Wells Fargo (WFC) shares were already suffering from the scourge of low rates prior to the recently revealed account creation scandal. But William Smead, portfolio manager of the Smead Value Fund (SMVLX) , said the bank will bounce back from this one-two punch.
"Even great companies stumble once in a while, and they are quickly making amends to move past this as quickly as possible," said Smead.
Shares of Wells Fargo are down 13% year to date. Wells Fargo said Tuesday it would end the retail bank sales targets that regulators say helped motivate thousands of employees to illegally open unauthorized customer accounts to meet performance goals. Wells Fargo is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.
The Smead Value Fund is down 1.4% thus far in 2016, according to Morningstar. The $1.2 billion fund has returned an average of 8.4% annually over the past three years, putting it the 59th percentile in Morningstar's large blend category.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) is a major holder of Wells Fargo shares, and it is another one of Smead's top picks. Shares of Warren Buffett's investment vehicle are up 11% thus far in 2016, outperforming the 4% rise in the S&P 500. Smead believes that Berkshire will expand its lead over the index as the economy improves and as interest rates finally tick up.
"Buffett is leveraged to the U.S. economy and will do well in a housing boom," said Smead. "He does not do well in a muted environment."
Disney (DIS) , which is down 12% year to date, is another one of Smead's favorite stocks, despite recent worries about the Mouse House's ESPN division losing subscribers. In Smead's view, the ESPN problems are overblown, and increased consumer spending will increase profits at the company.
"We are in a baby boom among 30- to 45-year-old women and a five-year-old person boom for the next decade. Disney is the largest baby-sitting organization in the world for five year old kids -- as well as 35-year-old men with ESPN," said Smead.