Bill Miller - Miller Value Partners

Bill Miller - Miller Value Partners Q4 2023 Portfolio

Miller Value Partners, a hedge fund managed by Bill Miller, disclosed 41 security holdings in their SEC 13F filing for the fourth quarter of 2023, with a total portfolio value of $163,257,000

Portfolio Overview:

As of 31 December, 2023, Bill Miller’s top holdings were:

STLA – Stellantis N.V.

  • Portfolio Allocation: 7.09%.
  • Recent Activity: Held steady.
  • Shares Held: 496,000.
  • Reported Price: $23.32 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: Approximately $11.57 million.

The robust performance of Stellantis may reflect Miller’s confidence in the company’s strategic mergers and ability to navigate the transition to electric vehicles effectively.

 

WAL – Western Alliance Bancorp

  • Portfolio Allocation: 7.04%.
  • Recent Activity: Reduced by 4.63%.
  • Shares Held: 174,640.
  • Reported Price: $65.79 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: About $11.49 million.

The reduction might be a response to short-term challenges or rebalancing, yet the bank’s strong regional presence and commercial lending growth might underpin its place in the portfolio.

 

UPRO – ProShares UltraPro S&P500

  • Portfolio Allocation: 6.27%.
  • Recent Activity: No change.
  • Shares Held: 186,950.
  • Reported Price: $54.74 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $10.23 million.

The leverage provided by UPRO allows for amplified exposure to the S&P 500’s performance, aligning with Miller’s approach to capitalizing on market upswings.

 

JXN – Jackson Financial Inc.

  • Portfolio Allocation: 6.26%.
  • Recent Activity: Reduced by 9.44%.
  • Shares Held: 199,755.
  • Reported Price: $51.20 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $10.23 million.

Jackson Financial’s solid increase in stock price suggests Miller’s initial investment was well-founded, and the recent sell-off might represent taking profits or strategic portfolio adjustments.

 

BFH – Bread Financial Holdings Inc.

  • Portfolio Allocation: 6.21%.
  • Recent Activity: Increased by a notable 40.40%.
  • Shares Held: 307,865.
  • Reported Price: $32.94 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $10.14 million.

The significant increase in Bread Financial Holdings reflects a conviction in the company’s credit and loyalty programs, which Miller might believe are well-positioned for consumer finance growth.

 

T – AT&T Inc.

  • Portfolio Allocation: 5.67%.
  • Recent Activity: Increased by 7.18%.
  • Shares Held: 552,000.
  • Reported Price: $16.78 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $9.26 million.

AT&T’s position in Miller’s portfolio, bolstered by a recent increase, could be attributed to its dividend yield and the potential for value creation following its business restructuring.

 

QUAD – Quad/Graphics Inc.

  • Portfolio Allocation: 5.31%.
  • Recent Activity: Lightly trimmed by 0.20%.
  • Shares Held: 1,600,750.
  • Reported Price: $5.42 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $8.68 million.

Quad/Graphics’s slight reduction could be tactical, but its continued presence in the portfolio suggests belief in the company’s ability to adapt in a changing digital landscape.

 

OMF – OneMain Holdings

  • Portfolio Allocation: 4.88%.
  • Recent Activity: Held constant.
  • Shares Held: 162,000.
  • Reported Price: $49.20 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $7.97 million.

OneMain’s stable position might indicate Miller sees enduring value in the company’s consumer finance business, perhaps due to its market position or credit performance.

 

BKE – Buckle Inc.

  • Portfolio Allocation: 4.8%.
  • Recent Activity: Reduced by 13.02%.
  • Shares Held: 165,000.
  • Reported Price: $47.52 per share.
  • Value at Reported Price: $7.84 million.

The sizable reduction in Buckle could reflect concerns over retail sector volatility; nonetheless, the ongoing investment might be supported by the company’s strong financials and dividend payouts.

Analyzing Bread Financial Holdings Inc. (BFH): Why is Bill Miller investing in BFH ?

BFH, with a market capitalization of $1.92 billion and a strikingly robust set of financials, presents an intriguing portrait of a company that might be flying under the radar of mainstream market participants. Despite a trailing PE ratio of a mere 2.55 and a forward PE of 4.84, suggesting a valuation potentially unreflective of its actual earnings power, BFH has managed to deliver an impressive net income of $718 million off a revenue base of $3.06 billion, indicating a remarkable profit margin of 23.46%.

 

Its stock offers a healthy dividend yield of 2.30%, a figure that not only provides a consistent return for income-seeking investors but also signals confidence in its financial stability and future earnings. Moreover, the company’s free cash flow paints the picture of a veritable cash generation machine, boasting $1.94 billion that underpins its strategic flexibility and investment capabilities.

 

However, what truly sets BFH apart is its remarkable free cash flow margin of 63.37%, hinting at an exceptional level of operational efficiency and a robust cash-conversion ability. This financial leverage is coupled with a respectable return on equity of 25.60%, underscoring the company’s adeptness at generating shareholder value.

 

Bill Miller may have a favorable view of BFH’s stock for a variety of reasons considering the financial data provided. Here’s an analysis from his potential perspective:

 

Valuation Metrics:

 

Low PE Ratio: The trailing PE ratio of 2.55 and a forward PE of 4.84 suggest that BFH is undervalued relative to its earnings. This might indicate a buying opportunity, especially if Miller believes that the company’s earnings potential is not fully reflected in the current stock price.

PEG Ratio: The PEG ratio of 2.77, while above 1, could still be reasonable if the company’s growth prospects are robust.

 

Financial Health:

 

Robust Profitability: The profit margin of 23.46% indicates a strong capacity to convert sales into net income. High profitability is often a sign of a company’s efficiency and managerial effectiveness.

Strong Free Cash Flow: BFH has a significant free cash flow of $1.94B, which can be used for growth, debt reduction, dividends, or buybacks. A high FCF margin (63.37%) is a positive sign for future investments or shareholder returns.

Debt Management: Despite a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.81, which indicates a higher reliance on debt financing, the company’s robust free cash flow could allow for comfortable debt servicing and repayment.

 

Dividend:

 

Attractive Dividend Yield: With a dividend yield of 2.30% and a conservative payout ratio of 5.86%, the company offers an attractive income component to shareholders, which could appeal to income-focused investors like Miller.

 

Stock Performance and Market Perception:

 

52-Week Price Change: The stock has seen a moderate increase of 14.24% over the past year, which might be seen as a stable and positive performance.

 

Operational Efficiency:

 

Return on Equity (ROE): An ROE of 25.60% demonstrates that the company is generating substantial profits from its equity financing, which can be a sign of managerial efficiency and a solid investment.

Asset Turnover: An asset turnover of 0.14 suggests that BFH might be a capital-intensive business, or it could indicate room for improvement in utilizing its assets to generate sales.

 

Investment Rationale:

 

Given these aspects, Miller might have invested in BFH if he believes that:

 

  • The market undervalues the company based on traditional valuation metrics.
  • The strong profitability and cash flows indicate a well-managed company with growth prospects.
  • The solid dividend yield provides an income stream with potential for dividend growth.
  • The current stock price does not fully reflect the company’s earnings potential and operational efficiency.

Conclusion:

 

From Bill Miller’s perspective, the combination of BFH’s low valuation multiples, strong profitability, solid dividend yield, and potential for appreciation might make it an attractive investment opportunity.

Who is Bill Miller ?

1950:

Bill Miller is born in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

 

1968:

Graduates from Miami Palmetto Senior High School.

 

1972:

Graduates with honors from Washington and Lee University with a degree in economics. Joins the U.S. Army, serving until 1975, and attains the rank of Captain.

Late 1970s: Pursues graduate studies in philosophy at Johns Hopkins University while working part-time in accounting.

 

1981:

Joins Legg Mason Capital Management as a security analyst.

 

1986:

Receives his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

 

1991-2005:

Manages a portfolio that beats the S&P 500 Index for 15 consecutive years.

 

2007:

Elected chairman and chief investment officer of Legg Mason Capital Management.

 

2012:

Turns over the Legg Mason Value Trust to Sam Peters.

 

2016:

Ends his relationship with Legg Mason. 

 

2018:

Makes a $75 million donation to the philosophy department of Johns Hopkins University, the largest-ever gift to a philosophy department.

 

2021:

Donates $50 million to support Johns Hopkins’s physics and astronomy department.

 

2022:

Marries fellow Johns Hopkins University Trustee Heather Miller in June.


Interesting Facts:

Bill Miller is an early investor in Amazon, Bitcoin, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals throughout his career.

Bill Miller's Investing Principles

The world changes. This is the biggest problem in markets.

Bill Miller

Our approach can be summarized with the phrase “lowest average cost wins.

Bill Miller

Almost every value trap is the result of people extrapolating past returns on capital and past valuations onto a different situation today.

Bill Miller

The more things people worry about the better for an investor, because those worries are already instantiated in the overall market.

Bill Miller

People often say there’s lots of uncertainty, but when was there ever certainty in the markets, the economy, or the future? I’m just trying to understand the present.

Bill Miller

I think that most individual investors make great mistakes when they try and time the market, and try and think about what’s the best stock to buy now.

Bill Miller

If you have a valuation discipline, then you know that stock prices change more rapidly than business value. You also know that rising stock prices mean lower future rates of return and falling stock prices mean higher rates of return.

Bill Miller

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