Large Cap Fund
|Total Net Assets:||$122.30 Million (9/30/21)|
|Morningstar Category:||Large Cap Growth|
|Benchmark Index:||Morningstar U.S. Large Growth|
Fund Fact Sheet Q3 2021
PM Commentary Q3 2021
Fund Objective & Investment Philosophy
The investment objective of the Buffalo Large Cap Fund is long-term growth of capital. The Fund normally invests in equity securities, consisting of common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible securities, warrants and rights of large capitalization (“large-cap”) companies. The Fund considers a company to be a large-cap company if, at time of purchase by the Fund, it has a market capitalization greater than or equal to the lesser of (1) $10 billion, or (2) the median market capitalization of the Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index. The median market capitalization of the Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index changes due to market conditions and also changes with the composition of the Index. As of June 30, 2021, the median market capitalization of companies in the Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index was approximately $84.1 billion.
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, 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 favorable attributes, including attractive valuation, strong management, conservative debt, free cash flow, scalable business models, and competitive advantages.
We don’t manage to our benchmark so we don’t have too much concentration in any one single trend. We also manage based on valuation, trimming positions when they approach their potential upside and adding to them as they get closer to the potential downside.
Ken Laudan, Portfolio Manager
Overall Morningstar Rating™ of BUFEX based on risk-adjusted returns among 1,117 Large Growth funds as of 11/30/21.
Morningstar Sustainability Rating™ of BUFEX out of 1,549 US Equity Large Cap Growth funds as of 9/30/21, based on 100% of AUM
Carbon Metric Rating of BUFEX as of 6/30/21 in the Large Growth category, based on 96% of AUM; long positions only
Historical Sustainability Score Rank of BUFEX
|As of 11/30/21||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||15 YR||20 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO LARGE CAP FUND - Investor||0.84||23.67||28.13||24.39||20.97||17.74||11.97||9.76||11.14|
|BUFFALO LARGE CAP FUND - Institutional||0.85||23.81||28.30||24.57||21.15||17.92||12.14||9.92||11.31|
|Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index||-1.65||22.13||25.35||27.68||25.34||19.53||13.24||9.40||-|
|Lipper Large Cap Growth Fund Index||0.28||21.08||26.32||27.27||24.09||18.21||12.27||9.61||10.15|
|Morningstar Large Growth Category||0.05||18.91||24.13||25.31||22.21||17.37||11.88||10.04||10.06|
|As of 9/30/21||3 MO||YTD||1 YR||3 YR||5 YR||10 YR||15 YR||20 YR||Since Inception|
|BUFFALO LARGE CAP FUND - Investor||1.17||15.83||27.28||19.11||19.00||17.99||11.61||10.04||10.94|
|BUFFALO LARGE CAP FUND - Institutional||1.23||15.96||27.45||19.29||19.18||18.17||11.78||10.20||11.11|
|Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index||2.35||17.26||27.69||23.05||24.01||20.29||13.38||10.38||-|
|Lipper Large Cap Growth Fund Index||0.48||14.11||26.86||21.45||22.14||18.70||12.21||9.99||9.97|
|Morningstar Large Growth Category||-0.07||12.40||26.60||19.75||20.68||17.93||11.93||10.45||9.90|
|BUFFALO LARGE CAP FUND - Investor||-5.60||17.23||32.76||12.76||7.15||6.90||24.86||-1.63||31.77||28.08|
|BUFFALO LARGE CAP FUND - Institutional||-5.46||17.41||32.96||12.92||7.31||7.06||25.05||-1.48||31.98||28.28|
|Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index||1.56||17.98||32.46||14.38||7.71||1.79||31.15||2.94||33.81||38.86|
3 Year Risk Metrics
|BUFEX vs Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index (As of 9/30/21)|
Hypothetical Growth of $10,000
|(As of 9/30/21)|| |
|# of Holdings||74|
|Median Market Cap||$102.23 B|
|Weighted Average Market Cap||$723.56 B|
|3-Yr Annualized Turnover Ratio||12.00%|
|% of Holdings with Free Cash Flow||82.89%|
Top 10 Holdings
|Name of Holding||Ticker||Sector||% of Net|
|S&P Global||SPGI||Financial Services||1.83%|
|TOP 10 HOLDINGS TOTAL||40.74%|
CAPITAL MARKET OVERVIEW
(As of 9/30/21) — Equity market returns were somewhat mixed in the 3rd quarter, but the S&P 500 Index etched out a modestly positive return of 0.58%. The global recovery hit a speed bump during the period as the world dealt with rising COVID-19 Delta variant infections, an energy price spike, and supply chain issues that continued to constrain economic growth. After trading lower earlier in the quarter, interest rates increased later in the period in response to higher-than-expected inflation data and an admission from the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) that they would need to begin removing monetary stimulus from the economy sometime soon.
The Russell 3000 Index declined -0.10% in the quarter. Growth stocks outperformed Value stocks as the Russell 3000 Growth Index returned 0.69% versus a drop of -0.93% for the Russell 3000 Value Index. Relative performance was correlated with market cap size as large caps outperformed small caps in the quarter. The large cap Russell 1000 Index returned 0.21% compared to the Russell Midcap Index return of -0.93%. Smaller market cap indices were even more negative, with the Russell 2000 Index returning -4.36% and the Russell Microcap Index returning -4.98%. Financials were the top performing sector for the quarter, while Industrials and Materials were lagging sectors.
(As of 9/30/21) — The Buffalo Large Cap Fund (BUFEX) produced a return of 1.17% in the quarter, a result that outperformed the returns of the S&P 500 Index and the Morningstar Large Growth Category average of 0.58% and -0.07% respectively, but underperformed the prospectus benchmark Morningstar U.S. Large Growth Index, which generated a return of 2.35% in the period.
Icon Labs (ICON) – ICON is the second largest contract research organization (CRO) in the world specializing in the management and analysis of drug development programs for biopharmaceutical clients.
Our recent timely purchase and holding of ICON shares remains predicated on continued out-sized revenue and earnings per share (EPS) growth owing to the recent PRA Health Sciences acquisition as well as on-going strength of research and development from biopharmaceutical firms around the globe. We believe ICON is aiming to sustain high single digit organic revenue growth with low double-digit EPS growth over the next several years.
ICON shares advanced 27% for the portfolio in the quarter on a better appreciation of the growth opportunity, mostly stemming from the recently completed merger with PRA Health Sciences (closed on July 1st ). ICON also reported a healthy revenue and EPS beat with their June quarter financial performance, that was buoyed by strong net new business wins (up over 21%) resulting in increased full-year 2021 financial guidance.
Alphabet (GOOG) – Alphabet is the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries. We continue to have a large position in Alphabet based on our expectation the company may continue to drive strong growth from its leading franchises in online search and digital video advertising, while also gaining share in the large and fast growing public cloud computing sector on the strength of its highly-differentiated machine learning tool-kit.
GOOG Class A shares appreciated 9.5% during the quarter on the back of a strong, across the board 2nd quarter financial performance with both Search and YouTube expanding a robust 62% and 84%, respectively year-over-year. Cloud accelerated nicely in the quarter as well, lifting 54% from the 2nd quarter of 2020.
We will continue to watch the rollout of the iPhone 13 that launched in the 2nd quarter that has a feature allowing users to opt out of app tracking of personal data such as age, location, spending habits, etc. These new privacy options could potentially hamper efforts by advertisers on search and social media (Google, Facebook, and others) that target users with bespoke ads and promotions.
Thermo Fisher (TMO) – Thermo Fisher is the global leader in providing life science tools, such as scientific instruments for labs, reagents used in both diagnostics (including COVID-19), and biopharma production. Via its recent acquisition of PPD, Inc., Thermo now provides clinical research services as a top five global player.
Thermo has been a highly predictable revenue and EPS compounder that could deliver double-digit total shareholder returns within virtually any macro environment.
TMO’s share price increased 13% in the quarter owing to a very positive investor day where the company increased their ’23-25 long-term organic revenue growth rate to 7% to 9%, which had previously been 5% to 7%. The company also provided a somewhat better ’22 initial outlook, which resulted in analysts increasing both near and long-term financial estimates.
The new guidance was a welcome surprise given some growing concerns over China’s economic slowdown, which could negatively affect TMO’s revenues in China (about 8% of total revenue) and is something we will continue to watch closely.
FedEx (FDX) – FDX is a leading multinational transportation and package delivery company, highly leveraged to the growth of e-commerce and business services such as overnight delivery. We own a moderately-weighted position in FDX shares, as the company could continue to benefit from the acceleration of e-commerce globally, owing to its broad, global network of linked aircraft and ground transportation. We also see a 3-4 year margin recovery theme, as certain aircraft are retired, coupled with TNT Express acquisition synergies and increased pricing power.
FedEx shares declined 26% in the quarter, stemming from revenues and expenses being negatively impacted from a material labor shortage in package handlers at facilities around the U.S. The corollary has been late deliveries and extra overtime pay for current workers. We expect some modest relief with stronger-than-normal seasonal shipping rate increases and some improvement on the labor front, as we exit past supplemental unemployment benefits.
While there were no other materially underperforming holdings relative to our benchmark, we would point out that not owning shares in several strong performing benchmark holdings of Tesla, Moderna, and Snowflake negatively impacted our relative performance.
From a sector perspective, Healthcare and Financials remain slight relative over-weights due to our conviction in growth cyclicals/defensives heading into 2022. However, we would stress that Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary remain, by a large margin, the largest weightings in our Fund.
(As of 9/30/21) — There are a myriad of possible outcomes for the remaining weeks of 2021 with no real certainty from several different outcomes. We’ve mentioned to colleagues over the last several months that we don’t recall ever having so many low probability events all occurring at the same time. From COVID-19, climate change, and debates around the durability of the most significant increase in material, shelter, and wage prices we have seen in 40+ years, resulting mostly from supply chains and product shortages. Add to this array of uncertainties is the increasingly tenuous relations between the U.S. and China and China’s own overt intentions around reunification with Taiwan.
We attempt to risk mitigate from an overall portfolio level but acknowledge in an imperfect world there are multiple possible outcomes from a macro level.
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.
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Morningstar Sustainability Rating™
The Morningstar Sustainability Rating™ is intended to measure how well the issuing companies of the securities within a fund’s portfolio holdings are managing their financially material environmental, social and governance, or ESG, risks relative to the fund’s Morningstar Global Category peers. The Morningstar Sustainability Rating calculation is a five -step process. First, each fund with at least 67% of assets covered by a company-level ESG Risk Score from Sustainalytics receives a Morningstar Portfolio Sustainability Score. The Morningstar Portfolio Sustainability Score is an asset weighted average of company-level ESG Risk Scores. The Portfolio Sustainability Score ranges between 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating that a fund has, on average, more of its assets invested in companies with high ESG Risk. Second, the Historical Sustainability Score is an exponential weighted moving average of the Portfolio Sustainability Scores over the past 12 months. The process rescales the current Portfolio Sustainability Score to reflect the consistency of the scores. The Historical Sustainability Score ranges between 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating that a fund has, on average, more of its assets invested in companies with high ESG Risk, on a consistent historical basis. Third, the Morningstar Sustainability Rating is then assigned to all scored funds within Morningstar Global Categories in which at least thirty (30) funds receive a Historical Sustainability Score and is determined by each fund’s Morningstar Sustainability Rating Score rank within the following distribution: High (highest 10%), Above Average (next 22.5%), Average (next 35%), Below Average (next 22.5%), and Low (lowest 10%). Fourth, Morningstar applies a 1% rating buffer from the previous month to increase rating stability. This means a fund must move 1% beyond the rating breakpoint to change ratings. Fifth, they adjust downward positive Sustainability Ratings to funds with high ESG Risk scores. The logic is as follows: If Portfolio Sustainability score is above 40, then the fund receives a Low Sustainability Rating. If Portfolio Sustainability score is above 35 and preliminary rating is Average or better, then the fund is downgraded to Below Average. If the Portfolio Sustainability score is above 30 and preliminary rating is Above Average, then the fund is downgraded to Average. If the Portfolio Sustainability score is below 30, then no adjustment is made. The Morningstar Sustainability Rating is depicted by globe icons where High equals 5 globes and Low equals 1 globe. Since a Sustainability Rating is assigned to all funds that meet the above criteria, the rating it is not limited to funds with explicit sustainable or responsible investment mandates. Morningstar updates its Sustainability Ratings monthly. The Portfolio Sustainability Score is calculated when Morningstar receives a new portfolio. Then, the Historical Sustainability Score and the Sustainability Rating is calculated one month and six business days after the reported as-of date of the most recent portfolio. As part of the evaluation process, Morningstar uses Sustainalytics’ ESG scores from the same month as the portfolio as-of date. Please click on http://corporate1.morningstar.com/SustainableInvesting/ for more detailed information about the Morningstar Sustainability Rating methodology and calculation frequency. Sustainalytics is an independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings, and analysis firm. Morningstar, Inc. holds a non-controlling ownership interest in Sustainalytics.
Morningstar Low Carbon Designation™
The Morningstar® Low Carbon Designation™ is intended to allow investors to easily identify low-carbon funds across the global universe. The designation is an indicator that the companies held in a portfolio are in general alignment with the transition to a low-carbon economy. The designation is given to portfolios that have low carbon-risk scores and low levels of exposure to fossil fuels. To determine carbon-risk scores and fossil fuel involvement, Morningstar uses Sustainalytics' company-level data. The Morningstar® Portfolio Carbon Risk Score™ measures the risk that companies in a portfolio face from the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Morningstar® Portfolio Fossil Fuel Involvement™ percentage assesses the degree to which a portfolio is exposed to thermal coal extraction and power generation as well as oil and gas production, power generation, and products & services. To receive a Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score, at least 67% of portfolio assets must have a carbon-risk rating from Sustainalytics. The percentage of assets covered is rescaled to 100% before calculating the score. To receive the designation, a portfolio must meet two criteria: 1) a 12-month trailing average Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score below 10 and 2) a 12-month trailing average exposure to fossil fuels less than 7% of assets, which is approximately a 33% underweighting to the global equity universe. Funds receive the Low Carbon designation based on the most recent quarterly calculations of their 12- month trailing average Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Scores and Morningstar Portfolio Fossil Fuel Involvement. Funds holding the Low Carbon designation that no longer meet the criteria will not receive the designation for the subsequent quarter. All Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Metrics, including the Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score, Morningstar Portfolio Fossil Fuel Involvement, and the Morningstar Low Carbon Designation, are calculated quarterly. Please visit http://corporate1.morningstar.com/SustainableInvesting/ for more detail information about the Morningstar Low Carbon Designation and its calculation. Sustainalytics is an independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings, and analysis firm. Morningstar, Inc. holds a non-controlling ownership interest in Sustainalytics.