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Iving Kahn Keeps His Top Holdings: New York Community Bancorp, Merck & Co., BristolMyers Squibb Company, Pfizer Inc, Old Republic International, Hologic

Iving Kahn Keeps His Top Holdings

Call it successful marketing, Americans have been educated by the financial service industry that the purpose of their life is to save enough money so they can retire early. For people who quit their professional life too early and then regret the decision later on, they should take a look at Irving Kahn. This is from the entry for Irving Kahn from Wikipedia:

Irving Kahn (born December 19, 1905) is an American value investor and, with over 77 years experience in the investment business, one of the oldest financial analysts on Wall Street. He is currently chairman of Kahn Brothers Group, Inc., the privately owned investment advisory and broker-dealer firm that he founded with his sons, Alan and Thomas, in 1978. The firm has approximately $441 million in equities under management according to the Form 13-F filed with the SEC in January, 2010. Kahn still performs an active role at the company at the age of 104.

The entry goes on discussing Kahn’s career and how did he get into a career of investing:

Educated at the City College of New York, Kahn served as the second teaching assistant to Benjamin Graham at the Columbia Business School. At the time, other notable students and/or teaching assistants to Graham included future Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett and future value investors William J. Ruane,Walter J. Schloss and Charles Brandes, among others. Graham had such an enormous influence on his students that both Kahn and Buffett named their sons after him. Kahn named his third son, born in 1942, Thomas Graham, and Buffett, his second son, born in 1954, Howard Graham.

Columbia University, the origin and capital of value investing back then, still carries the banner for value investing today.

Back to Irving Kahn, I found this article in www.financialweek.com entitled: “There are old-school investors, and then there's Irving Kahn” on Irving Kahn’s investment style and his performance . It was published on Oct. 19, 2008.

Kahn Brothers adheres strictly to Mr. Graham's value-investing principles: Buy stocks at cheap prices relative to earnings, and then hold on for the long term. Kahn Brothers holds its investments for a minimum of three to five years, but often much longer; that's compared with a typical U.S. equity fund, which has about 85% turnover annually, according to Morningstar. The firm has returned about 16% annually from year-end 1994 to June 30, 2008, compared with almost 10% for Standard & Poor's 500-stock index over the same period.

What are his top holdings? Given the slow turnover ratio of his portfolio, his top holdings as of March 31, 2010 have not changed since last quarter, and they are:

No. 1: New York Community Bancorp Inc. (NYB), Weightings: 14.19% - 4,067,917 Shares

New York Community Bancorp, Inc. is a producer of multi-family loans in New York City. New York Community Bancorp Inc. has a market cap of $6.59 billion; its shares were traded at around $15.21 with a P/E ratio of 14.2 and P/S ratio of 3.6. The dividend yield of New York Community Bancorp Inc. stocks is 6.5%. New York Community Bancorp Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 8.8% over the past 10 years.

Kahn added 67,000 shares during the last quarter.

No. 2: Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Weightings: 11.87% - 1,506,934 Shares

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Merck & Co. Inc. has a market cap of $106.76 billion; its shares were traded at around $34.27 with a P/E ratio of 10.5 and P/S ratio of 3.9. The dividend yield of Merck & Co. Inc. stocks is 4.4%.

Kahn sold a very small amount (43,000) shares.

No. 3: BristolMyers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY), Weightings: 9.92% - 1,762,072 Shares

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is a drug company. Bristolmyers Squibb Company has a market cap of $41.71 billion; its shares were traded at around $24.28 with a P/E ratio of 11.5 and P/S ratio of 2.2. The dividend yield of Bristolmyers Squibb Company stocks is 5.3%.

Kahn bought a small amount of 12,600 shares during the quarter.

No. 4: Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), Weightings: 8.97% - 2,481,443 Shares

Pfizer Inc is another drug company that Kahn owns. Pfizer Inc has a market cap of $135.06 billion; its shares were traded at around $16.74 with a P/E ratio of 8.4 and P/S ratio of 2.7. The dividend yield of Pfizer Inc stocks is 4.3%. Pfizer Inc had an annual average earning growth of 1.8% over the past 10 years.

Kahn bought about 80,000 shares during 1Q10.

No. 5: Old Republic International Corp. (NYSE:ORI), Weightings: 7.11% - 2,658,243 Shares

Old Republic International Corporation is Chicago-based and is an insurance holding company whose subsidiaries market, underwrite and provide risk management services for a wide variety of coverages in the property and liability, mortgage guaranty, title and life and health insurance fields. Old Republic International Corp. has a market cap of $3.31 billion; its shares were traded at around $13.75 with and P/S ratio of 1. The dividend yield of Old Republic International Corp. stocks is 5%.

Kahn bought 280,000 shares of Old Republic International Corp., a bit more than any other of his top holdings.

No. 6: Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX), Weightings: 4.74% - 1,211,373 Shares

Hologic Inc. is a supplier of high quality, innovative and clinically valuable diagnostic systems and tests. Hologic Inc. has a market cap of $4.14 billion; its shares were traded at around $16.01 with a P/E ratio of 14 and P/S ratio of 2.6.

Khan kept his position in Hologic during the last quarter.


104-year old Irving Kahn is a true long-term value investor. His 1Q10 top stocks have been in his portfolio for a long time, and they are either bank/insurance companies or drug companies.

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Rating: 3.5/5 (6 votes)


David Pinsen
David Pinsen - 7 years ago    Report SPAM
I wonder if Kahn is shorting any stocks today. An an article in Smart Money several years ago noted that one of Kahn’s first big investing successes was with a short:

Along the way, Kahn got to know many of Graham’s famous disciples, including Warren Buffett. A gutsy Kahn wasn’t swept up in what he calls the “crazy market” of the late 1920s. In fact, his first trade in the summer of 1929 actually was a short sale of Magma Copper that turned out to be a winner in a few months.

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