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3 contrarian plays: Janus portfolio manager

Contrarian trader's top picks

When Janus Capital's Dan Kozlowski goes hunting for contrarian plays, he focuses on three things: management changes, spinoffs and industry consolidation, the portfolio manager told CNBC on Wednesday.

However first, "we come into the office each day and try to avoid the gravitational pull of the Wall Street herd consensus," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch. "

Kozlowski runs the firm's contrarian fund, which just won the 2015 Lipper Award for best multi-cap core fund.

A good example of a play on management changes is Air Products, he said. The industrial gas company was taken over by a new CEO six months ago who "de-bureaucratized the business, restructured it and realigned incentives," Kozlowski noted.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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When it comes to spinoffs, part of the magic is that the new companies are "orphaned" when they come out, with different tickers and different names.

"They're positioned in places that take time for the consensus to sort of find them," Kozlowski said.

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During that interim period of six to 12 months, the Janus team does its bottom-up fundamental research and "we often find great value for our shareholders," he said.

In this category, he likes Synchrony Financial, which was spun off from General Electric.

Lastly, while industry consolidation is occurring throughout the broader market, Kozlowski is interested in the packaging space

"We get a lot of the benefits of stability of the staples area but for better valuations," he noted.

Specifically, he likes the aluminum beverage can industry and Crown Holdings.

"The industry continues to consolidate and that consolidation sort of begets, we think, higher returns."

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—CNBC's Jackson Burke contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Janus Capital owns APD and CCK.