Levin Capital Strategies Ups Stake in Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (BIO)


Managed by John A. Levin, Levin Capital Strategies increased its holding in Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BIO). The current position amounts to 1.22 million shares, which represent 5.20% of the company’s aggregate Class A Common Stock. According to the fund’s 13F filing for the first quarter of 2014, Levin Capital previously held approximately 803,000 shares of Bio-Rad Labs.

Bio-Rad Laboratories

Incorporated in 1957, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BIO) is a manufacturer and supplier of a range of products and systems designed to separate complex chemical and biological materials and to identify, analyze and purify their components. Operating in the Life Science and Clinical Diagnostics areas, the company distributes its products to the healthcare, life science research, analytical chemistry, and other markets through its direct distribution channels in more than 35 countries. A month ago, Bio-Rad Laboratories announced that it bought GnuBIO, a company which develops a fast and fully integrated droplet-based DNA sequencing technology.

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BIO)’s stock has been stable in the past 12 months, trading at around $122.00 per share – the median of its 52-week price range. Last year, the company delivered earnings per share of $2.72, a number significantly lower than the $5.79 per share generated in 2012. Trading at an Enterprise Value to EBITDA ratio of around 10.50, the company produced Free Cash Flow of $62.00 million the same year. In the company’s 2013 financial results press release, the company’s President and CEO, Norman Schwartz, claimed that the 2013 results were negatively impacted by some one-time events and that management is encouraged by the results in the fourth quarter, which reflect the strength across many of Bio-Rad’s product lines. He also noted that the 2013 results were also tempered by continued investments in new products and systems that would provide the company greater operating leverage for the future. Operating with a Debt to Equity ratio of 0.20, the company is significantly less levered than its industry peers, which average a ratio of 0.70.

John W. Rogers‘ Ariel Investments is a large shareholder of Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BIO), in which the fund holds 1.10 million shares.

Levin Capital Strategies holds a $6.21 billion worth equity portfolio, of which around 37.00% is invested in the Technology and Financial Sectors. The position amassing 11.42 million shares, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) represents the largest proportion (5.15%) in the fund’s portfolio.

Disclosure: none