Here's What This $13 Billion Money Manager Has Been Buying


Every quarter, many money managers have to disclose what they've bought and sold, via "13-F" filings. Their latest moves can shine a bright light on smart stock picks.

Today let's look at Eagle Asset Management, a massive money-management arm of Raymond James Financial. Tracing its history back to 1976, the company provides investment services via individual managed accounts as well as mutual funds.

The company's reportable stock portfolio totaled $12.9 billion in value as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Interesting developments
So what does Eagle Asset Management's latest quarterly 13-F filing tell us? Here are a few interesting details.

The biggest new holdings are Chart Industries and Parametric Technology. Other new holdings of interest include online auctioneer Liquidity Services , which is also a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. With a relatively capital-light business model and solid profit margins, it specializes in surplus, wholesale, and salvage assets and has been enjoying double-digit revenue and earnings growth over the past five years. Bears worry about slowing growth and competition, though.

Among holdings in which Eagle Asset Management increased its stake was Fusion-io and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals . Fusion-io is an enterprise storage company, focused on technologies such as flash memory and solid-state drives. It already serves some rather major customers, such as Apple and Facebook. It recently received a Wall Street upgrade to a "buy" rating and unveiled a new product line.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals pleased bulls with FDA approval for its leukemia drug ponatinib -- though some warnings on the label will be required. ARIAD is looking to expand the drug's application. Meanwhile, the company's bone-tumor drug ridaforolimus was rejected in Europe, but it might still prove effective against other cancers. The company's recent quarterly results were mixed, with cash burn a concern as losses increase -- thus it's looking to raise more funds. The company has been spending heavily on research and development, and it needs some more success from its pipeline.

Eagle Asset Management reduced its stake in lots of companies, including organic light-emitting diode (OLED) specialist Universal Display . With its stock down by about a third over the past year, it has seen some significant insider buying. Universal Display is poised to profit from strong sales of tablets, smartphones, and TVs. The company is also benefiting from royalty and licensing revenue for its intellectual property. It doesn't appear to be a screaming bargain now, though.

Finally, Eagle Asset Management's biggest closed positions included Titanium Metals, which was bought by Precision Castparts, and OPTNET Technologies, bought by Riverbed Technology. Other closed positions of interest include diversified mortgage REIT Newcastle Investment . Newcastle draws plenty of interest with its hefty dividend, recently yielding 8.7%, and its management has been making some savvy deals, buying mortgage-servicing rights from others, for example. It's also spinning off some residential assets.

We should never blindly copy any investor's moves, no matter how talented the investor. But it can be useful to keep an eye on what smart folks are doing, and 13-F forms can be great places to find intriguing candidates for our portfolios.

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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, Liquidity Services, Precision Castparts, Riverbed Technology, and Universal Display and owns shares of Apple, Riverbed Technology, and Universal Display. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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