NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ira Rothberg, co-manager of the FBR Focus Fund (FBRVX), says some of the best opportunities are in companies that have a hand in finance but weren't dragged down by the market meltdown.
The fund, which Rothberg co-manages with David Rainey and Brian Macauley, has risen about 25% this year, almost 10 percentage points more than the S&P 500. Over the past year, the FBR Focus Fund is down 4%, better than 96% of its Morningstar peers.
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Are you a bull or bear?Rothberg: We do not spend much time trying to predict short-term fluctuations in the overall market. We focus our efforts on finding companies with excellent business franchises, management and growth prospects. When we find these gems, we are very disciplined about the price we are willing to pay. So in most markets, there are few stocks that are in our sweet spot, but we are finding more opportunities than usual today. What is your top stock pick? Rothberg: O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) is a leading auto-parts distributor and retailer. The company fits our model, with clear competitive advantages, a great management team and a big market opportunity. Plus, the recent acquisition of competitor CSK Auto should boost value as it is integrated into O'Reilly's operating practices and culture over the next few years. O'Reilly has a long history of making highly accretive acquisitions, and our research shows that this should be another success.
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