Baron Opportunity Fund (BIOPX)

Portfolio Management

MichaelLippert
Michael Lippert

Fund Manager since 2006

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Fund Description

Baron Opportunity Fund invests in innovative high-growth companies.

    

  

Fund Resources

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Michael Lippert discusses how he invests in innovative companies

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Portfolio Commentary

Retail Performance

Review and Outlook (for quarter ended 3/31/2016)

The Review and Outlook for period ending March 31, 2016 is not yet available

Top Contributors/Detractors to Performance

Contributors (for quarter ended 3/31/2016)
  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. supplies semiconductor-based interconnect solutions and services. Strong Q4 results re-instilled investor confidence in Mellanox’s ability to grow profitably. In addition, the completion of its EZchip acquisition and adjusted guidance laid out a strong financial case for this combination. We view Mellanox’s Ethernet business as a significant open ended opportunity. We expect Mellanox to be a high-end market leader and protect its high margin business model with strong innovation and product leadership.

  • Shares of Facebook, Inc., the world’s largest social network, rose in Q1, driven by improving consumer engagement and monetization. Facebook is the largest beneficiary of the shift in consumer engagement to mobile. Facebook is using its leadership position to provide global advertisers targeted marketing capabilities at scale. Facebook is in the early stages of monetizing online video and Instagram, which are starting to contribute to incremental revenue growth. WhatsApp and Oculus provide additional avenues for growth opportunities.

  • Equinix, Inc., an operator of carrier-neutral data centers, continued to make progress on several fronts: 1) the closing of its Telecity acquisition in Europe, 2) a strong finish to 2015 with organic growth beating analyst expectations, and 3) maintaining financial flexibility and a strong balance sheet in an uncertain market. In addition, supply/demand in the data center space is favorable and price accommodative with consolidation capping supply and cloud and outsourcing lifting demand. All of those contributed to an increase in the stock price in Q1.

Detractors (for quarter ended 3/31/2016)
  • LinkedIn Corp. is the world’s largest online professional network. It has three business segments: Hiring Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions, each serving different customers. Despite strong 4Q15 results, shares were down in Q1 due to a weak 2016 outlook. After several quarters of inconsistent results, we believe management is finding it increasingly difficult to manage the complexity of three businesses. We exited the position.

  • Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. offers home furnishings via retail stores, catalogs, and websites. The stock fell hard in Q1 when the company pre-announced weak Q4 (March) results based on shipping delays in its new ‘RH Modern’ line, a more promotional retail environment, and a pullback by the high-end consumer, especially in markets (Canada, Texas, and Miami) affected by energy, or currency fluctuations. Given uncertainty shifting to an unproven membership model, slowdown of new store rollout, and a weakening core customer base, we exited the position.

  • Shares of property and casualty (P&C) insurance software vendor Guidewire Software, Inc. fell in Q1 as high-growth, high-multiple technology stocks sold off aggressively. Guidewire is the leader among P&C core systems vendors, as evidenced by near-perfect retention rates, growing installed base, and accelerating adoption of its complete suite. It is in the early innings of a core system replacement cycle, and is expanding its market through persistent innovation. We think recent deals with six Tier 1 vendors represent a tipping point in demand.

Quarterly Attribution Analysis (for quarter ended 3/31/2016)

The Quarterly Attribution Analysis for period ending March 31, 2016 is not yet available

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The prospective performance of the companies discussed herein is based on our internal analysis and reflect our opinions only. We cannot promise future returns and our opinions are a reflection of our best judgement at the time of publication. Our views are not intended as recommendations or investment advice to any person and are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions and Baron has no obligation to update them. Investing in the stock market is always risky. Current and future portfolio holdings in the Fund are subject to risk.

Source: FactSet PA