Quick Facts
Investor Institutional
Ticker: BUFOX BUIOX
Daily Pricing:  
As of 6/24/2022  
NAV: $14.90 $14.98
$ Change: $0.37 $0.37
% Change:
2.55% 2.53%
YTD:
-27.35% -27.32%
Inception Date: 5/21/2004 7/1/2019
Expense Ratio: 1.51% 1.36%
Total Net Assets: $112.70 Million  (3/31/22)
Morningstar Category: Small Cap Growth
Benchmark Index: Russell 2000 Growth
Related Material:
   Fund Fact Sheet Q1 2022
   PM Commentary Q1 2022
   Summary Prospectus
Recent Media Coverage
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
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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

Morningstar Rating

       

Overall Morningstar Rating™ of BUFOX based on risk-adjusted returns among 585 Small Growth funds as of 5/31/22.

Investment Style

Performance (%)

As of 5/31/223 MOYTD1 YR3 YR5 YR10 YR15 YRSince Inception
BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Investor-13.12-23.50-24.9511.4312.0212.998.229.05
BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Institutional-13.06-23.44-24.8311.6112.1913.168.399.22
  Russell 2000 Growth Index-13.53-24.79-25.716.186.8710.557.228.43
  Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index-15.13-27.95-27.554.577.0310.357.248.32
  Morningstar Small Growth Category-13.21-24.23-22.349.4710.0411.517.988.35
As of 3/31/223 MOYTD1 YR3 YR5 YR10 YR15 YRSince Inception
BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Investor-13.46-13.46-13.3216.4716.0613.649.369.90
BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Institutional-13.44-13.44-13.2016.6416.2313.819.5210.06
  Russell 2000 Growth Index-12.63-12.63-14.339.8810.3311.218.819.43
  Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index-13.37-13.37-13.879.5611.6311.499.129.53
  Morningstar Small Growth Category-12.78-12.78-9.0213.8713.6912.209.519.30

 2012201320142015201620172018201920202021
BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Investor24.3061.70-7.38-9.4111.0527.18-3.9534.0347.697.79
BUFFALO EARLY STAGE GROWTH FUND - Institutional24.4861.94-7.24-9.2811.2227.37-3.8134.2047.967.94
  Russell 2000 Growth Index14.5943.305.60-1.3811.3222.17-9.3128.4834.632.83
  Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index14.5041.862.46-0.189.6123.77-5.6727.6043.52-1.00
For performance prior to 7/1/19 (Inception Date of Institutional Class), performance of the Investor Class shares is used and includes expenses not applicable and lower than those of Investor Class shares. Performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower of higher than the performance quoted and can be obtained here. Performance is annualized for periods greater than 1 year. Each Morningstar category average represents a universe of funds with similar objectives.
3 Year Risk Metrics
BUFOX vs Russell 2000 Growth Index (As of 3/31/22)
Upside Capture110.79
Downside Capture90.05
Alpha6.77
Beta1.00
Sharpe Ratio0.64
Hypothetical Growth of $10,000
This chart illustrates the performance of a hypothetical $10,000 investment made in the Fund on the Inception Date. Assumes reinvestment of dividends and capital gains. This chart does not imply future performance.

Portfolio

Portfolio Characteristics
(As of 3/31/22) 
 
# of Holdings65
Median Market Cap$1.42 B
Weighted Average Market Cap$2.16 B
3-Yr Annualized Turnover Ratio37.29%
% of Holdings with Free Cash Flow57.81%
Active Share93.15%
Top 10 Holdings
HoldingTickerSector% of Net
Assets
NV5 GlobalNVEEIndustrials2.84%
Compass DiversifiedCODIIndustrials2.63%
MimecastMIMETechnology2.43%
Kinsale Capital GroupKNSLFinancial Services2.21%
TranscatTRNSIndustrials2.14%
Willdan GroupWLDNIndustrials2.11%
OmnicellOMCLHealth Care2.00%
ShutterstockSSTKCommunications2.00%
8x8EGHTCommunications2.00%
MaxLinearMXLTechnology1.99%
TOP 10 HOLDINGS TOTAL22.35%
As of 12/31/21. Top 10 Holdings for the quarter are not disclosed until 60 days after quarter end. Fund holdings are subject to change and are not recommendations to buy or sell any securities.
Sector Weighting
As of 3/31/22. Security weightings are subject to change and are not recommendations to buy or sell any securities. Sector Allocation may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Market Capitalization
As of 3/31/22. Market Cap percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Management

Craig Richard, CFA
Portfolio Manager

20 Years of Experience

 View full bio

Doug Cartwright, CFA
Portfolio Manager

16 Years of Experience

 View full bio

Commentary

CAPITAL MARKET OVERVIEW

(As of 3/31/22) — The equity market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, suffered its second quarterly decline since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, over two years ago, producing a return of -4.60% during the January–March period. Weak capital market performance can be largely attributed to the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates and reduce the size of its balance sheet, also known as quantitative tightening. Other headwinds, including the war in Ukraine, significant inflation, and persistent supply chain bottlenecks, only added to the backdrop of uncertainty for domestic and global markets.

The broad-based Russell 3000 Index fell -5.28% in the quarter. Value stocks outperformed growth stocks by a large amount, as the Russell 3000 Value Index returned -0.85% compared to a decline of -9.25% for the Russell 3000 Growth Index. Large cap stocks fell less than smaller cap stocks during the quarter, as the Russell 1000 Index declined -5.13%, followed by a return of -5.68% for the Russell Midcap Index, and -7.53% for the small cap Russell 2000 Index. Energy stocks surged during the period on rising oil prices while the more defensive Utilities and Telecommunication Services sectors were also modestly positive. The Consumer Discretionary and Technology areas of the market were the largest underperformers due to inflation and rising rates.

PERFORMANCE COMMENTARY

(As of 3/31/22) — The Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund (BUFOX) generated a negative return of 13.46% for the quarter. This result was in-line with the Morningstar U.S. Small Growth Index’s negative return of 13.37%. The Russell 2000 Growth Index returned a negative 12.63% during the period.

With pullbacks occurring across most asset classes in the quarter, small cap growth stocks saw some of the largest declines. In the value versus growth comparison, small cap growth stocks underperformed small cap value stocks for the sixth consecutive quarter (as measured by the Russell 2000 Value and Russell 2000 Growth indices, respectively).

Growth stocks, and in particular small cap growth stocks that have not yet reached operating profitability maturity, experienced significant declines in the quarter based on increasing expectations for the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) to act more aggressively to stem inflationary pressures. The potential of increasing interest rates causing a slowdown in economic growth expectations, along with higher discount rates/equity risk premiums, led to the Q1 declines. Adding to the pressure on markets was the war in Ukraine, continued challenged supply chains, lapping economic stimulus payments, and some remnants of COVID-19 in various geographies (China). While the broader market drawdown from recent highs has been mild at the time of this writing, the small cap growth universe (as measured by the Russell 2000 Growth Index) is off approximately 25% from its highs seen in November 2021.

The Fund’s relative performance to the Index was negatively affected by our lack of Energy sector holdings. Our objective is to find secular growth stories, and we do not believe that companies whose earnings are predominantly driven by the movement of an underlying commodity fits the profile of a long-term holding in the Fund. In the Russell 2000 Growth Index, the Energy sector weighting is approximately 3.0% and was up 34% compared to the 12.63% decline for the overall Index in the quarter.

The largest contributor in the quarter was i3 Verticals, an integrated payments processor with a focus on processing debit/credit card transactions for state and local government agencies, schools, and medical practices. i3 has focused on building out its software solutions both through acquisitions and partnerships, which creates a stickier customer relationship given a software offering to run the front or back office, combined with payments capabilities, is integral for a government agency or business customer to conduct daily operations. The stock’s outperformance in the quarter was driven by a strong earnings report during the quarter and a rebound in valuation multiples for payments-related companies that had sold-off in the second half of 2021.

The largest detractor in the quarter was Cerence, a provider of artificial intelligence solutions for automobiles. Cerence provides the software and connected services that enable automotive virtual assistants such as “Hey BMW”. Cerence has had some missteps over the course of the last few months, including self-inflicted lack of transparency in reporting how some revenue was flowing in over the past several years. Customers buying software licenses, in front of them being utilized, combined with a downturn in auto production, has pressured the outlook. Given these missteps, there has also been a management transition with the new leadership, resetting expectations. With auto production continuing to grow towards more normalized volumes over the next 6-12 months, reset expectations, and continued leading market share in the automotive virtual assistant category, we believe the prospects for Cerence will improve over the coming quarters.

OUTLOOK

(As of 3/31/22) — The market is now pricing in fairly aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”), along with planned action in May, to begin reducing the Fed’s balance sheet. Equity valuations, particularly small cap growth valuations, have been negatively impacted as a result.

The next debate seems to be if the Fed will be able to quell heightened inflation while not pushing too hard on the brakes. We remain positive on the strength of personal balance sheets along with corporate balance sheets/margin profiles, given years of low borrowing costs and solid economic footing. Therefore, any slowdown should be supported by the position of strength in these areas.

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 or 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% and a lower turnover strategy with 50-70 holdings, the Fund will continue to offer a distinct offering from the Index and category peers.

The opinions expressed are those of the Portfolio Manager(s) and are subject to change, are not guaranteed and should not be considered recommendations to buy or sell any security. Earnings growth is not representative of the fund’s future performance.

Literature

General Account
Forms
Investor
Class
Institutional
Class
Both
  New Account Application
  New Account Application - Entity
  Change or Add Account Details
  Cost Basis Method Election
  Power of Attorney
Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Forms
  IRA Account Application
  IRA Beneficiary Addition / Change
  IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
  IRA / Qualified Plan Distribution Request
  IRA Transfer
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA) Forms
  Coverdell ESA Application
  Coverdell ESA Distribution Request
  Coverdell ESA Transfer
Retirement Information
  Retirement Savings Options for Individuals

Fundamental Approach

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.

Proprietary Philosophy

We construct our portfolios based on our own proprietary investment strategy.

Disciplined Investing

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.

The Buffalo Early Stage Growth Fund (BUFOX) received 3 stars among 585 for the three-year, 4 stars among 533 for the five-year, and 3 stars among 395 Small Growth funds for the ten-year period ending 5/31/22.

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. ©2021 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.