Janus Stands Pat in Volatile Market

New filing shows few changes; Nortel moves up.
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Times are tough, but it looks like

Janus

is pretty much standing pat.

On Wednesday, the Denver growth shop reported its firmwide stock holdings to regulators -- every fund company has to report its funds' holdings to regulators quarterly. At first blush -- simply comparing the top holdings firmwide -- the changes are modest and few since the firm's June 30 holdings. Some investors may have expected more evasive action since the firm -- whose stock funds averaged more than an 80% gain in 1999 -- are underwater so far this year.

While the holdings are dated, this report is one of the few glimpses investors get at where the big and secretive shop, the nation's fifth-largest with more than $200 billion in its retail stock and bond funds, is bullish and bearish. For shareholders of Janus' funds, it's a look at where they're money is going. For stock investors, it's a hint at where one of the biggest and most aggressive growth shops is betting the farm.

A look at the Janus top-15 holdings is more telling than with many other firms, because the firm's managers, many of whom shuttered their funds due to last year's steep inflows, tend to own many of the same stocks.

There was no jockeying between June 30 and Sept. 30 among the firm's top-six picks. Beyond that, the only changes were energy titan

Enron

(ENE)

and online security shop

VeriSign

(VRSN) - Get Report

switching places and there was some shuffling toward the end of the top 15.

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

moved up a couple of spots, with

Nortel Networks

(NT)

and Web site host

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

vaulting into the top 15, replacing

Veritas Software

(VRTS) - Get Report

and

AT&T Liberty Media

(LMG.A:NYSE).

Janus managers added about 5 million shares to their massive stake in wireless juggernaut

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

. Many investors will be intrigued to know that on Sept. 30 Janus funds still owned 15 million shares of online health concern

WebMD

(HLTH)

-- Janus managers bought those shares in a high-profile

private transaction back in January for more than $60 a pop. On Wednesday, WebMD shares closed at $10.50.

While Janus' managers haven't been changing their diet too much, it's clear that their bent toward the tech, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector is a big bet vs. the more diversified

S&P 500

, commonly used as a yardstick to measure funds' performance.

In fact, a comparison of the top-10 stocks in Janus funds with the S&P 500 finds only two stocks in common --

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

and

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

.