Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s Top 10 Stock Picks

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In this article, we discuss Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s top 10 stock picks. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these companies, go directly to Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s Top 5 Stock Picks.

Ravi Chopra has been the chief investment officer at Azora Capital since 2016. Azora Capital is a New York investment management firm that employs a fundamental, non-directional, long/short equity strategy primarily focused on the financial services sector. According to the 13F filings for Q2, Azora Capital has a portfolio worth $642.76 million.

Before joining Azora Capital, Ravi Chopra was a partner and the sector head of the U.S. financial services at Samlyn Capital, from 2007 to 2016. He was also a financial services analyst at Sigma Capital from 2003 to 2006. Chopra started his career at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) as an investment banking analyst in 2001, right after he graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor’s in Economics.

Chopra’s investment portfolio is highly concentrated, with 85% finance stocks, and the rest comprising information technology and communications sectors’ stocks. The largest holding in Chopra’s Q2 portfolio is BrightSphere Investment Group Inc. (NYSE:BSIG), with a total stake value of approximately $55.78 million. 

In Q2, Azora Capital bought additional shares in BrightSphere Investment Group Inc. (NYSE:BSIG), Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), Focus Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:FOCS), and State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT). Chopra also sold out of Alight, Inc. (NYSE:ALIT), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), and Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC). 

Some of the most notable stocks in Chopra’s Q2 portfolio include Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL), Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), and Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN), among others discussed in detail below.

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Our Methodology
With this context in mind, here are Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s top 10 stock picks. We used Azora Capital’s 13F portfolio for the second quarter of 2021 to rank these stocks. The list was compiled according to the value of each holding in the investment portfolio. 

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Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s Top Stock Picks

10. CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX)

Azora Capital’s Stake Value: $23,279,000

Percentage of Azora Capital’s 13F Portfolio: 3.62%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 9

CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX) is a wealth management and investment advisory firm, offering wealth planning services to high-net-worth individuals, business owners and families. Based in Canada, CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX) also offers online consultancy via CI Direct Investing, which is a leading online financial planning platform, providing premium online investing portfolios and low-fee ETFs, with unlimited commission-free advice. CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX) is one of Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s top stock picks. 

Azora Capital owns 1.26 million shares in CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX), worth $23.27 million, representing 3.62% of the firm’s 13F portfolio. 

Arrowstreet Capital is the leading stakeholder in CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX), with 2.85 million shares valued at $52.4 million. Overall, 9 hedge funds reported owning stakes in CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX) at the end of June. 

On October 26, CIBC analyst Nik Priebe kept an Outperform rating on CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX), with a price target of $35, raised from $30. 

CI Financial Corp. (NYSE:CIXX) is a notable stock in Chopra’s Q2 portfolio, just like Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL), Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), and Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN). 

9. Cowen Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN)

Azora Capital’s Stake Value: $23,722,000

Percentage of Azora Capital’s 13F Portfolio: 3.69%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 27

Cowen Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN) is an American multinational financial services company and an investment bank, operating independently. Cowen Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN) has two main business divisions: broker-dealer and the investment management division. The company offers services like investment banking, equity and credit research, sales and trading, global prime brokerage, outsourced trading, global clearing, commission management services, and actively managed alternative investment products via its two divisions. 

Azora Capital owns 577,885 shares in Cowen Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN), worth $23.72 million, making up 3.69% of Chopra’s Q2 13F portfolio. 

At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 27 hedge funds were long Cowen Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN), the same as Q1. 

8. Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE)

Azora Capital’s Stake Value: $24,753,000

Percentage of Azora Capital’s 13F Portfolio: 3.85%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 34

Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE) actively manages a portfolio of companies and investments, making majority and minority equity portfolio investments in different businesses. Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE) is one of the top stock picks of Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital. 

Azora Capital owns 729,948 shares in Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE), worth $24.75 million, representing 3.85% of Chopra’s 13F portfolio. 

Here is what Madison Funds has to say about Cannae Holdings, Inc. in its Q3 2021 investor letter:

“Our investment in  Cannae was raised to a more typical position size. The underlying business continues to perform well and as we’ve gotten to know the management teams better over the past year, our confidence in their companies’ futures have increased, even as the market continues to undervalue both stocks. Cannae shares trade a large discount to its net asset value as computed using the market prices of its holdings.”

7. WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF)

Azora Capital’s Stake Value: $25,075,000

Percentage of Azora Capital’s 13F Portfolio: 3.90%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 26

WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF) is an exchange-traded fund and exchange-traded product asset manager. WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF) is one of the key ETF providers in the US, since its inception in the US. The categories of ETFs include U.S. and International Equity, Currency, Fixed Income and Alternatives. WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF) is one of the top stocks in Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital. 

Azora Capital owns 4.04 million shares in WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF), amounting to $25.07 million. WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF) accounts for 3.90% of Chopra’s 13F portfolio. 

At the end of June, 26 hedge funds were bullish on WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WETF), up from 18 in the previous quarter. 

6. Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN)

Azora Capital’s Stake Value: $25,216,000

Percentage of Azora Capital’s 13F Portfolio: 3.92%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 66

A technology and software company, Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) offers a leading complete commerce ecosystem to small, mid-cap, and enterprise level businesses. Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN)’s customers are spread across 100 countries, and offices in 40 countries, Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) is one of the top stocks in Chopra’s Q2 portfolio. 

Azora Capital owns 134,454 shares in Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN), valued at $25.2 million, making up 3.92% of the firm’s 13F portfolio. 

On October 21, Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal kept an Overweight rating on Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN), but lowered the price target from $220 to $210. The analyst was slightly concerned about the COVID-19 delta variant impacting the upcoming quarter’s results, however, he was positive about the long-term outlook for Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN). 

Here is what Carillon Tower Advisers has to say about Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“Global Payments is a payments technology company delivering innovative payments and software solutions that allow customers to operate their businesses more efficiently. Investors have been disappointed at the pace of the revenue acceleration given the uneven nature of the reopening globally. The U.S. is doing well with issues, but Europe and Asia remain in various stages of reopening and lockdowns and thus, spending has been curtailed. However, we believe that the U.S. is leading the way and as vaccines are rolled out worldwide, Global Payments stands to benefit in the second half of this year and into 2022.”

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Disclosure: None. Ravi Chopra’s Azora Capital’s Top 10 Stock Picks is originally published on Insider Monkey.