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Top 10 Stock Picks of Brandon Osten’s Venator Capital Management

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·9 min read
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In this article, we discuss the top 10 stock picks of Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of Osten’s history, investment philosophy, and hedge fund performance, go directly to Top 5 Stock Picks of Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management.

Brandon Osten is the founder, chief executive officer, and portfolio manager at Venator Capital Management, an investment advisory and asset management firm in Toronto, Canada. Osten manages over $294 million in managed 13F securities at Venator Capital Management, with a top ten holdings concentration of 59.32%.

Before founding Venator Capital Management, Osten served as a research analyst and the director of Sprott Securities Inc., where he specialized in technology, healthcare, and special situations. Osten also worked as a top ranked software analyst in Canadian banks in 2001 and 2002. After graduating from the Ivey School of Business in 1996, Osten completed his CFA in 1999.

At the end of June, Osten purchased additional shares in GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH), LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPSN), and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (NYSE:KL). Osten also sold out of Bally's Corporation (NYSE:BALY), iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSE:IWM), and Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW). The biggest holding in Osten’s Q2 portfolio is iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ:IEF), with 270,000 shares worth $61.93 million.

Photo by Zhuo Cheng you on Unsplash

Why should we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment while choosing stocks? Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 86 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and July 2021, our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 186.1%, vs. 100.1% for the S&P 500 ETF (SPY). Our stock picks outperformed the market by more than 86 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.

Our Methodology With this context in mind, let’s discuss the top 10 stock picks of Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management. We used Venator Capital Management’s 13F portfolio for the second quarter to create this list, ranking our stocks according to the value of each holding in Osten’s Q2 portfolio.

Top Stock Picks of Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management

10. Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH)

Venator Capital Management’s Stake Value: $7,543,000

Percentage of Venator Capital Management’s 13F Portfolio: 2.56%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 18

Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH) was founded in 2013, as a platform connecting homeowners with high-quality home improvement professionals. As a home services marketplace, Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH) connected professionals with home renovation and improvement project requests. Since then, it has evolved into a vertical software company by providing software and services to companies to make homes simpler. From moving companies, home inspectors, large utility companies, and real estate professionals, more than 11,000 small and large businesses use Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH) to facilitate their operations, increase their business, and improve their customer experiences. Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH) is one of the top stocks in Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management’s Q2 portfolio.

Venator Capital Management owns 390,000 shares in Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH), worth $7.54 million, representing 2.56% of Osten’s 13F portfolio.

At the end of June, 18 hedge funds were bullish on Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH), down from 27 in the previous quarter.

On October 22, Guggenheim analyst Ken Wong initiated coverage of Porch Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCH) with a Buy rating, and a price target was set at $23.

9. Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP)

Venator Capital Management’s Stake Value: $8,048,000

Percentage of Venator Capital Management’s 13F Portfolio: 2.73%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 39

An American-Canadian beverage company, Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP) is one of the top stock picks of Brandon Osten’s Venator Capital Management. Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP) is a multinational beverage corporation, which was formed after beverage giants Coors and Molson from the US and Canada merged in 2005. Some of the top beverage brands at Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP) include Coors Light, Miller Lite, Blue Moon, and Milwaukee's Best.

Venator Capital Management owns 149,900 shares in Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP), valued at $8.04 million, representing 2.73% of Osten’s 13F portfolio for the second quarter.

At the end of June, 39 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported owning stakes in Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP), up from 34 in the previous quarter.

Here is what Argosy Investors has to say about Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP) in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“TAP (+52% from August 2020 purchase to sale) was never intended to be a core position. I expected a couple of years of deleveraging and perhaps some excitement around the hard seltzer category, but the stock price increased faster than I expected. I have not fully exited these positions as I rarely do all in one trade, but hopefully this gives some perspective into my thinking on selling so quickly.”

8. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

Venator Capital Management’s Stake Value: $8,226,000

Percentage of Venator Capital Management’s 13F Portfolio: 2.79%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 112

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is an American multinational entertainment and media corporation, founded by Walt Disney in 1923. The media giant is recognized for its film division, The Walt Disney Studios, which includes flagship entertainment brands like Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, and Marvel Studios, among others. Disney World is another production of the media conglomerate that has visitors from around the globe. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is a top stock pick of Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management.

Venator Capital Management owns 46,800 shares in The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), worth $8.22 million, making up 2.79% of Osten’s Q2 portfolio.

On October 25, JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani lowered her subscriber estimates for 2022, 2023, and 2024 at The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). However, she kept an Overweight rating on the stock with a $230 price target. She believes that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) will hit its 2021 subscriber estimates, and growth in the number of subscribers will reflect positively in the future share value.

Here is what RiverPark Funds has to say about The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“DIS shares declined for the quarter, taking a pause after a big fourth quarter and first quarter stock price advance, as Disney+ subscriber numbers were disappointing to investors. Disney+, the company’s DTC streaming business, had blown past previous subscriber projections, having gone from zero to 104 million in 17 months, but investors were now expecting 109 million subscribers. Management still expects significant continued growth to 230-260 million subscribers in 2024.

DIS is blessed with a deep library of unique content that includes both live sports (providing large, non-time shifted audiences) and incomparable brands including Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm, as well as the ABC network. The company also has a wealth of upcoming new content, expecting over 100 original titles per year, including two new Star Wars spin-off series, 10 Star Wars films, 10 Marvel films, 15 Disney and Pixar films and 15 Disney and Pixar series.

Now that the disruption in its theme park, cruise and theatrical businesses appears to be coming to an end, we believe that Disney is among the best-positioned media companies in the new landscape to combine multi-channel and DTC distribution. We also note that DIS has an extremely strong balance sheet and a growing pool of free cash flow to be used both to return to shareholders and to invest in future opportunities.”

7. Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ:CSTE)

Venator Capital Management’s Stake Value: $9,004,000

Percentage of Venator Capital Management’s 13F Portfolio: 3.05%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 16

Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ:CSTE) is an Israeli company specializing in quartz surfaces for kitchen countertops, vanity tops, flooring, wall cladding, and overall interior design. The company has plants in Israel and the United States, with warehouses in warehouses and refinery plants in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ:CSTE) usually caters to offices, restaurants, hotels, and museums.

Venator Capital Management owns 610,000 shares in Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ:CSTE), worth $9 million, making up 3.05% of Osten’s 13F portfolio.

6. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER)

Venator Capital Management’s Stake Value: $9,022,000

Percentage of Venator Capital Management’s 13F Portfolio: 3.06%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 135

Venator Capital Management owns 180,000 shares in Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER), worth $9.02 million, making up 3.06% of Osten’s 13F portfolio.

At the end of June, 135 hedge funds in Insider Monkey’s database were bullish on Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER), up from 130 in the previous quarter.

ClearBridge Investments mentioned Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) in its Q2 2021 investor letter. Here is what they said:

“The pandemic has also brought attention to the question of gig worker employment status for companies, including ClearBridge holdings Uber and Lyft. In the U.K., Uber proactively classified its drivers as “workers” ahead of final rulings from the British court system. The worker status in the U.K. is a designation between self-employed and employed status that entitles drivers to minimum wage, holiday pay and in some cases a pension.

ClearBridge has engaged with Uber on labor issues since its IPO, and we have given feedback over that time to the CEO, CFO, Chief Legal Officer and Investor Relations on labor relations as well as strategy and communications. Uber’s agreement on this designation is ahead of other competitors in the market and the legal mandate represents a step forward in the company’s thinking about labor. The agreement represents a short-term hit to earnings, yet in some ways it places Uber ahead of the market in its ability to balance labor and shareholder interests. Workers benefit from improved conditions, with new contributions amounting to roughly 3% of a driver’s earnings, while Uber establishes more certainty on costs and visibility into its regulatory environment and operation conditions in the future.”

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Disclosure: None. Top 10 Stock Picks of Brandon Osten's Venator Capital Management is originally published on Insider Monkey.