Buffett's Berkshire Is No Longer a 'Best Idea' (Update1)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fairholme Funds, the $7.5 billion mutual fund complex run by Bruce Berkowitz, liquidated its holdings of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway(BRK.A) , while reducing stakes in American International Group(AIG) , CIT Group(CIT) and Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp.(OSH) , according to Fairholme's latest semi-annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.
"Fund share redemptions have forced the Funds to raise liquidity. Rather than selling across the board, we have learned not to sell our best ideas," Berkowitz wrote in a modified version of the report posted on Fairholme's website.
In an apparent inconsistency, however, Berkowitz says that "our best idea remains AIG common
AIG, which reported earnings last week, has seen its shares rise nearly 11% since the market closed May 31.
"There are few occasions when systemically important franchises sell for half of book value and are profitable. This is one of those times," Berkowitz wrote in the letter on Fairholme's website, which is addressed to shareholders in the company's three funds.
Berkowitz, who was Morningstar's fund manager of the decade, has made big bets on beaten-up financial stocks in the wake of the 2008 crisis -- a strategy that led to a disastrous 2011 performance but has served him well so far in 2012. An investment in Sears(SHLD) has had a similar fate, losing 57% in 2011 but rising 66% this year.