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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Friday, December 30, 2005

This Guy's Good

The New York Times published a rare interview today with William Miller. It has a not so obvious connection to Rochester -- and potentially a harbinger of good things to come. Miller manages the Legg Mason Value Trust, a $19 billion mutual fund. His investment decisions have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 for each of the past 14 years -- and is about to add a 15th.

At the end of September the Value Trust owned 21.5 million shares of Eastman Kodak, which is soon to shed its title as the region's largest employer. That's almost 3 percent of the Value Trust's holdings. That amount also represents about 8 pecent of Kodak's outstanding stock. Miller has owned Kodak shares for more than five years.

The story indicates that Miller is a long-term investor with a lot of patience -- and that patience has paid off in spades by impressive rebounds. For example, he's owned the United Health Group for seven years. That company is up more than 40 percent in 2005.

Miller has indicated he thinks Kodak's strategy will result in a more prosperous company. That he is still in the game -- having bought some shares when Kodak was above $60 -- may be a good thing.

Here's another version of the same story, published by Bloomberg News and written by Democrat and Chronicle alum Danielle Kost.

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