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Heebner Buys Whirlpool, Cummins, Sells, Ford

Heebner Buys Whirlpool, Cummins, Sells, Ford
Front-load Whirlpool Corp. washing machines in Clyde, Ohio. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Kenneth Heebner, who ran one of the top-performing U.S. mutual funds during the past decade, bought stakes in Whirlpool Corp. and Cummins Inc. during the first quarter while selling Inc. and Ford Motor Co.

Capital Growth Management LP purchased 1.82 million shares of Whirlpool, the largest appliance maker, during the three-month period that ended March 31, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. The money manager bought 1.01 million shares of Cummins, a maker of diesel engines, after closing out its position in the fourth quarter.

Heebner also bought 191,000 shares of Apple Inc. after closing out a 406,000-share position in the world’s biggest company by market value during the fourth quarter.

His CGM Focus Fund has beaten 6 percent of peers in 2012. The fund returned 16 percent annually in the decade ended in January 2011 for the best record among more than 3,500 diversified U.S. stock funds, according to data compiled by Morningstar Inc. It then lost 16 percent in the past year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. He has trailed 99 percent of peers in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Whirlpool of Benton Harbor, Michigan, surged 32 percent this year through May 11 and Cummins of Columbus, Indiana, rallied 21 percent, compared with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 7.6 percent advance. Heebner also bought American depositary receipts of Tata Motors Ltd., India’s biggest automaker. The Mumbai-based company jumped 63 percent this year through May 11.

Concentrated Bets

Heebner is known for concentrating in industries from homebuilding to commodities and a willingness to shift directions quickly. Capital Growth’s stakes in material, energy and industrial companies increased since the last quarter. Heebner added shares of National Oilwell Varco Inc., the largest U.S. maker of oil equipment and the firm’s fifth-biggest holding by market value, according to the filing. Citigroup Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., Morgan Stanley and Simon Property Group Inc. are Capital Growth’s biggest stakes.

Positions in consumer and technology companies declined as Heebner exited Priceline, Ford, MasterCard Inc. and Google Inc., the biggest U.S. online travel agency, climbed 53 percent in the first quarter before peaking at $764.75 on April 9. The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company has since fallen 13 percent after forecasting second-quarter earnings below analysts’ estimates.

Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker Ford rallied 16 percent last quarter. The shares have slipped 17 percent since the end of March. Mountain View, California-based Google has slid 6.3 percent this year through May 11, while Purchase, New York-based MasterCard climbed 13 percent in the same period.

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