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Reviewing the value investor's Atlas Corp investment

Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio) is often referred to as the Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) of Canada. Since 1985, his holding company has produced 15% annual gains, and today, Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH) is worth 14 billion Canadian dollars ($11.03 billion).

This is no way near as large as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B). However, it is still impressive considering the fact that the Canadian investor started a lot later than the Oracle of Omaha.

The other factor that links these two investors is that Fairfax and Berkshire are both insurance holding companies. The investors have

2473 Views    Rupert Hargreaves    2021-02-16 17:45
Guru stock highlight

BlackBerry (TSX:BB), a Canadian software and services technology firm, was one of the largest contributors to the Fund's return for the fourth quarter. The company's share price surged early in December on news that management signed a multi-year agreement with Amazon to develop and market an intelligent vehicle data software platform called IVY. Cloud-connected IVY enables auto manufacturers to securely and consistently collect standardized data from vehicle sensors to improve performance and develop new value-enhancing features and services for drivers. This product will not arrive in vehicles before 2023, but we believe it has the long-term potential to buttress BlackBerry's

473 Views    Sydnee Gatewood    2021-01-13 19:40
Discussion of markets and holdings

The Oakmark International Small Cap Fund returned 26.0% for the quarter ending December 31, outperforming the MSCI World ex U.S. Small Cap Index, which returned 17.6% for the same period. Since its November 1995 inception, the Fund has returned an average of 8.9% per year.

Despite an extremely challenging and volatile 2020, the year ended positively on the whole. Following a 38% drop in the first quarter, the Fund generated positive returns the next three quarters, producing a 5% return for the full year. Although this trailed the index, which returned 12.8% for the year, we were encouraged by fourth-quarter

28 Views    Sydnee Gatewood    2021-01-11 22:46
Canadian guru adds to stake in enterprise software company

Billionaire investor Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio), leader of Fairfax Financial Holdings, revealed he upped his stake in BlackBerry Ltd. (BB) by 117.99% earlier this week.

Known as "Canada's Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)," the guru's investment strategy mimics the practices of the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) CEO in that his insurance conglomerate purchases entire companies as well as invests its float in publicly traded companies.

According to GuruFocus Real-Time Picks, a Premium feature, Watsa invested in 55.13 million shares of the Canadian software company on Sept. 1, impacting the equity portfolio by 16.19%. The stock

589 Views    Sydnee Gatewood    2020-09-03 15:51
Canadian guru releases portfolio updates, including major Berkshire reduction

Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio), the manager of Chou Associates, recently disclosed the firm's portfolio updates for the second quarter of 2020, which ended on June 30.

While working as a telephone repairman, Chou was introduced to the books written by Benjamin Graham, after which he started an investment club with several of his coworkers in 1981. In 1984, he left his old job for a position as a retail analyst at GW Asset Management, where he met Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio), the future Fairfax CEO. Chou turned the investment club into Chou Associates in

347 Views    Margaret Moran    2020-08-24 22:14
Why are credit ratings and credit risk still used interchangeably? In today's environment, distinguishing between the two seems more important than ever

Why are credit ratings and credit risk still used interchangeably? In today’s environment, distinguishing between credit ratings and credit risk seems more important than ever. It is not uncommon to see investment-grade bonds priced to perfection with more downside risk than shorter-term, lower-rated bonds. After the dislocation in March 2020, you would hate to take on perceived safe, investment-grade credit only to be caught in a contagion of downgrades where pricing is wrought by indiscriminate selling. After all, is the Federal Reserve program really a reliable investment thesis?

Finding “quality” companies that may have high yield ratings could provide the

74 Views    Zeo Capital Advisors    2020-05-13 18:40
The stock is down more than 19%

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. (BB) fell more than 19% following its quarterly earnings report on Tuesday evening. The Canadian company reported results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal 2020, which ended Feb. 29.

The company’s earnings beat expectations, prompting an after-hours surge of about 5%. However, that gain was quickly wiped out on Wednesday and Thursday as the shares plunged further to trade at $3.31, down from Tuesday’s close of $4.12. This came after analysts revised their revenue outlook down to $990 million compared to an earlier estimate of $1.2 billion. BlackBerry is now

208 Views    Nicholas Kitonyi    2020-04-02 17:02
Canadian guru reports real-time trade

Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio), the founder of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH), disclosed this week that he gained shares of Atlas Corp. (ATCO) according to GuruFocus Real-Time Picks, a Premium feature.


In 1985, Watsa met Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio) and asked him how Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A)(BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) made his money. Chou responded with “insurance float.” As a result, Watsa models his investment strategy in a similar manner to Buffett, earning him the moniker: "Canada's Warren Buffett."

482 Views    James Li    2020-03-10 20:01
Guru stock highlight

We continue to support John Chen as he works diligently to make BlackBerry (TSX:BB) a growth company again. As I said last year, with the Cylance acquisition, John is working to become the most trusted AI-cybersecurity company. Still a work in progress!

From Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio)'s Fairfax 2019 annual shareholder letter.

240 Views    Sydnee Gatewood    2020-03-10 16:38
Fund makes new investments in BlackBerry, Gildan, Nordic Entertainment

The Oakmark Intl Small Cap (Trades, Portfolio) Fund recently released its portfolio updates for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Founded in 1995 and managed by portfolio managers David Herro (Trades, Portfolio), Michael Manelli and Justin Hance, the Oakmark International Small Cap Fund invests in a relatively small number of non-U.S. small cap stocks (approximately 50 to 60). The fund aims to invest in securities that are trading at a discount to intrinsic value and show strong potential to increase value for shareholders.

199 Views    Margaret Moran    2020-03-05 20:22
This is one of the most powerful barriers to entry, but its weaknesses need to be recognized

An investor who finds a company with economies of scale may have found a company with a competitive advantage.

In chapter three of “Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy,” Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn explored what economies of scale are, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Investors will find this knowledge helpful when trying to determine if a company has a competitive advantage (aka a moat).

As noted in chapter one of the book, economies of scale is one form of a barrier-to-entry advantage; the other two are supply advantages and demand advantages, as described in

178 Views    Robert Abbott    2020-02-07 16:21
Hedge fund adds to positions in BlackBerry, ViewRay and Apple

Kahn Brothers (Trades, Portfolio) recently released its portfolio update for fourth-quarter 2019.

The hedge fund did not establish any new positions during the quarter, though it did sell out of Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED), impacting the equity portfolio by -0.02%. It made additions to its existing holdings in BlackBerry Ltd. (BB), ViewRay Inc. (VRAY) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) and reduced its holdings of Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO).

The Kahn Brothers (Trades, Portfolio) group is a hedge fund that serves institutional and high-net-worth clients. Its founding

308 Views    Margaret Moran    2020-01-28 22:50
Discussion of markets and holdings

The Oakmark International Small Cap Fund had a strong year of absolute and relative performance, returning 31.9% for the calendar year. The benchmark, MSCI World ex U.S. Small Cap Index, returned 25.4% for the same one-year period. The Fund also outperformed for the recent quarter end, returning 12.5% compared to the Index return of 11.4%. Since the Fund’s inception in November 1995, it has returned an average of 9.1% per year.

What a difference a quarter can make! In our last shareholder letter, we wrote about Duerr (XTER:DUE), a German-based global mechanical and plant engineering firm, which was the biggest

79 Views    Sydnee Gatewood    2020-01-09 22:22
The 2 Berkshire shareholders have a few common holdings, including BlackBerry

According to the Aggregated Portfolio, a GuruFocus Premium feature, three stocks Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio) and Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio) both agree on as of third quarter-end are Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A)(BRK.B), Resolute Forest Products Inc. (RFP) and BlackBerry Ltd. (BB).


Watsa studied at the Indian Institute of Technology and later pursued an MBA at the Ivey Business School at the University of West Ontario. In 1985, Watsa met Chou, who casually asked how Buffett “made his money.” Chou pointed out to Watsa something

627 Views    James Li    2019-12-13 22:13
Struggling software company also lowers revenue outlook for the year

Crippled by weak demand for its products amid increasing competition, Canadian software company BlackBerry Ltd. (BB) reported disappointing second-quarter 2020 results before the opening bell on Tuesday, pushing U.S.-listed shares lower in premarket trading.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which was previously known for manufacturing smartphones before shifting to software products used in mobile devices and by automakers, posted a net loss of $44 million, or a loss of 10 cents per share, down from a $43 million profit, or a loss of 4 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter. BlackBerry said its performance was affected by the investments

122 Views    Sydnee Gatewood    2019-09-24 16:43
Top holding of Berkshire and Fairfax are Apple and BlackBerry, gurus also agree on Einhorn's GM

According to aggregated portfolio statistics, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A)(BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) CEO Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio) both own shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and David Einhorn (Trades, Portfolio)’s General Motors Co. (GM) as of fourth-quarter 2018. Both gurus also have a mobile technology company as their top holding: Buffett favors Apple Inc. (AAPL) while Watsa favors BlackBerry Ltd. (BB)(TSX:BB).

Two investors, two major mobile technology holdings

Buffett’s conglomerate started investing in Apple during first-quarter 2016; over the past three years,

534 Views    James Li    2019-03-29 21:46
Fairfax's top holding reports record software and services revenue, stock opens over 11% higher

BlackBerry Ltd. (BB)(TSX:BB), Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) CEO Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio)’s top holding, said on Friday that net revenues for the quarter ending Feb. 28 increased 8% year over year, driven by double-digit software and services revenue.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company reported net earnings of 11 cents per share, outperforming analyst estimates of 4 cents per share. Operating income of $58 million represented the 12th consecutive quarter of positive operating income.

Company accelerates software and services business

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on the earnings call that strong revenue in the

84 Views    James Li    2019-03-29 19:15
Guru stock highlight

BlackBerry (NYSE:BB). Since we acquired our position about six years ago, much has changed at BlackBerry, all skillfully orchestrated by the only constant, John Chen, its CEO. Recently, he has acquired Cylance for $1.4 billion (leaving $800 million in cash in the holding company), which uses artificial intelligence to provide cybersecurity protection for desktops, servers, etc. It has 3,500 customers, including more than 20% of the Fortune 500. BlackBerry, of course, is the gold standard for mobile security, and together with Cylance it can provide one stop shopping for all the cybersecurity needs of large enterprises, particularly banks, governments

149 Views    Holly LaFon    2019-03-11 19:38
Fairfax's chairman is introduced to another investment by David Sokol, buys Toys 'R' Us, swears off short-selling

We would have had an excellent year in 2018 but a collapse in stock prices in the fourth quarter, which was reflected immediately through mark to market accounting, resulted in our producing net income of only $376 million(1). Our book value per share decreased by 1.5% (adjusted for the $10 per share dividend paid) to $432 per share because of unrealized foreign exchange losses of $236 million. Since we began in 1985, our book value per share has compounded at 18.7% annually while our common stock price has compounded at 17.1% annually. Our growth in book value has stalled recently

616 Views    Holly LaFon    2019-03-11 19:10
Like Buffett, Watsa and Longleaf have standout investments in their best ideas

Many active managers applying a value philosophy run concentrated portfolios that focus on their best ideas. Their tendency to concentrate may be influenced by the model of Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio), who said in 2008 that in his early days, he would have 80% of his portfolio in five positions, with 25% in the largest. In 1998, he advocated for having six positions with half in the best idea.

“Very few people have gotten rich on their seventh best idea,” Buffett has said, “but a lot of people have gotten rich with their best idea.”

Data shows

544 Views    Holly LaFon    2019-01-23 22:27

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