Total Assets $439.76 Million (3/31/20)
Expense Ratio 1.01% / 0.86%
Benchmark Morningstar U.S. Small Growth
Small Cap Fund
Finding Premier Growth Companies
Portfolio Managers Jamie Cuellar and Bob Male discuss the foundation for the Buffalo Small Cap Fund investment strategy — finding companies that are rapidly growing and can benefit from long term trends.
“I think what really differentiates us is our process, where we combine the top-down work of looking at trends provided with the bottoms-up fundamental research we do on each company.”
~ Jamie Cuellar, CFA
Overall Morningstar Rating™ of BUFSX based on risk-adjusted returns among 581 Small Growth funds as of 4/30/20.
Fund Objective & Investment Strategy
The investment objective of the Buffalo Small Cap Fund is long-term growth of capital. The Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities, consisting of domestic common stocks and preferred stocks, of small capitalization (“small-cap”) companies, that, at the time of purchase, have market capitalizations within the range of the Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index.
The Fund managers seek to identify companies for the Small Cap Fund’s portfolio that are expected to experience growth based on the identification of long-term, measurable secular trends, and which, as a result, the managers believe may have potential revenue growth in excess of the gross domestic product growth rate.
Companies are screened using in-depth, in-house research to identify those which the managers believe have attractive valuation, strong management, conservative debt, free cash flow, scalable business models, and competitive advantages.
Bob Male, Portfolio Manager
Featured Articles & Reports
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
November 4, 2019
|As of 4/30/20||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||15 YR||20 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO SMALL CAP FUND - Investor||-5.58||-4.54||4.31||12.12||9.95||10.00||8.97||10.21||11.48|
|BUFFALO SMALL CAP FUND - Institutional||-5.57||-4.54||4.41||12.27||10.11||10.16||9.13||10.38||11.65|
|Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index||-9.54||-9.66||-6.21||7.89||7.30||10.96||9.16||4.59||5.70|
|Lipper Small Cap Growth Fund Index||-12.43||-12.50||-7.80||8.19||7.23||10.26||8.36||5.05||6.52|
|Morningstar Small Growth Category||-12.63||-12.76||-8.24||6.10||6.25||9.95||8.57||6.54||6.70|
|As of 3/31/20||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||15 YR||20 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO SMALL CAP FUND - Investor||-19.91||-19.91||-7.33||6.95||5.72||8.32||7.43||9.25||10.64|
|BUFFALO SMALL CAP FUND - Institutional||-19.90||-19.90||-7.22||7.10||5.87||8.48||7.59||9.41||10.81|
|Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index||-21.45||-21.45||-16.07||3.43||3.71||9.79||7.73||3.54||5.05|
|Lipper Small Cap Growth Fund Index||-24.20||-24.20||-16.72||3.69||3.73||9.10||6.92||3.62||5.85|
|Morningstar Small Growth Category||-24.59||-24.59||-17.66||1.69||2.77||8.81||7.13||5.30||6.02|
3 Year Risk Metrics
|BUFSX vs Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index (As of 3/31/20)|
Hypothetical Growth of $10,000
|(As of 3/31/20)|| |
|# of Holdings||72|
|Median Market Cap||$2.21 B|
|Weighted Average Market Cap||$3.18 B|
|3-Yr Annualized Turnover Ratio||57.67%|
|% of Holdings with Free Cash Flow||57.75%|
|% of Holdings with No Net Debt||61.97%|
Top 10 Holdings
|Name of Holding||Ticker||Sector||% of Net|
|Monolithic Power Systems||MPWR||Technology||1.97%|
|TOP 10 HOLDINGS TOTAL||22.27%|
CAPITAL MARKET OVERVIEW
(As of 3/31/20) — Global equity markets fell sharply in the 1st quarter of 2020 in reaction to the global spread of COVID-19. As the case count increased exponentially, the only effective response was for countries to go into lockdown. The economic impact of these actions became clear as the quarter progressed and virtually all asset classes suffered as a result. From February 19 through March 23, the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, declined around 34%, which was the fastest meltdown in history. Central banks and governments responded quickly to this event, with the U.S. Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) cutting interest rates twice in March and announcing unlimited quantitative easing. The U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, providing assistance to individuals and businesses in distress. Optimism around these efforts helped the market rally into quarter end, leaving the S&P 500 Index down 19.60% from the start of the year.
The broad market Russell 3000 Index declined 20.90% in the 1st quarter. Growth outperformed value, with the Russell 3000 Growth Index declining 14.85% compared to the Russell 3000 Value Index decline of 27.32%. By capitalization size, large cap stocks held up best, with a -20.22% return in the quarter, represented by the Russell 1000 Index. The Russell Mid Cap Index fell -27.07%, followed by the smaller cap Russell 2000 Index which declined -30.61%. Best performing sectors were the Technology, Health Care, and Consumer Staples sectors. The Energy sector was hit hardest as falling demand and rising supply from Saudi Arabia caused oil prices to crater. The economically-sensitive Financial and Industrial sectors were also among the worst performing sectors in the quarter.
(As of 3/31/20) — The Buffalo Small Cap Fund (BUFSX) declined by 19.91% during the quarter,
outperforming the Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index, which declined by 21.45%. The outperformance was driven by stock selection in Financials, an overweight in Health Care entering the quarter, and solid stock selection in Health Care, especially in a few companies that could likely benefit from the crisis. These areas more than offset relative weakness in Consumer Discretionary, Industrials, and Materials.
As is common in rapid, macro-driven declines such as the one experienced in March, smaller company stocks declined more than mid and large caps, as market liquidity declined and investors sought the greater liquidity and relative safety of larger cap stocks. Small cap growth outperformed small cap value meaningfully during the quarter. Energy and Consumer Discretionary suffered the most in the Index, as the Saudis and Russians engaged in their price war and consumers globally went into quarantine. The Health Care and Real Estate sectors were relative outperformers during the quarter, but still managed to decline in the double digits giving small cap
investors very few places to hide.
eHealth was, once again, the best performing stock during the quarter. The company posted outstanding results for its seasonally-strong December quarter and had an excellent outlook for 2020. With Joe Biden getting the nod from the Democratic Party over Bernie Sanders, the risk to the stock of a single payer healthcare system has been greatly reduced. Medicare continues to have broad bipartisan support and may even enjoy greater access and coverage going forward. As a market leader in helping seniors select the best Medicare Advantage, Supplemental Medicare, and/or Part D plan, we
believe eHealth has a favorable runway for additional growth.
Teladoc was also a meaningful contributor to the Fund this quarter, as it almost doubled over that period. The market leader in telemedicine could not have had a more favorable setup than a pandemic and mandated global quarantine that has massively accelerated the use of telemedicine by both doctors and patients. The company is quickly ramping to fulfill demand and announced in mid-April that consultations have
doubled since the first week of March 2020. This is clearly the tipping point the industry needed to go mainstream, and, as the leader in telehealth, Teladoc should continue to
The biggest disappointment during the quarter was our investment in Everi Holdings, a producer of gaming equipment and financial technology products for casinos. During the quarter, Everi went from making new highs in its share price due to market share gains, record performances in its slot machine business, and a new product cycle coming in its financial technology business, to having its customers close their doors for an indefinite period due to the pandemic. While it had a majority of revenue from recurring sources like slot play and ATM transactions, it needs its customers to be
operating in order to get that recurring revenue. Because the company is dependent on casino traffic and capital spending from an ailing casino industry, we exited the position during the quarter.
(As of 3/31/20) — This market period has obviously been extremely volatile and difficult to navigate, and we would like to offer some comments on how we have been managing the Fund
during this time and how we have positioned the portfolio going forward. As we saw signs of the virus spreading rapidly outside of Wuhan, we began taking action by selling
some investments that had been outperformers where valuation was getting full, and selling in some areas of consumer and energy. We also sold some positions in Health
Care that were reliant on elective procedures or doctor visits that would likely get canceled and reduced exposure to advertising, as this usually gets cut quickly in weak economic periods. We then circled back to a few stocks we have been watching and waiting for a more attractive entry point, provided the nature of their businesses would still thrive in such an odd economic period. For example, e-commerce, bankruptcy consulting, and telecom equipment companies should benefit while travel, live events, and oil service companies likely do not.
As always, during downturns, we also seek to take advantage of quality, mid cap companies whose share prices have fallen into our market cap range. This is especially
true in the Consumer Discretionary sector where we know the companies have solid balance sheets and will be survivors in industries that are likely to see a lot of capacity leave the market, such as restaurants and retail. Furthermore, knowing that there will be very few companies that will not see negative estimate revisions, we have looked to take advantage of lower share prices by buying more of those companies we already own that should continue to benefit from the same long-term trends they experienced before the pandemic. While their relative importance in the world may have decreased in the short term, as everyone focuses on their basic needs and adjusts to a weaker economy, the underlying trends remain, and we as a nation will eventually adjust to our new realities.
As during most periods of high volatility and a rapid change in economic growth, portfolio turnover increased during the quarter. While the average quarterly cash balance was a little higher than most quarters at 4.3%, the Fund ended the quarter practically fully-invested with less than a 2% weighting in cash. Overall, the portfolio’s cyclical weighting is below average, as it has been for some time, and this is something we will be watching closely in the quarters ahead, as the economy eventually improves.
While the market has been enjoying a nice bounce since the lows in mid-March, it is tough to say whether we will revisit the lows, as is typical, or retain the gains off the bottom. Clearly, the markets will have to endure some very terrible economic numbers for at least the next two quarters, and most companies have very little visibility into forward business trends. There is also significant uncertainty related to the spread and recovery rates for COVID-19 and potential treatments or vaccines for the virus. We expect evolving data on this will drive significant volatility in our small cap investments in coming months. So far in mid-April, the market is digesting withdrawn guidance fairly well and some hard-hit areas like consumer are seeing dramatic moves off the bottom,
if companies can at least show that they are not in danger of going bankrupt. At some point, the market will want more than that for share prices to move higher, but it is hard to see when that period is and where share prices will be at that time.
So far, the Fed and the Treasury Department have done a good job of providing liquidity to markets and cash strapped consumers and businesses, but there are still a few areas
like mortgage issuance and rent payment by restaurants and retailers where issues remain. The one fact we take solace in is that small cap usually outperforms as we head out of bear markets and recessions. In fact, small cap has outperformed large cap in nine out of the last ten recessions, and we do not feel this time will be any different. We continue to manage the portfolio the same as we always have – bottom up, investing
one name at a time based on the fundamental merits and valuation parameters of each company. Our time-tested process of investing in premier companies, which could benefit from long-term trends and trade at attractive valuations, remains the cornerstone of our work, and we appreciate your continued confidence in our efforts.
We get to know the companies we invest in and learn how they run their business.
Top-Down & Bottom-Up
We identify Top-Down broad, secular growth trends and search for companies from the Bottom-Up.
We construct our portfolios based on our own proprietary investment strategy.
Sticking to our disciplined investment strategy ensures we maintain a consistent, balanced approach.
The Morningstar Rating™ for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating™ for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating™ metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods.
In each Morningstar Category, the 10% of funds with the lowest measured risk are described as Low Risk, the next 22.5% Below Average, the middle 35% Average, the next 22.5% Above Average, and the top 10% High. Morningstar Risk is measured for up to three time periods (three, five, and 10 years). These separate measures are then weighted and averaged to produce an overall measure for the fund. Funds with less than three years of performance history are not rated. ©2020 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Morningstar Style Box™ reveals a fund’s investment strategy by showing its investment style and market capitalization based on the fund’s portfolio holdings.
Active investing has higher management fees because of the manager’s increased level of involvement while passive investing has lower management and operating fees. Investing in both actively and passively managed mutual funds involves risk and principal loss is possible. Both actively and passively managed mutual funds generally have daily liquidity. There are no guarantees regarding the performance of actively and passively managed mutual funds. Actively managed mutual funds may have higher portfolio turnover than passively managed funds. Excessive turnover can limit returns and can incur capital gains.