Fat Pitch Financials Portfolio Mid-Year Update 2008

The Fat Pitch Financials Portfolio has maintained its downward trajectory this past month. The portfolio ended June with a balance of $1,225,136.89 versus the May balance of $1,291,425.91. On a positive note, while the Fat Pitch Financials Port was down only 4.09%, the S&P 500 was down 8.43% this past month according to the Fat Pitch Financials Marketocracy numbers.

Looking at mid-year performance, the Fat Pitch Financials Port is down 11.03% since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 is down 10.64%. Basically, I’ve been performing at about par with the S&P 500 this year. That’s rather disappointing given my portfolio’s value focus. However, I’ve read several reports indicating that several other professional value investors are also struggling.

My overall total returns for this portfolio are 23.51% since inception versus 21.76% for the S&P 500. More importantly, the Fat Pitch Financials Portfolio annualized returns are 5.75% versus 5.35% for the S&P 500. My goal is to get my annualized returns above 10%, but it looks like for now I have a long ways to go before reaching that goal.

The following table provides a breakdown of my current holdings and their performance:

Fat Pitch Financials Holdings as of July 1, 2008

Symbol  Price  Shares  Value  Portion of Fund  Inception Return
 WEST  $14.97  5770  $86376.32  7%  15%
 WU  $24.83  2290  $56860.70  5%  14%
 MSFT  $26.87  8220  $220871.40  18%  11%
 BR  $20.88  2600  $54288.00  4%  8%
 BID  $24.50  2650  $64925.00  5%  0%
 PRXI  $4.23  13610  $57570.30  5%  -4%
 KFT  $28.40  2000  $56800.00  5%  -5%
 MHP  $40.51  1610  $65221.10  5%  -7%
 LENS  $3.37  12140  $40911.80  3%  -12%
 USB  $28.40  2940  $83496.00  7%  -17%
 PFE  $17.73  2010  $35637.30  3%  -29%
 USG  $27.98  1080  $30218.40  2%  -40%
 MWRK  $10.38  6710  $69649.80  6%  -53%

There were no portfolio transactions this past month. However, there were some interesting developments in some of my holdings. Microsoft (MSFT) dropped its merger talks with Yahoo (YHOO) earlier in the month, but now rumors are surfacing that some level of talks are back on again. Western Sizzlin’s Sardar Biglari was successful in wrestling control of the Steak & Shake (SNS) board. Hopefully, now that Biglari is Chairman of the Steak n Shake Board he can unlock that value that he sees in this poorly performing regional restaurant chain. He is also signalling that he feels Western Sizzlin is undervalued by initiating a significant share buyback last week. There other developments that probably deserve some discussion if I had more time.

I still hold $302,310.77 in cash in this portfolio, so I can add positions easily as value opportunities are discovered. Given the latest negative market fluctuations, it is likely that I’ll be dipping into this cash reserve soon.

Finally, I also wanted to mention that I bought some shares of Kraft (KFT) for my personal portfolio this month and thus ended the discrepancy between the Fat Pitch Financials Portfolio holdings and my own actual holdings.

Disclosure: I own all the shares mentioned in this post except Steak n Shake (SNS).

3 thoughts on “Fat Pitch Financials Portfolio Mid-Year Update 2008

  • July 4, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I’m not so sure that Biglari sent the message Western shares were undervalued. What makes you say that? I think he just wants the most flexibility possible.

    We’ll find out for sure in the 2Q earnings release sometime in Aug – or perhaps at the annual meeting next week.

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