (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.19%, Pioneer Investments (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.14%, Jeremy Grantham (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.13% and David Einhorn (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.11%.

The investor bought 140,000 shares in Tetra Tech Inc. (TTEK) with an impact of 10.52% on the portfolio.

It is a provider of consulting, engineering, program management, construction management and technical services that focuses on supporting fundamental needs for water, natural resources, the environment, infrastructure and energy. Duirng the first quarter 2016, EPS from ongoing operations grew 2% and revenue from ongoing operation increased 3% year over year.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 5 out of 10 with weak returns of ROE of 4.02% and ROA of 2.26% that are under performing 65% of the companies in the Global Engineering & Construction industry. Financial strength has a rating of 8 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 0.66 that is below the industry median of 0.76.

The company’s largest shareholder among the gurus is Richard Pzena (Trades, Portfolio) with 1.86% of outstanding shares, followed by Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.94%, Third Avenue Management (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.46% and Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.21%.

Ashton exited his stake in Keysight Technologies Inc. (KEYS) with an impact of -5.65% on the portfolio.

The company is a measurement company providing core electronic design and test solutions to communications and electronics industries. First quarter GAAP revenue grew 3% year-over-year and non-GAAP revenue grew 4% year-over-year.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 3 out of 10 with strong returns of ROE of 44.14% and ROA of 15.67% that are over performing 95% of the companies in the Global Scientific & Technical Instruments industry. Financial strength has a rating of 5 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 0.52 that is below the industry median of 1.32.

The company’s largest shareholder among the gurus is PRIMECAP Management (Trades, Portfolio) with 3.53% of outstanding shares, followed by Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.45%, Diamond Hill Capital (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.33%, Robert Olstein (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.28%, Richard Snow (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.23%, Manning & Napier Advisors with 0.2% and Jeremy Grantham (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.09%.

Ashton closed his positiion in Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) with an impact of -5.05% on the portfolio.

The company develops and commercializes digital communication technology called CDMA, and owns intellectual property applicable to products that implement any version of CDMA including patents, patent applications and trade secrets.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 8 out of 10 with strong returns of ROE of 13.98% and ROA of 9.63% that are over performing 80% of the companies in the Global Communication Equipment industry. Financial strength has a rating of 8 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 1.51 that is below the industry median of 2.30.

James Barrow (Trades, Portfolio) is the largest shareholder among the gurus with 1.22% of outstanding shares, followed by PRIMECAP Management (Trades, Portfolio) with 1.08%, Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.63%, Jana Partners (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.62%, Jeremy Grantham (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.6%, David Rolfe (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.56% and T Rowe Price Equity Income Fund (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.35%.

Ashton exited his stake in FLIR Systems Inc. (FLIR) with an impact of -4.38% on the portfolio.

It is engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of thermal imaging systems. The company’s products are used in a variety of applications in commercial, industrial and government markets. Fourth quarter 2015 revenue grew 1% compared to the same quarter of a year before and on a constant currency basis, fourth quarter 2015 revenue increased 3% versus the prior year.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 8 out of 10 with strong returns of ROE of 15.11% and ROA of 10.39% that are over performing 81% of the companies in the Global Scientific & Technical Instruments industry. Financial strength has a rating of 8 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 1.45 that is above the industry median of 1.32.

The company’s largest shareholder among the gurus is Manning & Napier Advisors with 5.15% of outstanding shares, followed by Chuck Royce (Trades, Portfolio) with 1.28%, Columbia Wanger (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.89% and Wallace Weitz (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.77%.

Ashton increased his stake in Parker Hannifin Corp. (PH) by 60.87% and the deal had an impact of 3.92% on the portfolio.

The company is a diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision engineered solutions for mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. 

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 8 out of 10 with strong returns of ROE of 16.42% and ROA of 6.91% that are over performing 675% of the companies in the Global Diversified Industrials industry. Financial strength has a rating of 8 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 0.57 that is below the industry median of 0.99.

Richard Pzena (Trades, Portfolio) is the largest shareholder among the gurus with 2.82% of outstanding shares, followed by HOTCHKIS & WILEY with 2.01%, Diamond Hill Capital (Trades, Portfolio) with 1.72%, Bill Nygren (Trades, Portfolio) with 1.64%, Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.05% and Robert Olstein (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.04%.

The guru reduced his stake in Speedway Motorsports Inc. (TRK) by 55.29% and the deal had an impact of -3.32% on the portfolio.

The company is a promoter, marketer and sponsor of motorsports activities in the U.S. It owns and operates through its subsidiaries: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 5 out of 10 with negative returns of ROE of -5.05% and ROA of -2.46% that are under performing 81% of the companies in the Global Leisure industry. Financial strength has a rating of 6 out of 10, with a cash-to-debt of 0.26 that is below the industry median of 0.82.

Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) is the largest shareholder of the company among the gurus with 0.56% of outstanding shares, followed by Mario Cibelli (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.52% and Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.16%.

The investor raised his stake in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) by 19.64% and the deal had an impact of 2.1% on the portfolio.

The company is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities, including insurance and reinsurance, freight rail transportation, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, service and retailing.

GuruFocus gives the stock a profitability and growth rating of 7 out of 10 with easy returns of ROE of 9.38% and ROA of 4.28% that are over performing 54% of the companies in the industry. Financial strength has a rating of 4 out of 10 with a cash-to-debt of 0.78.

The largest shareholder among the gurus is Bill Gates (Trades, Portfolio) with 3.03% of outstanding shares, followed by Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.23%, Ruane Cunniff (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.2%, David Rolfe (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.17%, Lou Simpson (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.11% and Tom Russo (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.11%.

About the author:

Tiziano Frateschi
You can read about me on www.theextraincome.info, which gives suggestions on position trading.

Visit Tiziano Frateschi's Website


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