Whitman & Third Avenue Value Fish In Financial Insurers, REITs, Land (ABK, ACGL, LM, MBI, JOE, TPGI, TGIC, USG, VNO)

If there is one seer and age-old timeless veteran in value investing, it is M.J. Whitman.  His Third Avenue Management, LLC has filed its 13F with the SEC and it shows he is still (or at least was) betting big on what financial guarantors, land banks, and REIT’s for a portion of his value investing assets.  This total filing showed some $11.5 Billion in equity and equivalent positions (not including fixed income).  What is interesting is that this is not even all of his holdings out of financial related stocks.  But this is still nearly $1.2 Billion in combined assets.  Below are a portion of his top holdings: 

Stock (Ticker)                                                              Shares             $$$$
Ambac Financial Group (ABK)               2,699,896   $69,576,000
Arch Capital Group Ltd.(ACGL)              1,461,659   $102,828,000
Legg Mason Inc. (LM)                               3,343,553   $244,581,000
MBIA Inc. (MBI)                                           13,773,096  $236,607,000
St. Mary Land & Exploration (SM)            2,620,703   $101,185,000
The St. Joe Company (JOE)                    15,347,635  $54,4995,000
Thomas Properties Group Inc. (TPGI)    2,566,549   $27,667,000
Triad Guaranty Inc (TGIC)                          1,064,023   $10,427,000
USG Corporation (USG)                             5,573,058   $199,460,000
Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)                       1,327,543   $116,757,000

M.J. Whitman and his entire crew readily admit that they do not always catch the bottom.  They try to get in before the flood gates of buyers swarm in, and sometimes they are very early and have no problem taking a 3-year or even longer time horizon.  But they do try to look through the junk heap to see what can be cleaned up with some TLC.  Please be advised that this is a small portion of their holdings, and that full list can be seen here

Here are the other activist and billionaire value-esque investors we covered this weekend:

Jon C. Ogg
February 19, 2008

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