Fundamental Growth Investors
Portfolio Managers Bill Kornitzer and Nicole Kornitzer discuss how they attempt to find the most appropriate stocks to invest in from the thousands of companies worldwide.
“Unlike many of our peers, we aren’t trying to pick stocks that are going to be the best performers in the next week or the next quarter, but trying to strive for the best long term performance on a risk adjusted basis over time.”
~ Bill Kornitzer, CFA
Overall Morningstar Rating™ based on risk-adjusted returns among 354 Foreign Large Growth funds as of 11/30/18.
Portfolio Manager Insights
SPECIAL REPORT: Trump Tariffs & the Current State of International Markets
In a recent Q&A, BUFIX portfolio managers provided insightful answers to questions posed regarding the current state of the international markets.
- What’s your take on the current status of the international market in relation to the U.S. cycle?
- What is your opinion on President Trump’s recent announcement regarding tariffs?
Fund Objective & Investment Strategy
The investment objective of the Buffalo International Fund is long-term growth of capital.
The International Fund invests primarily in equity securities of established companies that are economically tied to various countries throughout the world (excluding the U.S.).
For purposes of the International Fund’s investments, “foreign securities” means those securities issued by companies:
- Organized under the laws of, or with a principal office in, a country other than the U.S. and issue securities for which the principal trading market is in a country other than the U.S.; or
- That derive at least 50% of their revenues or profits from goods produced or sold, investments made, or services provided in a country other than the U.S., or have at least 50% of their assets in a country other than the U.S.
- Under normal circumstances, the International Fund does not expect its investments in emerging markets to exceed 35% of its net assets.
In selecting securities for the International Fund, the Fund managers use a bottom-up approach in choosing investments, seeking companies expected to experience growth based on the identification of long-term, measurable industry, technological, global or other trends.
Companies are screened using in-depth, in-house research to identify those which the Fund managers believe have favorable attributes, including:
- attractive valuation
- strong management
- conservative debt
- free cash flow
- scalable business models
- competitive advantages
In making portfolio selections the Fund managers will also consider the economic, political and market conditions of the various countries in which the Fund may invest.
When it comes to investing internationally, we believe our approach to stock selection is distinct. We are focused on finding good companies and aren’t constrained by benchmark alignment to countries or industries.
Our approach is based on finding companies with sound business models, exposure to long-term secular growth trends, and attractive risk/return growth and valuation characteristics, which we can own for the long-term.
Nicole Kornitzer, Portfolio Manager
|As of 11/30/18||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO INTERNATIONAL FUND||-9.51||-4.29||-3.43||8.06||4.91||10.95||3.77|
|Morningstar Global Markets ex-US Index||-7.09||-10.12||-8.01||5.96||2.51||8.50||1.31|
|Russell Global ex-US Index||-7.35||-10.54||-8.41||5.52||2.15||8.38||0.99|
|Lipper International Fund Index||-8.09||-10.18||-8.83||4.29||2.17||8.10||1.16|
|Morningstar Foreign Large Growth Category||-9.63||-9.28||-7.88||4.57||2.94||8.73||1.32|
|As of 9/30/18||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO INTERNATIONAL FUND||2.22||5.10||7.72||13.45||8.06||8.36||4.72|
|Morningstar Global Markets ex-US Index||0.70||-2.95||2.20||10.67||4.87||6.03||2.04|
|Russell Global ex-US Index||0.40||-3.23||1.88||10.26||4.54||5.79||1.72|
|Lipper International Fund Index||0.61||-2.06||1.65||9.38||4.80||5.78||1.98|
|Morningstar Foreign Large Growth Category||0.21||-0.20||4.08||10.28||5.74||6.41||2.22|
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.
As of July 27, 2018 the Morningstar Global Markets ex-U.S. Index has replaced the Russell Global (ex-US) Index as the Fund’s primary benchmark. The Advisor believes that the new index is more appropriate given the Fund’s holdings.
3 Year Risk Metrics
|vs Morningstar Global Markets ex-US Index (As of 9/30/18)|
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.
|(As of 9/30/18)|| |
|# of Holdings||76|
|Median Market Cap||$27.08 B|
|Weighted Average Market Cap||$52.26 B|
|3-Yr Annualized Turnover Ratio||9.37%|
Top 10 Holdings
|Name of Holding||Ticker||Country||Sector||% of Net|
|Fresenius SE & Co KGaA||FRE||Germany||Health Care||2.28%|
|Sartorius Stedim Biotech||DIM||France||Health Care||2.14%|
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd||TSM||Taiwan (China)||Technology||2.07%|
|Davide Campari-Milano||CPR IM||Italy||Consumer Staples||1.99%|
|LVMH Moet Hennessy||MC||France||Consumer Discretionary||1.92%|
|TOP 10 HOLDINGS TOTAL||23.17%|
As of 9/30/18. 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.
Top 10 Countries
|COUNTRY||% of Portfolio|
|Taiwan, Province of China||2.1%|
|TOP 10 TOTAL||81.6%|
CAPITAL MARKET OVERVIEW
(As of 9/30/18) — International markets continued to remain volatile during the quarter, driven by a slowdown in economic growth outside the U.S. and elevated global trade tensions. Concerns of increasing populism and trade protectionism, along with the Federal Reserve continuing to push up U.S. interest rate targets, kept markets in a somewhat directionally undecided mood. Given the time lag in economic growth, central banks around the world still favor a more stimulative monetary policy framework compared to that of the U.S., but with the U.S. dollar as the primary reserve currency, global asset prices are affected by U.S. rate decisions.
While European stocks saw generally positive corporate earnings and signs of higher inflation in the 19-member Eurozone, investor enthusiasm was tempered by concerns of slowing economic growth driven by their export-oriented economics where trade skirmishes are garnering much scrutiny.
In Asia, China is still experiencing decelerating growth, which hasn’t been helped by the ratcheting of trade tensions, leaving their stock markets near two year lows. Japan, on the other hand, posted modest economic surprises in both growth and inflationary measures, and stock indices there posted gains toward the end of the quarter, as investors saw some bright spots in an otherwise troubled region.
(As of 9/30/18) — For the 3rd quarter of 2018, the Buffalo International Fund produced a return of +2.22%, outperforming the Morningstar Global Markets ex-U.S. Index’s return of +0.70%. The Fund’s outperformance versus the benchmark was driven entirely by stock selection, but our sector allocations had a negative impact on relative return versus the benchmark.
Top contributors in the period included Wirecard, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Carl Zeiss Meditec. Wirecard, which we’ve mentioned before, benefited from continued strong earnings growth as well as perception that it would be included in a major German stock index in the coming months. Taiwan Semiconductor, which was among our detractors last quarter, is a third-party manufacturer of advanced node semiconductors. It continued to benefit from strong growth in artificial intelligence data processing, data center build-out, and even cryptocurrency mining. Carl Zeiss Meditec, a leading provider of ophthalmic equipment and solutions, benefited from demographic trends and the roll-out of their intraocular lenses.
Detractors in the period included Fresenius SE, Bayer AG, and Broadcom. Fresenius, a global dialysis and hospital management company, became embroiled in a legal battle with a former acquisition target. Investors became concerned that the company would be forced by the courts to complete the previously terminated acquisition. Broadcom, a specialty semiconductor company, was hurt as it announced a significant acquisition in software, outside of their core competency. We agreed with the market’s assessment and viewed with skepticism the fundamental underpinnings of the acquisition target and subsequently removed the stock from the portfolio.
(As of 9/30/18) — While global growth has slowed recently, we expect the pick-up in growth that the U.S. has experienced in recent quarters will filter toward foreign economies. Equity markets have been increasingly concerned over rising protectionism and fears of escalating trade wars; however, we remain somewhat sanguine over the range of potential outcomes.
Our process naturally leads us away from commodity-oriented, heavily-cyclical industries, which are typically the easy target of trade rhetoric, and toward secularly-growing companies with strong intellectual property and high barriers to entry. While not immune from a potential economic slowdown caused by an all-out trade war, we believe our approach to investing positions us to identify companies than can grow throughout the economic cycle.
Our view is that stocks outside the U.S. have become even less expensive relative to their domestic counterparts, and the heightened level of U.S. trade tension may actually increase the potential for internationally-based companies to increase market share. We hope to use any significant market dislocation caused by these trade concerns to add to positions in companies whose long-term prospects remain unchanged, in our view.
Economic condition may ebb and flow, but our focus remains steadfast on investing in attractively priced, financially strong, well-managed companies with innovative strategies fueled by secular growth trends. We believe this discipline should lead to superior risk-adjusted returns over the long term.
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.
International Fund News
In this report, we provide insights into several areas that show the potential for increasing returns of international stocks over the long term.
Bill Kornitzer, BUFIX co-portfolio manager, discusses the accelerated pace of the growth of global economies outside the U.S. and why, given where valuations are today, there are many opportunities to invest internationally at this time.
BUFIX portfolio managers recently held a live Q&A session for investment advisors, who posed questions regarding the current state of the international markets.
Our International Fund portfolio managers provide a detailed analysis of various global factors they view as key drivers of growth in international markets and discuss why today’s investing environment could be ideal for investors looking to expand their international exposure.
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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.
The Buffalo International Fund received 5 stars among 354 for the 3-year, 4 stars among 316 for the 5-year, and 5 stars among 227 Foreign Large Growth funds for the 10-year period ending 11/30/18.
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. ©2018 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.