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Value Maven

Personal Business: FUND WATCH


Besides running the $12.3 billion T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund, Brian Rogers manages the firm's $509 million Value Fund. Value has returned an annual average 30.8% since its 1994 debut by betting on turnarounds. He chatted with BUSINESS WEEK Senior Writer Robert Barker:

Q: What have you bought lately?

A: U.S. Surgical. The stock fell from about 45 to 25 over the past 18 months; it's about 29 now. The company has a decent balance sheet and a relatively low price-earnings ratio, given that it's in health-care products.

Q: What else?

A: Inco (16), a huge nickel producer. The company's market value is less than what it paid for a big property, Voisey's Bay, in Canada. Obviously, Inco is a bet on nickel prices getting better some day, but in our view, it's an asset play.

Q: What will catch your eye next?

A: I'm most intrigued with figuring out what to do about energy. That's a sector where the Value Fund has not had substantial investments, and the stocks have been killed.

Q: You mean exploration and production companies, or oil-service outfits?

A: Companies with assets in the ground. With the price of the commodity under pressure, the service companies don't look as inexpensive as the companies that actually own the stuff.EDITED BY AMY DUNKIN

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