Early Stage Growth Fund
|As of 6/8/2023|
|Total Net Assets:||$85.29 Million (3/31/23)|
|Morningstar Category:||Small Cap Growth|
|Benchmark Index:||Russell 2000 Growth|
Fund Fact Sheet Q1 2023
PM Commentary Q1 2023
Recent Media Coverage
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – August 18, 2021
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – July 28, 2021
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – June 17, 2021
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – May 13, 2021
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – April 22, 2021
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – March 23, 2021
- Investor’s Business Daily 2021 Best Mutual Funds Award Winner – March 22, 2021
- Kiplinger Top-Performing Mutual Fund (10 Years) – January 19, 2021
Fund Objective & Investment Process
The investment objective of the Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund is long-term growth of capital. The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, consisting of common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible securities, warrants and rights, of companies that, at the time of purchase by the Fund, are defined as early stage growth companies. Early stage growth companies are defined by the Fund as companies that, at the time of purchase by the Fund, have market capitalizations below the median of the Russell 2000 Growth Index and are companies that are starting to develop a new product or service or have recently developed a new product or service.
The Fund managers seek to identify companies for the Fund’s portfolio that are expected to experience growth based on the identification of long-term, measurable secular trends, and which, as a result, 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 premier early-stage growth companies which generally demonstrate:
- Strong management teams
- Little or no debt
- Potential for increasing free cash flow
- Scalable business models with a competitive advantage
- Potential for increasing margins
- Attractive risk/reward given the market framework
We believe investing in an actively-managed portfolio of premier, early-stage, growth companies could lead to growth of capital over time. We look for companies that could benefit from long-term industrial, technological, or general market trends, and are trading at what we view as attractive valuations.
Craig Richard, Portfolio Manager
Overall Morningstar Rating™ of BUFOX based on risk-adjusted returns among 561 Small Growth funds as of 4/30/23.
|As of 4/30/23||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||15 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Investor||-7.73||3.70||-8.30||8.82||7.25||9.76||10.35||8.23|
|BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Institutional||-7.74||3.75||-8.19||8.98||7.41||9.92||10.51||8.39|
|Russell 2000 Growth Index||-4.64||4.84||0.72||7.82||4.00||8.44||8.23||8.16|
|Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index||-1.26||9.28||-2.74||4.65||3.89||8.30||8.20||7.97|
|Morningstar Small Growth Category||-5.04||4.17||-3.06||9.92||6.79||9.49||8.79||7.88|
|As of 3/31/23||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||15 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Investor||7.19||7.19||-14.23||16.53||8.19||10.04||10.87||8.46|
|BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Institutional||7.29||7.29||-14.05||16.74||8.36||10.21||11.04||8.63|
|Russell 2000 Growth Index||6.07||6.07||-10.60||13.36||4.26||8.49||8.67||8.26|
|Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index||10.20||10.20||-15.17||9.95||3.98||8.28||8.57||8.05|
|Morningstar Small Growth Category||6.10||6.10||-12.05||16.23||7.27||9.58||9.27||8.02|
|BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Investor||61.70||-7.38||-9.41||11.05||27.18||-3.95||34.03||47.69||7.79||-30.76|
|BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Institutional||61.94||-7.24||-9.28||11.22||27.37||-3.81||34.20||47.96||7.94||-30.66|
|Russell 2000 Growth Index||43.30||5.60||-1.38||11.32||22.17||-9.31||28.48||34.63||2.83||-26.36|
|Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index||41.86||2.46||-0.18||9.61||23.77||-5.67||27.60||43.52||-1.00||-33.31|
3 Year Risk Metrics
|BUFOX vs Russell 2000 Growth Index (As of 3/31/23)|
Hypothetical Growth of $10,000
|(As of 3/31/23)||
|# of Holdings||59|
|Median Market Cap||$1.14 B|
|Weighted Average Market Cap||$2.03 B|
|3-Yr Annualized Turnover Ratio||33.16%|
|% of Holdings with Free Cash Flow||52.54%|
Top 10 Holdings
|Holding||Ticker||Sector||% of Net
|Kinsale Capital Group||KNSL||Financial Services||2.80%|
|Federal Signal Corp||FSS||Industrials||2.80%|
|Bowman Consulting Group||BWMN||Industrials||2.53%|
|Air Transport Services Group||ATSG||Industrials||2.50%|
|Absolute Software Corp||ABST||Technology||2.42%|
|TOP 10 HOLDINGS TOTAL||27.32%|
CAPITAL MARKET OVERVIEW
(As of 3/31/23) — Capital markets moved higher in the first quarter of 2023 as the S&P 500 Index gained 7.50% and the Bloomberg Aggregate Bond Index advanced 3.0%. Big swings in expectations for the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy drove market volatility during the period. Initially investors were concerned with data showing stubbornly high inflation and the prospect of additional interest rate hikes. However, during the final days of the quarter bank failures from Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Credit Suisse, dramatically changed market expectations towards monetary policy and the impact that a banking crisis could have on the broader economy. As a result, shorter term Treasury yields fell, and large cap growth stocks rallied in a flight to quality. The view was that growth companies would be the biggest beneficiaries of lower rates, a reversal of the headwinds faced throughout 2022. Technology stocks were by far the leading contributors to broad market performance during the quarter while value stocks and dividend payers lagged. Excluding the technology sector, the S&P 500 Index return would have only been 2.70% during the period.
Recapping quarterly results, the broad-based Russell 3000 Index advanced 7.18%. Growth stocks significantly outperformed value stocks to start out the year, as the Russell 3000 Value Index returned just 0.91% versus a return of 13.85% for the Russell 3000 Growth Index. Relative performance improved going up in market capitalization (size) as large caps advanced more than small caps in the quarter. Larger cap stocks returned 7.46%, as measured by the Russell 1000 Index, compared to the smaller cap Russell 2000 Index return of 2.74%, while the Russell Microcap Index returned -2.83% in the quarter.
(As of 3/31/23) —The Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund generated a return of 7.19% for the quarter compared to the Russell 2000 Growth Index return of 6.07% during the period.
Small cap growth stocks rallied strong to begin the year, up approximately 15% after the month of January. The banking industry pressures in March pressured risk assets, including small caps, causing returns to moderate for the quarter.
The fund outperformed the benchmark return by 1.12% led by stock selection within the Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary sectors. This was partially offset by poor performing stock selection within the Information Technology and Industrials sectors.
In the quarter, Playa (PLYA), a leading owner/operator of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean generated strong returns. Playa rallied on strong earnings and confidence in its outlook despite broader market concerns over a more cautious consumer. The company’s all-inclusive resorts have a tailwind from the ongoing recovery in international-inbound travel to warm weather destinations in North America post Covid. Management also aggressively repurchased stock in the past several months and announced a new $200 million share repurchase authorization. Bookings for the first half of 2023 are running 30% ahead of year ago bookings, showing current momentum in the business. We believe Playa provides a strong value proposition for vacationers given food/beverage/entertainment is included in the nightly room rate and therefore positions the company well in a potentially weaker economic environment.
In terms of negative contributors, NV5 Global (NVEE) was a significant detractor in the quarter. NV5 provides engineering and consulting services in the infrastructure, utility services, construction, real estate, and geospatial markets. Providing these services to primarily public sector entities has created a stable and growing business for NV5. After being a relative winner in 2022, the first quarter of 2023 saw the shares decline on weak fourth quarter results along with investor concern over exposure to a weakening commercial real estate market. Approximately 10% of NV5 revenues are related to commercial real estate transaction volumes (tied to appraisals, building surveying, etc.) and this business has experienced significant declines that is pressuring current top-line growth. We remain confident in NV5’s long-term ability to create value for shareholders by continuing to grow their leading professional services organization despite some temporary headwinds in small pockets of their business.
(As of 3/31/23) — Financial conditions have continued to tighten this year. The Fed Funds target rate has risen to 4.75-5.00% this year, although only one more increase is anticipated at this point. Additionally, pressure on regional banks’ deposit bases along with holdings has the potential to induce further credit tightening.
As an offset, the economy remains at full employment, personal balance sheets remain strong, and corporate margins remain at near record levels. Additionally, inflation readings have moderated and should continue to ease as we move throughout 2023. While we very well could see a more than modest economic downturn, there appears to continue to be a solid foundation on many fronts.
Regardless of the macroeconomic headwinds we face, our job remains to find attractive small cap companies that have not been fully appreciated by the market or are mispriced due to recent results or events. We believe less investor interest in our segment of the market creates opportunity for us to uncover value.
The fund typically invests at the smaller end of the small cap growth spectrum and the managers continue to seek companies with sustainable growth due to secular growth trends or innovative, disruptive products.
The Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund is focused primarily on identifying innovation within U.S. companies with primarily North American revenue bases. With an active share of greater than 90%, a lower turnover strategy with 50-70 holdings, the fund will continue to offer a distinct offering from the Index and category peers.
|Buffalo Early Stage Growth|
|Full Fund Holdings||12/31/22|
|Statement of Additional Information||3/8/23|
|Tax Guide - 2022||1/8/23|
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. ©2022 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.