ValueAct, Ex-Buffett Manager Buy Precision Castpart Stock

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Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct Capital Management and a former money manager for billionaire Warren Buffett were among investors that took stakes in Precision Castparts Corp. amid a first-quarter sell off in the manufacturer’s shares.

Louis Simpson disclosed in a Form 13F on Friday that his SQ Advisors acquired 1.35 million Precision Castparts shares valued at about $283.9 million during the first quarter. Prior to starting SQ Advisors in Naples, Florida, Simpson invested on behalf of Geico Corp., the auto insurer owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Ubben’s ValueAct Capital Management disclosed that it acquired a stake in Precision Castparts valued at almost $120 million during the first quarter. Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC, a hedge fund that employs activism, took an initial stake in Precision Castparts shares valued at $105 million during the first quarter.

Separately, Soroban Capital Partners, run by Eric Mandelblatt and Gaurav Kapadia, bought a position in Precision Castparts with a market value of $518 million as of March 31.

Precision Castparts, based in Portland, Oregon, employs advanced engineering technology to manufacture metal industrial components for jet engines and power plants as well as pipes for the oil and gas sectors.

The shares declined about 13 percent in the first quarter. The stock fell more than 9 percent on Jan. 16, after Precision Castparts reduced its earnings forecast for the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 28, citing lower demand from oil and gas distribution customers as well as other factors. Precision Castparts shares rose 3.8 percent to close at $215.49 in New York trading.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million of equities that trade on U.S. exchanges must file a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter. The filing discloses holdings that trade on U.S. exchanges, including stocks, options and convertible debt.

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