Bill Frels

Last Update: 2014-11-14

Number of Stocks: 193
Number of New Stocks: 7

Total Value: $6,853 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 2%

Countries: USA
Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Bill Frels Watch

  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Cardiovascular Systems

    During the quarter, the Fund added medical device maker Cardiovascular Systems (CSII), one of the few remaining small public medical device companies based in the Twin Cities. The company has a strong position in treating peripheral arterial disease with its proprietary atherectomy equipment. A recent approval in significantly calcified coronary arteries opens up a substantial new market opportunity that the company is working hard to commercialize.


    From Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Chart Industries

    Chart Industries (GTLS), which manufactures compressed and liquid natural gas tanks and heat exchangers, has detracted from performance during the third quarter as well as on a year-to-date basis. Longer term, the demand for Chart’s natural gas equipment should increase as significant new natural gas discoveries in the U.S. and overseas will likely keep prices in check relative to oil and diesel alternatives. In the short term, though, the market and infrastructure for these natural gas devices has been slower to develop in the U.S. than hoped. The company’s China-based operations have slowed significantly in keeping with that country’s current economic stumbles.


    From Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Apogee

    Apogee (APOG), a commercial glass plating and framing company, has been another strong contributor to performance this year. Currently, Apogee looks ready to benefit from increased demand for commercial construction thanks to a more positive employment outlook and reduced interest in off-shoring American jobs.


    From Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Vasco Data Security

    Vasco Data Security (VDSI), a password authentication hardware and software company, continued to lead performance in the quarter and for the year. Through vigorous promotion of its competitive line of data security products, Vasco is making significant headway into the U.S. market. Well publicized data breaches at a growing list of major U.S. corporations is apparently driving consumers to seek out firms like Vasco in their urgency to find better protection for their private data.


    From Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Q3 2014 Commentary

    With ISIS on the march, the Eurozone’s fits and starts and a potential U.S. confrontation with Russia in the air, third quarter performance could have been expected to take a time-out from this year’s domestic advances. Instead, the Standard & Poor’s Total Return Index rose 1.13% for the third quarter gaining 8.34% year-to-date. Then, defying the consensus of market analysts who thought rates would go up and bond prices would decline, the Barclay’s Government/Credit Index also delivered a slight gain of 0.17% for the period with a 4.12% advance year-to-date.


    While inflation conveniently remained in check for the quarter, the low rate environment continued to bring inexpensive credit – and liquidity – into the market. This contributed to the S&P 500 Index’s extended rise to a near three-fold increase over the span of the last 5 1/2 years.

      


  • Bill Frels Comments on Medtronic Inc

    Healthcare company Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) detracted slightly from performance during the period. Pending a shareholder vote later this year or in 2015, Medtronic is expected to merge with medical device supplier Covidien Plc and change its legal domicile to Ireland. Your Growth Fund portfolio managers are pleased to report that we have completed our valuation for Medtronic. As of October 7, 2014 we believe combined Medtronic/Covidien to be $8 per share more valuable than shares of Medtronic alone.


    As of September 30, 2014, the market value of the Growth Fund’s holding in Medtronic was $24 per share greater than its cost basis. We estimate that our typical shareholder, that holds the Growth Fund in a taxable amount, will experience about a $6.00 per share tax liability. We do not offer tax advice; each shareholder should consult a tax advisor about his/her particular circumstance. Providing that there are no significant changes, our current thinking leads us to believe that voting for the merger is in our shareholders’ best interest. We will keep you posted as the voting date is finalized or if we learn of any other developments regarding the merger plans.

      


  • Bill Frels Comments on Wells Fargo

    Another strong contributor to performance was Wells Fargo (WFC). Having weathered the financial crisis of 2008-2009 better than most, Wells Fargo has emerged as the go-to bank for depositors in search of a safe haven. With its consumer-friendly reputation, as well as a knack for achieving significant loan and deposit growth, Wells Fargo has been able to leverage its positive brand profile to attract new customers.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)' Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.  


  • Bill Frels Comments on Target

    Retailer Target (TGT) experienced a positive news cycle during the third quarter due to the public enthusiasm surrounding its new CEO, Brian Cornell, who has taken the high road in announcing positive changes concerning transparency and corporate accountability. While still underperforming as of the third quarter, Target seems set to advance, and indeed the stock was already rallying later in the quarter.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)' Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.  


  • Bill Frels Comments on Johnson & Johnson

    Due to the expansion of its pharmaceutical business, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) contributed better-than- expected performance during the period. Sales soared by 21% due to almost a dozen recent drug launches and improving profitability, which may support a robust acquisition strategy that could reportedly beat management’s goal of 4.5% growth in annual drug sales through 2017.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)' Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.  


  • Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Growth Fund Q3 2014 Commentary

    With ISIS on the march, the Eurozone’s fits and starts and a potential U.S. confrontation with Russia in the air, third quarter performance could have been expected to take a time-out from this year’s domestic advances. Instead, the Standard & Poor’s Total Return Index rose 1.13% for the third quarter gaining 8.34% year-to-date. Then, defying the consensus of market analysts who thought rates would go up and bond prices would decline, the Barclay’s Government/Credit Index also delivered a slight gain of 0.17% for the period with a 4.12% advance year-to-date.


    While inflation conveniently remained in check for the quarter, the low rate environment continued to bring inexpensive credit – and liquidity – into the market. This contributed to the S&P 500 Index’s extended rise to a near three-fold increase over the span of the last 5 1/2 years.

      


  • Mairs & Power Balanced Fund Comments on Donaldson Co Inc

    A case in point is portfolio holding Donaldson & Co., Inc. (DCI), one of the leading international manufacturers of high-tech filtration solutions for engines. For the past century, despite interest- rate shocks, stock market corrections and world wars, Donaldson has prospered and grown. Faced with a global slowdown in construction projects, Donaldson’s sales growth slowed and its stock price declined – while earnings held their ground and even increased slightly. To Mairs & Power, nothing fundamental changed for Donaldson. Our assessment of the firm’s long-term growth prospects is still supported by the quantitative data and our qualitative findings that matter most in our selection process. Rather, the impact of short-term, negative market perceptions on consistently growing companies like Donaldson offers us an incentive to add to a position we already like at an attractive price.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)' Mairs & Power Balanced Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.  


  • Mairs & Power Balanced Fund Comments on Graco Inc

    In the industrials camp, Graco (GGG) was among the portfolio’s below-average performers – even though it managed to deliver above-average growth for the year. Supplying technology and expertise for the management of fluids in both industrial and commercial settings, Graco has a global client base grounded in manufacturing, construction and maintenance. With a stock price that appeared overvalued in 2013, the company now looks much more attractive after the market knocked out some of its excess in the recent period. Despite trimming it somewhat last quarter, Graco still represents a substantial holding for the Fund.

    From Bill Frels (Trades, Portfolio)' Mairs & Power Balanced Fund Q3 2014 Commentary.  


  • Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Q3 Portfolio Commentary

    With ISIS on the march, the Eurozone’s fits and starts and a potential U.S. confrontation with Russia in the air, third quarter performance could have been expected to take a time-out from this year’s domestic advances. Instead, the Standard & Poor’s Total Return Index rose 1.13% for the third quarter gaining 8.34% year-to-date. Then, defying the consensus of market analysts who thought rates would go up and bond prices would decline, the Barclay’s Government/Credit Index also delivered a slight gain of 0.17% for the period with a 4.12% advance year-to-date.


    While inflation conveniently remained in check for the quarter, the low rate environment continued to bring inexpensive credit – and liquidity – into the market. This contributed to the S&P 500 Index’s extended rise to a near three-fold increase over the span of the last 5 1/2 years.

      


  • Why Bill Frels Is Long in Bemis

    In this article, let's take a look at Bemis Co Inc. (BMS), a $3.94 billion market cap company, which is a leading maker of a broad range of flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive materials.


    Long-term strategy

      


  • Mairs & Power Balanced Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary



  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on United Fire Group

    Portfolio additions during the second quarter included United Fire Group (UFCS), a company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that writes property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and offers annuities. With a strong history of conservative underwriting, this steady performer grew its Return on Equity (ROE) 10% last year, while its stock traded at a discount to book value – considered a rare event at current valuations. Another aspect we like about this company is that its management goes out of its way to tell potential investors that, while they must report their results quarterly, they manage their company for the much longer term; music to our ears.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Landauer

    In contrast, the radiation detection firm Landauer (LDR) proved to be the biggest laggard in the first half of the year. However, a number of recent regulatory changes that address shortfalls in U.S. hospital radiation monitoring appear likely to provide the company with an opportunity to turn their stock performance around.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Vasco Data Security

    The password authentication hardware and software firm, Vasco Data Security (VDSI) also contributed heavily to performance for both the six-month and second-quarter periods, returning 50.06% and 53.85%, respectively. Having an already strong European consumer banking presence, Vasco has now started to make inroads into the U.S. market. Every day, new headlines trumpeting widespread data vulnerabilities help to drive up greater demand for this firm’s products.

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Comments on Gentherm

    Gentherm (THRM), a manufacturer of automobile seat heating and cooling equipment, contributed the most to outperformance for the six-month and second-quarter periods, through June 30, returning 65.80% and 28.02%, respectively. Gentherm continues to benefit from increased inclusion of its products on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto platforms as well as from other applications of its proprietary technology (consider how welcome heated seats would have been during Minnesota’s brush with the Polar Vortex last winter).

      


  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary

    While the pace of the economic recovery was somewhat better than expected during the quarter, we continued to keep our primary focus on the long-term fundamental attributes that make companies profitable. While attentive, we are not swayed by the macro-economic details underpinning global market events. By emphasizing the long-term view, we can make the subtle, opportunistic adjustments to company positions over time that keep portfolio turnover low and tax consequences in check. Our first mutual fund, the Mairs & Power Growth Fund, founded in 1958, provides a good illustration of this approach, which is employed by the Mairs & Power Balanced and Mairs & Power Small Cap Funds as well. Portfolio turnover for the Growth Fund, compared to its peers, the Morningstar U.S. Large Cap Blend category, was substantially lower for each of the past 10 years. As a result, the Fund’s annual realized taxable capital gains exceeded $1.00 in only two of the past 10 years.


    As measured by the Standard and Poor’s Total Return (TR) Index, the stock market advanced 5.23% for the quarter ending June 30, 2014. The market’s strength occurred against a mixed backdrop characterized by a downbeat adjustment to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (a key barometer of economic health), a rekindling of the War in Iraq, and hints that higher inflation and rising yields might be just around the corner.

      


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