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'Net Seller' Zeke Ashton Update, Centaur's High-Impact Sells

Posted
9/17/2013 10:57:00 AM
By: GuruFocus
Referenced Stocks:BIG;KSS;OMG;Y

Like the mythological centaur, a brilliant investor is also, at times, both man and horse, both tame and wild. Using reason and passion, a dual-natured creature combines intellect and intuition to accomplish far better results than either man or horse could by itself, especially when investing in out-of-favor stocks. Centaur Capital Partners is an apt name choice for Zeke Ashton 's hedge fund, which he founded in 2002. Ashton manages Centaur as well as the Tilson Dividend Fund.

The updated portfolio of Ashton's Centaur Capital Partners has 30 stocks, six of them new, a total value at $90 million, with a quarter-over-quarter turnover of 23%. The portfolio is currently weighted with three top sectors: financial services at 16%, consumer cyclical at 13% and real estate at 5.4%.

In June 2013, Guru Zeke Ashton expressed the value of volatility when he wrote to his investors: "As the old saying goes, you can have cheap prices or you can have good news, but you usually can't have both. When it appears that all is well in the world and the market is driving asset prices higher, we tend to be net sellers. That has been especially true for us over the past year, in large part because there has not been a significant market sell?off during that time that has lasted for more than a few days to allow us to make significant new investments. Our strategy greatly benefits from the occasional market break in order to re?stock our portfolio with new investments that meet our Fund's risk?averse, income generating mandate. In a way, we need the occasional market volatility that accompanies fear and uncertainty in order to achieve our strategy's full potential."

Here's a review of Ashton's top four high-impact sells in the second quarter of 2013.

OM Group Inc. ( OMG ): Sold Out

Impact to Portfolio: -4%

Up 55% over 12 months, OM Group Inc. has a market cap of $1.02 billion; its shares were traded at around $31.90 with a P/B ratio of 1.00.

Formed in 1991, OM Group Inc. is a diversified industrial growth company serving attractive global markets, including automotive systems, electronic devices, aerospace, general industrial and renewable energy.

Guru Action: As of June 30, 2013, Zeke Ashton sold out his position, selling 86,500 shares at an average price of $27.55 for a gain of 15.9%. Ashton bought these shares as a new buy in the first quarter of 2013, at an average price of $25.29, making a gain of 26.2%.

Track historical share pricing, revenue and net income:



Kohl's Corp. ( KSS ) - Reduced

Impact to Portfolio: -3.6%

Down 4% over 12 months, Kohl's Corp. has a market cap of $11.13 billion; its shares were traded at around $51.50 with a P/E ratio of 12.00.

Organized in 1988, Kohl's Corporation operates family-oriented department stores that sell moderately-priced apparel, footwear and accessories, housewares, and soft home goods.

Guru Action: As of June 30, 2013, Zeke Ashton reduced his position by 44.44%, selling 40,000 shares at an average price of $49.51, for a gain of 3.5%.

Ashton held KSS for three quarters total. In the fourth quarter of 2012, he made a new buy of 57,000 shares at an average price of $49.12per share, gaining 4.3%. In the first quarter of 2013, he gained 12.7% on 33,000 shares bought at an average price of $45.48.

Track historical share pricing, revenue and net income:



Big Lots Inc. ( BIG ): Sold Out

Impact to Portfolio: -3.1%

Up 16% over 12 months, Big Lots Inc. has a market cap of $2.15 billion; its shares were traded at around $36.93 with a P/E ratio of 13.00.

Incorporated in 2001, Big Lots Inc. manages a closeout retailing business in the U.S. and Canada, offering merchandise categories of food, consumables, furniture, home, seasonal, toys and others.

Guru Action: As of June 30, 2013, Zeke Ashton sold out his position, dropping 45,000 shares at an average price of $35.38, for a gain of 4%.

Ashton held BIG for five quarters total, losing 5.6% when he first bought 97,500 shares in the second quarter of 2012, paying an average price of $39.01. His highest gain of 27% was made in the first quarter of 2013 when he sold 50,610 shares at an average price of $28.98.



Alleghany Corp. DEL ( Y ): Sold Out

Impact to Portfolio: -2.3%

Up 14% over 12 months, Alleghany Corp DEL has a market cap of $6.74 billion; its shares were traded at around $404.10 with a P/E ratio of 19.70.

Incorporated in 1984, Alleghany Corp DEL is engaged in the property and casualty and surety insurance business, through Alleghany Insurance Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries.

Guru Action: As of June 30, 2013, Zeke Ashton sold out his position, selling 3,000 shares at an average price of $387.58 for a gain of 3.8%. His highest gain of 62.6% was made on a new buy of 13,421 shares bought at an average price of $247.28, in the second quarter of 2009.

Check out his trading history with 11 quarters of double-digit gains:



Zeke Ashton is the managing partner of Centaur Capital Partners and manages the investments for the Centaur Value Fund. He is also manager of Tilson Dividend Fund.



Study the rest of Zeke Ashton's trades.

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