5 US Shares Billionaire Ken Fisher Bought Last Quarter

Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and business partner Charlie Munger offers this advice for successful investing: “Carefully look at what other great investors have done.”

Luckily for us, great investors are required to divulge changes they make to their portfolios on a quarterly basis. These public filings allow us to get an idea of how these investors operate, including multibillion-dollar hedge fund manager Ken Fisher.  This is something like the top scoring classmate lending you his exams answers after the teacher has graded it to help you with your corrections, or sharing with you his study methods to help you with the next test.

Today, we take a look at the US market, and an in-depth look at a few shares that Fisher loaded up on. Even if you only invest in the Singapore market, there are always good lessons to be learnt from a great investor, anywhere in the world.

Old favourites
In the fourth quarter of 2012, Fisher increased his positions in St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ) and Darling International (NYSE: DAR).  St. Jude recently received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding design practices and quality systems at a California facility. This was widely expected after the FDA released a report in the fourth quarter regarding concern over the design and testing of the company’s Durata lead. This led to a share pullback, which Fisher likely saw and took advantage of.

Revenues and earnings were both down last quarter for Darling International. The Texas-based company provides recovery and recycling services of cooking oil and bakery waste for the food industry. Darling faces lower finished product prices, which may continue to dampen earnings. But its biodiesel joint venture with Valero Energy could be promising, though there are no guarantees.

St. Jude and Darling possess forward price-to-earnings ratios of 11 and 13, respectively. Since the P/E ratio of the S&P 500 is currently near 17, these two shares are below that valuation.

New additions
Fisher added Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR), Elizabeth Arden (NASDAQ: RDEN), and Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN) to his portfolio in the fourth quarter.  As global data centre traffic is projected to grow fourfold by 2016, REIT Digital Realty Trust will likely take advantage of the explosive growth in data storage.  The REIT invests in data centre properties, such as corporate IT offices, and trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14.

Beauty products company Elizabeth Arden looked good enough for Fisher to scoop up some shares. Last quarter, net sales increase nearly 14% year over year and were aided by a launch of revamped Elizabeth Arden products. The company has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 15.

On the other hand, Hain Celestial appears overvalued, trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19. The company strives to gain market share in the very competitive but profitable natural and organic food industry.

Foolish bottom line

Don’t simply take Fisher’s word as gold. Conduct your research, determine your take on these companies, and formulate your own investing thesis.  Here at the Motley Fool Singapore,, we aim to bring you more of these “study methods” from Singapore and all over the world to help you invest better.


The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your FREE subscription to Take Stock Singapore, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Written by David Kuo, Take Stock Singapore tells you exactly what’s happening in today’s markets, and shows how you can GROW your wealth in the years ahead. 

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool owns shares of Darling International, Hain Celestial, and St. Jude Medical.

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