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Tom Russo Cuts Berkshire, Unilever Stakes

Tom Russo joined Gardner Russo & Gardner as a partner in 1989. His investment philosophy emphasizes return on invested capital, principally through equity investments. His approach to stock selection stresses two main points: value and price. He manages a portfolio composed of 104 stocks with total value of $11,073 million.

The following were his largest trades during the third quarter.

He increased his stake in Cie Financiere Richemont SA ( CFRHF ) by 5.73% with an impact of 0.34% on the portfolio. The current stake is 6.2% of his total assets and 1.57% of the company's outstanding shares.

GuruFocus gives CIE FINANCIERE a profitability and growth rating of 7 out of 10 with good returns of ROE 10.90% and ROA 7.82% that are outperforming 64% of other companies in the Global Luxury Goods industry. Financial strength has a high rating of 8 out of 10, with cash to debt of 3.11 that is below the industry median of 0.72.

It designs, manufactures and distributes jewelry products, precision timepieces, writing instruments, watches, and leather goods. During the last six months, sales increased by 15%.

Russo is largest shareholder of the company among the gurus.

Russo also reduced his stake in Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A ) by 1.31% with an impact of 0.12% on the portfolio. The current stake is 8.88% of his total assets and 0.31% of the company's outstanding shares.

GuruFocus gives Berkshire Hathaway a profitability and growth rating of 7 out of 10 with good returns of ROE 9.38% and ROA 4.28% that are outperforming 51% of other companies in the Global Insurance - Diversified industry. Financial strength has a weak rating of 4 out of 10, with cash to debt of 0.78.

Berkshire is a holding company that owns subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities, including insurance and reinsurance, freight rail transportation, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, service and retailing.

The company's largest shareholder among the gurus is Ruane Cunniff ( Trades , Portfolio) with 0.57% of outstanding shares, followed by Russo, then Chris Davis (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.29% and First Eagle Investment (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.21%.

Russo increased his stake in Pernod Ricard SA ( PDRDF ) by 1.34% with an impact of 0.07% on the portfolio. The current stake is 5.14% of his total assets.

GuruFocus gives Pernod Ricard SA a profitability and growth rating of 6 out of 10 with good returns of ROE 6.88% and ROA 2.93% that are outperforming 50% of other companies in the Global Beverages - Wineries & Distilleries industry. Financial strength has a rating of 7 out of 10, with cash to debt of 0.07 that is below industry median of 0.46.

The company is engaged in the production and sale of spirits and wines. Russo is largest shareholder among the gurus.

Russo reduced his stake in Unilever NV ( UN ) by 1.32% with an impact of 0.07% on the portfolio. The current stake is 5.14% of his total assets.

GuruFocus gives Unilever a profitability and growth rating of 7 out of 10 with strong returns of ROE 33.93% and ROA 9.67% that are outperforming 83% of other companies in the Global Household & Personal Products industry. Financial strength has a high rating of 8 out of 10 and the company has no debt.

Unilever is a supplier of fast moving consumer goods. Its four principal areas of operations are: Personal Care, Home Care, Foods and Refreshment. During the last quarter, turnover increased by 9.4% and underlying sales had a growth 5.7%. Emerging markets underlying sales grew 8.4% with volume growth of 4.8% and price up 3.5%.

Russo is largest shareholder of the company among the gurus, followed by Donald Yacktman (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.14%, Yacktman Focused Fund (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.06% and Yacktman Fund (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.06%.

Russo reduced his stake in Wells Fargo & Co. ( WFC ) by 0.68% with an impact of 0.05% on the portfolio. The current stake is 6.76% of his total assets.

GuruFocus gives Wells Fargo a profitability and growth rating of 5 out of 10 with good returns of ROE 11.54% and ROA 1.35% that are outperforming 72% of other companies in the Global Banks - Global industry. Financial strength has a rating of 6 out of 10, with cash to debt of 0.06 that is below industry median of 1.47.

The company provides retail, commercial and corporate banking services.

Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) is largest shareholder of the company among the gurus with 9.21% of outstanding shares, followed by Dodge & Cox with 1.4%, James Barrow (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.79% and Chris Davis (Trades, Portfolio) with 0.59%.

Russo's other notable trade was Nestle SA ( NSRGY ). He reduced his stake by 0.40% with an impact of 0.04% on the portfolio. The current stake is 10.68% of his total assets.

GuruFocus gives Nestle SA a profitability and growth rating of 7 out of 10 with strong returns of ROE 22.62% and ROA 11.52% that are outperforming 87% of other companies in the Global Packaged Foods industry. Financial strength has a rating of 6 out of 10, with cash to debt of 0.22 that is below industry median of 0.45.

Russo is the largest shareholder among the gurus, followed by Bill Nygren (Trades, Portfolio) who holds 0.11% of outstanding shares.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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