Oil Spill Spells Trouble For Berkowitz (BP, JOE, SHAW, C, AIG, GS, HUM, CIT, FAIRX)
At the end of the first quarter, no energy pure-plays were among Bruce Berkowitz’s favorite stocks as represented by the top-15 U.S.-listed equity holdings of his Fairholme Fund (FAIRX) in the latest SEC filings. However, the fund is still feeling pressure from the BP (BP) rig explosion as investors shy away from coastal real estate plays. Berkowitz, whose firm is the single largest shareholder of Florida real estate developer St. Joe (JOE) has seen the stock plummet by -20% over the last month as the still untamed leak sends crude closer to the firm’s properties.
St. Joe president and CEO Britt Greene posted a statement addressing the spill on its website, explaining, “Although we have not seen any direct impact from the oil spill on our beaches, we have taken specific measures which we believe will put us in the position to quickly assess and address any potential damages.” Such measures include photo documentation of the “‘before’ condition” of beachfront assets, collecting soil samples, and keeping Shaw Group (SHAW) on call for clean up and testing if necessary.
It will be interesting to see if Berkowitz speaks up in regards to the recent St. Joe pullback. He has been vocally supportive of his Citigroup (C) and American International Group (AIG) holdings in the media already this year, and he recently revealed a “giant stake” in scrutinized investment bank Goldman Sachs Group (GS) at the Value Investing Congress in Pasadena, California. Berkowitz talked up St. Joe in a March interview with Barron’s, calling the stock a “deep-value play,” and noting “they own some of the most beautiful real estate in the United States.” Shares are currently trading at just 5% above their 52-week low.
To see where you stack up against Berkowitz, or view more stocks that Fairholme has invested in visit tickerspy.com.
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