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HP, Microsoft Cheap Despite Doubters, Says Fund Manager

Stocks in this article: MSFT HPQ WAC

Microsoft (MSFT) may be cranking out cash, but on Wall Street the company has long been considered "dead money". Keith Trauner, portfolio manager for the GoodHaven Fund, says that suits him just fine.

"We love it when people talk about dead money because it means people have lost patience," he says of the company. The $69 million fund is down 2.2% since being launched in April 2011.

Trauner says Microsoft is reacting to recent headlines about its phone and tablet divisions, yet neither of the pair is central to the company's core businesses. He also likes the fact that Microsoft recently raised its dividend.

Trauner is also positive about Hewlett Packard's (HPQ) prospects, despite the company's well-documented management problems.

"You have a tremendous soap opera at the board level and yet people forget that they are number one in PCs and printers, as well as being huge in servers and services," says Trauner. "It's quite fascinating."

Trauner says GoodHaven took a position in HP during the company's latest management upheaval, when the stock was under the most pressure and headlines were at their most vicious. Even if HP earnings are disappointing in the coming quarter, he believes the stock offers more than 15% in upside from GoodHaven's purchase price.

Outside of large-cap tech, GoodHaven also owns consumer products company Spectrum Brands (SPB) which Trauner says is in the process of a well-orchestrated turnaround. Trauner contends that Spectrum, which makes George Foreman Grills and Remington Shavers, is repairing its balance sheet by paying down its debt, managing expenses and, most importantly, increasing sales.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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