Berkowitz Still Betting On Bank Of America

Bruce Berkowitz

[credit provider=”BloombergTV screenshot”]

Fairholme Capital Management’s Bruce Berkowitz told Bloomberg TV’s Dominic Chu that he still really likes Bank of America even though the stock crushed his fund last year.”In the banking, I feel most comfortable with Bank of America.  I like what Brian Moynihan is doing.  I like the trends.  I like the honesty,” the mutual fund manager, who is known for his bullish bets on financials, told Bloomberg TV.

According to the fund’s most recent 13F regulatory filing, Fairholme had more than 105 million shares in BofA though the end of November 2011 making it Berkowitz’s largest holding. 

He started building his stake in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank more than a year after it acquired Countrywide in 2008, Bloomberg reported.

Last year, Bank of America’s stock price tanked 58%, while the Fairholme Fund tumbled 32%, according to Bloomberg.  So far this year, the stock price is up nearly 45%.

Berkowitz, whose fund was also hit with a big wave of redemptions of 30% though September 2011, said he’s focusing on the long-term.

“We always told our shareholders ‘don’t judge us based on short-term performance.’  In bad times the same should be true.”

“It’s long-term.  It’s a long race.  We’re in it for many, many years.  We want to do what’s right for our shareholders over a long-term period,” he added.

Fairholme, which began back in 1999, has averaged almost 10% returns for shareholders since its inception.

Watch the video clip below for Berkowitz take on Bank of America/Countrywide.