Value investor John Rogers told CNBC on Friday he sees more upside ahead for toymaker Mattel, even as the stock is up about 13% year to date. "It's really one of my favorite, favorite companies. It's still very, very cheap," the co-CEO and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments said on "Squawk Box." "We talked to management this week. Had a great long call with [Mattel's Ynon Kreiz], and he was so confident of how undervalued the security today is more than any time since he's actually been the CEO," added Rogers, who spoke to CNBC from Omaha, Nebraska, ahead of Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting Saturday. (Watch the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting live on Saturday, April 30 at 9:45 a.m. ET here: https://www.cnbc.com/brklive22/) Mattel shares popped on April 27 when the Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported the company has discussed a potential sale with private equity firms including Apollo Global Management . The stock was still up about 2.6% year to date before the Journal's report, compared with the S & P 500's more than 12% decline over the same time frame. Rogers did not mention those reports, but spoke highly about Mattel's turnaround under Kreiz's leadership. He touted both cost-cutting measures and improvements in how Mattel leverages the intellectual property of its well-known brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels and American Girl. "And they're moving so quickly into the whole digital world, much more effectively than the old Mattel and realizing how to make the toys fun and energetic for today's consumer," said Rogers, who is the lead portfolio manager for the Ariel Fund . Rogers said he sees opportunities across the media landscape, particularly in Paramount Global , the company formerly known as ViacomCBS. The firm changed its name earlier this year, as it places an emphasis on its digital streaming offerings such as Paramount+. "We don't like Netflix. What we love about Paramount+ is they are so diversified. They've got CBS with all those franchises — NFL football and NCAA Tournament, etc. All those great things," Rogers said. "They have [internet TV service Pluto], which is an extremely successful part of the whole mainstream of advertising-related media. Then they have Showtime." "It's a total global enterprise, but having the news, the sports and the content that Paramount brings is something that Netflix really can't compete with," Rogers said.
John Rogers Jr., Ariel Investments Chairman, CEO & CIO, speaking ahead of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on April 29th, 2022.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Value investor John Rogers told CNBC on Friday he sees more upside ahead for toymaker Mattel, even as the stock is up about 13% year to date.