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Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Investment results and principal value will fluctuate so shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investors should be aware of the additional risks associated with investments in non-diversification, undervalued or overlooked companies and investments in specific industries. Additional risks may include those associated with investing in foreign securities, emerging markets, and companies with relatively small market capitalizations.
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as of 06/30/19
U.S. equity indexes added to their first quarter gains, ending the first half of 2019 at or near all-time highs. As was the case last quarter, the market was periodically unnerved by the prospect of additional tariffs on Chinese and Mexican imports. However, eventual signs of easing trade tensions, coupled with indications that the Federal Reserve was becoming more dovish, helped lead the market higher. Larger capitalization stocks and mid-caps, in particular, were among the best performers. Growth-oriented stocks also continued to outperform their value-oriented peers.
Baron Discovery Fund increased in the quarter. Investments in Industrials, Financials, and Information Technology (IT) contributed the most. Health Care and Consumer Staples holdings detracted. Industrials performance was led by SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc., a wholesale landscape supplier, and Kornit Digital Ltd., a supplier of digital printing solutions to the textile industry. The sole holding in Financials, Kinsale Capital Group, Inc., drove performance of that sector. Kinsale was the second largest contributor in the quarter. The IT consulting & other services sub-industry led performance of the IT sector. The sub-industry included top contributor Endava plc. Health Care had a challenging quarter overall due to investor concerns over sector-specific political rhetoric as we approach the 2020 Presidential election. The sector included TherapeuticsMD, Inc. and Sientra, Inc., respectively the top and third largest detractors. A decline in the share price of beverage company Limoneira Company weighed on the Consumer Staples category.
We believe that valuations for our current investments leave room for significant upside over the medium and long term (which we define as a three-to-five year period). We continue to look for our targeted returns on each of our investments on an individual basis. Our energy has not waned a bit, and we continue to analyze, visit and question management teams for each of our portfolio companies as well as for many other companies that could become investments for the Fund.
as of 06/30/19
as of 06/30/19
When reviewing performance attribution on our portfolio, please be aware that we construct the portfolio from the bottom up, one stock at a time. Each stock is included in the portfolio if it meets our rigorous investment criteria. To help manage risk, we are aware of our sector and security weights, but we do not include a holding to achieve a target sector allocation or to approximate an index. Our exposure to any given sector is purely a result of our stock selection process.
as of 06/30/19
Baron Discovery Fund appreciated 1.08% in the second quarter, yet trailed the Russell 2000 Growth Index by 167 basis points largely due to stock selection.
Investments in Financials, Communication Services, and Real Estate contributed the most to relative results. Within Financials, outperformance of the Fund’s only holding in the sector, specialty insurer Kinsale Capital Group, Inc., added value. Kinsale was the second largest contributor to absolute performance after reporting another strong quarter. Kinsale’s technology advantage and a dislocation in the Excess & Surplus lines market contributed to the company’s peer-leading top-line growth. Strength in Communication Services came from GCI Liberty, Inc., a holding company with a significant stake in Charter Communications, Inc. GCI’s stock price was up in response to solid quarterly results from Charter Communications. Stock selection in Real Estate contributed approximately 40 basis points to relative results, driven by REITs Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc. and Americold Realty Trust. Shares of industrial real estate firm Rexford rose as the company continued to execute on its differentiated business strategy. Private market values for Rexford’s real estate assets continued to rise as well, leading to multiple expansion. Shares of temperature-controlled warehouse operator Americold were up after management’s positive outlook caused investors to overlook a first quarter earnings miss.
Underperformance of investments in Health Care and Information Technology (IT) detracted the most from relative results. Stock selection in Health Care was the main cause of underperformance in the quarter, driven by share price declines from TherapeuticsMD, Inc., Sientra, Inc., Intersect ENT, Inc., and Myriad Genetics, Inc. TherapeuticsMD and Sientra were among the three largest detractors from absolute performance, while shares of Intersect, a medical technology company dedicated to advancing the treatment of ear, nose and throat conditions, fell after the company’s SINUVA product launch demonstrated less momentum than investors expected. The stock was also pressured by the announcement of a CEO transition. Shares of molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics declined on concerns over whether private payers will cover the company’s GeneSight test for anti-depressive drugs. Weakness in IT was driven by education technology company 2U, Inc. The company was the second largest detractor from absolute performance after reporting disappointing guidance for the second quarter and fiscal year 2019. Other sources of underperformance in IT were systems software companies Blue Prism Group plc and ForeScout Technologies, Inc.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the investment carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the Funds. You may obtain them from the Funds’ distributor, Baron Capital, Inc., by calling 1-800-99BARON or visiting www.BaronFunds.com. Please read them carefully before investing.
The performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate; an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. The Fund’s transfer agency expenses may be reduced by expense offsets from an unaffiliated transfer agent, without which performance would have been lower. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted.
Risks:All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.
The discussion of market trends is not intended as advice to any person regarding the advisability of investing in any particular security. The views expressed on this page reflect those of the respective writer. Some of our comments are based on management expectations and are considered “forward-looking statements.” Actual future results, however, may prove to be different from our expectations. Our views are a reflection of our best judgment at the time and are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions and Baron has no obligation to update them
Portfolio holdings are subject to change. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk.
The index performance is not fund performance; one cannot invest directly into an index.