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First Eagle Asset Management Buys Monsanto, Hershey, AT&T

- By Holly LaFon

First Eagle Investment (Trades, Portfolio) Management reported today buying 22 stocks with 7% turnover across its variety of funds over the fourth quarter, resulting in ownership of 334 holdings in total with a value of $39.1 billion.


Most of the new positions are nestled in smaller space in the portfolio, with few changes made to top holdings, which include large-cap blue-chip stocks such as Comcast (CMCSA), Oracle (ORCL) and Microsoft (MSFT). Leading its new accumulations in size for the fourth quarter are Monsanto (MON), The Hershey Co. (HSY), PPL Corp. (PPL), Fortis Inc. (FTS) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

The New York-based firm manages roughly $97 billion in assets using a flexible, return-focused approach with an emphasis on downside protection. It is also distinctive for being home to Jean-Marie Eveillard, a well-known figure in the investing world, who now serves as senior advisor to the First Eagle Investment (Trades, Portfolio) Management Global Value Team and a board trustees after a lengthy tenure in day-to-day portfolio management.

Monsanto (MON)

First Eagle bought 2,214,917 shares of Monsanto, giving it 0.6% space in the portfolio. The stock traded for $103 on average in the fourth quarter.

Monsanto has a market cap of $46.97 billion; its shares were traded around $107.10 with a P/E ratio of 28.93 and P/S ratio of 3.44. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of Monsanto stocks is 2.01%. The forward dividend yield of Monsanto stocks is 2.01%. Monsanto had an annual average earnings growth of 9.4% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Monsanto the business predictability rank of 3.5-star.

The Hershey Co. (HSY)

First Eagle bought 1,821,280 million shares of The Hershey Co., giving it a 0.48% portfolio space. The stock traded for $99 on average.

The Hershey Co. has a market cap of $22.7 billion; its shares were traded around $106.95 with a P/E ratio of 32.02 and P/S ratio of 3.09. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of The Hershey Co. stocks is 2.24%. The forward dividend yield of The Hershey Co. stocks is 2.31%. The Hershey Co. had an annual average earnings growth of 5.40% over the past 10 years.

PPL Corp. (PPL)

First Eagle bought 4,366,624 shares of PPL Corp., giving it 0.64% portfolio space. The stock traded for $34 on average.

PPL Corp. has a market cap of $24.19 billion; its shares were traded around $35.59 with a P/E ratio of 12.75 and P/S ratio of 3.23. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of PPL Corp. stocks is 4.26%. The forward dividend yield of PPL Corp. stocks is 4.46%.

Fortis Inc. (FTS)

First Eagle bought 2,889,669 shares of Fortis, giving it 0.23% portfolio weight. The stock traded for $31 on average.

Fortis has a market cap of $12.87 billion; its shares were traded around $32.19 with a P/E ratio of 22.39 and P/S ratio of 1.88. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of Fortis stocks is 3.57%. The forward dividend yield of Fortis stocks is 3.77%. Fortis had an annual average earnings growth of 5.20% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Fortis the business predictability rank of 3.5-star.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)

First Eagle bought 1,360,796 shares of AT&T, giving it 0.15% portfolio space. The stock traded for $39 on average.

AT&T has a market cap of $253.13 billion; its shares were traded around $41.22 with a P/E ratio of 19.78 and P/S ratio of 1.57. The trailing 12-month dividend yield of AT&T stocks is 4.67%. The forward dividend yield of AT&T stocks is 4.77%. AT&T had an annual average earnings growth of 2.10% over the past 10 years.

See First Eagle Asset Management's portfolio here.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.