Weitz Leads Value Funds in 2009 After Dismal 2008
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weitz Leads Value Funds in 2009 After Dismal 2008

Wally Weitz, proprietor of Weitz Funds, gets a WSJ Fund Track profile for his Weitz Partners Value fund's turnaround after a disastrous 2008. The fund is up 14 percent this year after dropping 38 percent in 2008 and losing 8.5 percent in 2007.

Those losses have led assets under management at Weitz to fall to $2 billion from a peak of $8 billion.

The coverage does not delve into any changes in distribution or marketing strategies because of the change in investment performance.

The poor performance was driven largely by holdings in financials such as American International Group Inc., Fannie Mae and Countrywide Financial Corp.

The paper points to a change in strategy as a root cause for the comeback. Weitz is shifting his portfolio into oil stocks because of the burst commodities bubble and companies such as Google (a stock that many would consider a growth and not a value play). Those increases displaced holdings in Washington Post Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Other funds getting mentions in the article are Bill Miller's Legg Mason Value Trust and John Rogers's Ariel fund.

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