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Andreas Halvorsen's Top 5 Buys in the 1st Quarter

Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio), founding partner and chief investment officer of Viking Partners, disclosed this week that his firm's top five buys for the first quarter were JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP), Workday Inc. (NASDAQ:WDAY), CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME) and Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU).


Halvorsen previously worked as senior managing director and equity director at Julian Robertson (Trades, Portfolio)'s Tiger Management. According to the firm's website, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Viking invests in companies based on a thorough assessment of the company's business model and fundamentals, the quality of its management team and the trends among cyclical and secular industries.

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As of quarter-end, Viking's $19.21 billion equity portfolio contains 64 stocks, of which 20 represent new holdings. The top three sectors in terms of weight are health care, technology and consumer cyclical, with weights of 33.14%, 19.88% and 19.53%.

JPMorgan Chase

Halvorsen purchased 4,085,317 shares of JPMorgan Chase, giving the stake 1.91% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $122.27 during the first quarter.

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The New York-based bank operates four business segments: consumer and community banking, corporate and investment banking, commercial banking and asset and wealth management. According to GuruFocus, JPMorgan Chase's equity-to-asset ratio of 0.08 and debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34 underperform over 69% of global competitors, suggesting high leverage. Despite this, net profit margins and returns are outperforming over 60% of global banks.

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Gurus with large holdings in JPMorgan Chase include Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)'s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) and PRIMECAP Management (Trades, Portfolio). Kahn Brothers (Trades, Portfolio), the firm founded by Irving Kahn, also established a holding in JPMorgan during the first quarter.

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American Express

Halvorsen purchased 3,878,280 shares of American Express, giving the position 1.73% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $117.01 during the first quarter.

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The New York-based company operates three business segments: global consumer services, global commercial services and global merchant and network services. According to GuruFocus, Amex's equity-to-asset ratio of 0.11 and debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67 underperform over 70% of global competitors, suggesting low financial strength. Despite this, Amex's return on equity and return on assets outperform 91.48% and 64.58% of global credit service companies.

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Gurus with large holdings in Amex include Berkshire, Dodge & Cox and Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio).

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Workday

Halvorsen purchased 2,461,978 shares of Workday, giving the holding 1.67% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $169.05 during the first quarter.

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The Pleasanton, California-based company offers enterprise resource planning software for medium and large enterprises. GuruFocus ranks Workday's financial strength 5 out of 10: Although the company has a strong Altman Z-score of 4.78, debt ratios are underperforming over 74% of global competitors.

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CME Group

Halvorsen purchased 1,701,973 shares of CME Group, giving the position 1.53% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $199.40 during the first quarter.

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The Chicago-based company operates exchanges that allow investors, suppliers and businesses to trade futures and derivatives based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign currencies, energy, metals and commodities. GuruFocus ranks the company's profitability 8 out of 10 on several positive investing signs, which include consistent revenue growth and profit margins that are outperforming over 88% of global competitors.

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Micron Technology

Halvorsen purchased 6,711,669 shares of Micron Technology, giving the stake 1.47% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $52.21 during the first quarter.

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The Boise, Idaho-based company provides dynamic random access memory chips for personal computers and servers. GuruFocus ranks the company's profitability 9 out of 10 on several positive investing signs, which include expanding operating margins and a 3.5-star business predictability rank.

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See also

According to GuruFocus Real-Time Picks, a Premium feature, Halvorsen purchased 4,443,284 shares of Zentalis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNTL) around April 7, with shares trading at approximately $23.75.

Disclosure: No positions.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.