Matt Potter 7 a.m., March 22
Brandes Looks for Undervalued Stocks; Today, His Big Positions Are Certainly Valued Low in the Market
San Diego's Brandes Investment Partners, which manages $125 billion of investors' money, looks for undervalued stocks. The stocks in which Charles Brandes's firm has big positions are certainly valued low in today's market, and as of now, Brandes has big losses. On Sept. 30 of last year, the firm reported that it owned a big chunk of McClatchy, the newspaper chain. The stock was selling for $20.04 then; now it's $10.35. Brandes owns 9.95 percent of the company now. At the same time, Brandes said it owned a slug of the largest newspaper chain, Gannett. The stock has come down from $43.70 to $33.72 today. Brandes has 10.17 percent of Gannett. It looks like Brandes will lose a bundle in Countrywide, the big, troubled mortgage peddler. Brandes reported it owned 7.9 percent of the company on Sept. 30 of last year, when the stock was at $19.74. On Jan. 11, the company agreed to be bought by Bank of America for $7.16 a share. Now it's selling for $6.84. Today's Wall Street Journal reported that Brandes had $1 billion in Alcatel-Lucent at last year's end, when it was selling for $7.32 Now it's $6.25. Charles Brandes has completed a 54,000 square foot home on 30 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, where he lives with his new, beautiful wife. Forbes Magazine, which lists Charles Brandes among the 400 richest Americans, says the home is worth $60 million. Brandes tells tax authorities it is worth less.