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Positions were entered in a number of new stocks I consider undervalued or substantially mispriced, two of which are briefly discussed below.
The strategy has established a position in the commercial real estate company Ares(ACRE). This is a specialty finance company that (trades) at a discount to both its $19 per share IPO price back in early May and book value.
A post-IPO equity sale at below the market price had further soured market sentiment in the company’s shares. However, it offered us an opportunity to buy a position and we took it.
Ares used to specialize in junk bonds and leveraged loans. In recent years, it has diversified into lending to smaller, mid-market companies, buying companies and financing takeovers. The firm, which has $74 billion in assets under management, now employs about 700.
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Ares’s funding model seems attractive in the current environment and we purchased the stock at what we consider to be a reasonable valuation.
In early March the portfolio also initiated a position in Noble Corp. (NE), the offshore drilling contractor planning to spin off 44 rigs before the end of the year into a separate company named Paragon Offshore.
This follows a failed earlier bid to sell off its lower quality rigs. Following a prolonged period of market underperformance and a depressed valuation, the position was entered at what we consider to be an attractive valuation on both an earnings and an asset basis.
The Absolute Returns portfolio’s larger additional holdings include Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH), the Canadian insurer led by Prem Watsa, WPX Energy (WPX), a 2012 spin off from Williams Companies (WMB), and an American depository receipt (ADR) from the National Bank of Greece (NBG).
Despite occasional setbacks, we remain confident that, in aggregate, the portfolio’s holdings have the potential to offer reasonable returns over time and we continue to seek attractive opportunities.
DISCLAIMER: The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of April 30, 2013. These investments may or may not be currently held in client accounts. The reader should not assume that any investments identified were or will be profitable or that any investment recommendations or investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Covestor Ltd. is a registered investment advisor. Covestor licenses investment strategies from its Model Managers to establish investment models. The commentary here is provided as general and impersonal information and should not be construed as recommendations or advice. Information from Model Managers and third-party sources deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Transaction histories for Covestor models available upon request. Additional important disclosures available at http://site.covestor.com/help/disclosures.