Bill Frels

Last Update: 2014-05-15

Number of Stocks: 205
Number of New Stocks: 10

Total Value: $6,749 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 4%

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

Bill Frels Watch

  • Bill Frels Comments on Emerson Electric Company

    This company, along with Emerson Electric Company (EMR), which also detracted from the portfolio, was affected by the market’s rotation out of industrials stocks.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Growth Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on H.B. Fuller

    Packaging and adhesive manufacturer H.B. Fuller (FUL) also disappointed, declining 7.23% due to weak revenue in Europe and slower than expected sales growth in the Americas. This company, along with Emerson Electric Company (EMR), which also detracted from the portfolio, was affected by the market’s rotation out of industrials stocks.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Growth Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc

    On the other side of the equation, our position in C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW) with a decline of 10.20% for the quarter was the largest detractor from performance, in part due to falling short on fourth quarter earnings estimates. A freight shipping firm located in Eden Prairie, MN, C.H. Robinson also provides global supply chain consulting and logistics management.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Growth Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on Cray Inc

    Supercomputer manufacturer Cray, Inc. (CRAY) proved to be the strongest contributor to portfolio performance, gaining 35.91% for the period due in large part to the strength of its management. We believe much of the credit for the firm’s success should go to Chief Executive Officer Peter Ungoro and the team he has built since leaving IBM. He has positioned the company within its traditional supercomputer business with an internally-developed adaptive computing technology that gives Cray computers the flexibility to offer CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) from several chip manufacturers rather than being tied to just one. As a result, Cray can use the best technology available as well as allow customers to later upgrade or reconfigure their systems if they choose. In addition, while traditionally focused on Government contracts, Mr. Ungoro has positioned the firm to grow within the emerging field of Big Data and expand its base of commercial customers. Commercial revenue accounted for just 20% of total revenue in 2012. The company’s new offerings in Big Data should create significant room to grow that segment of its business over the next several years.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Growth Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on Principal Financial Group

    Principal Financial Group (PFG) declined 6.73% following a tremendous 2013, and we view this simply as a correction.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on Exxon Mobil Corporation

    Detracting from performance, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) declined 3.48% for the quarter, as the firm continued to have difficulty finding ways to grow production quickly enough to overcome the natural lifecycle decline of existing wells, and to offset what has been a relatively poor pricing environment for energy products. However, the firm seems ready to fund 10 major new projects in 2014 – a company record.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on U.S. Bancorp

    U.S. Bancorp (USB), headquartered in Minneapolis, also finished the period as one of the Fund’s top five performance contributors. While the quarter remained challenging for many other banks locked into low-margin banking activities, U.S. Bancorp advanced 6.09% for the period, with a solid performance advantage relative to its peers. While many of its competitors contend with defensive measures and diminished growth prospects, U.S. Bancorp’s principled adaptation of risk management controls following the financial crisis of 2008-2009 has placed it ahead of the competitive and regulatory curve. Recognized by both their current commercial customers and financial regulators for its integrity and financial soundness, U.S. Bancorp enjoys one of the highest credit ratings available. Over the years, U.S. Bancorp has quietly cultivated and expanded its lucrative commercial lending operations, as well. We have been steadily acquiring and holding the company’s stock for some years, purchasing at attractive prices when the market does not recognize its value.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on Medtronic Inc

    Healthcare company Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) also finished the quarter as a top five contributor to the Fund, gaining 7.23%. While emerging market revenue proved scarce for most industries during the quarter, Medtronic increased its share of revenue from the developing world by 15%, which represented 12% of the company’s revenue.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels Comments on Corning Inc

    On the equity side, Corning, Incorporated (GLW) proved to be the largest contributor to performance for the period, returning 16.84%. As a global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems, Corning has evolved over the last decade from being a manufacturer of optical fiber and cable into a broad-based supplier of optical solutions for the communications industry.

    From Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary.


  • Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Growth Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary

    March 31, 2014

    Growth Fund Performance


  • Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary

    March 31, 2014

    As measured by the Standard and Poor’s Total Return (TR) Index, the stock market advanced 1.81% for the quarter ending March 31, 2014. This positive outcome didn’t appear likely earlier in the period when a combination of lackluster employment numbers, Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the market’s anxiety over the Federal Reserve’s interest rate intentions pushed equity prices lower.


  • Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balance Fund Fourth Quarter 2013 Commentary

    The stock market in 2013 had its best year since 1997, ending the year with a high of 32.39%, as measured by the Standard and Poor's 500 Total Return (TR) Index.

    Some have attributed this performance to increased economic growth. Revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fi gures for the Fourth Quarter reached 4.1%. This refl ected broad- based growth with consumers, businesses and exports contributing. Others believe the market was spurred on by the unprecedented $85 billion per month, four-year monetary stimulus from The Federal Reserve (Fed) known as Quantitative Easing. Now, the Fed has announced it would begin tapering off the stimulus – whether they will be able to do so without causing disruption in the fi nancial markets remains to be seen.


  • Mairs & Power Third Quarter 2013 Commentary

    The third quarter of 2013 continued the year's upward march of positive returns. The three months ending September 30 added 5.24% to the S&P 500's year-to-date return of 19.79%. Gains occurred not only in the S&P, but also across the small-cap, mid-cap and international sectors. Despite interest rate concerns, bonds fared well also.

    These short-term results were generated by a Federal Reserve (Fed) that announced it will continue to be accommodative. Some volatility occurred early in the quarter when investors incorrectly predicted the Fed would ease off its Quantitative Easing program. Then late in the quarter, the Fed announced that it would continue purchasing long-term bonds. The markets reacted positively to this continued monetary stimulus. The Fed's intent is to keep long-term interest rates at their historically low levels, thus encouraging economic growth. 


  • Conservative Mairs & Power Decreases and Sell-outs

    Established in 1931, Mairs and Power Inc. is Minnesota’s oldest, privately owned investment firm. The relatively small investment advisory firm has succeeded by applying a conservative approach for over 70 years. An officer and director of the firm since 1992, Guru Bill Frels is chairman of the board of Mairs and Power Inc., as well as the lead manager of the Mairs & Power Balanced Fund. The firm’s recently updated portfolio lists 176 stocks, 12 of them new, with a total value of $5.02 billion and a quarter-over-quarter turnover of 6%.

    According to GuruFocus research, Guru Bill Frels reduced or sold out the following holdings in the first quarter of 2013. Here are the details of his trades, as of March 31, 2013.  

  • Bill Frels' Mairs & Power Balanced Fund Fourth Quarter Commentary

    Fourth Quarter Results: Reflecting such uncertainties as the Presidential Election, the "Fiscal Cliff" and related tax changes, European financial problems, Middle East turmoil and the growth outlook for China, the overall U.S. stock market was relatively flat during the fourth quarter with the Standard & Poor's 500 showing a slight negative return of -0.38%. Other indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader Russell 3000 Index showed similar respective returns of -1.74% and 0.25%.

    Recently reported real Gross Domestic Product numbers for the fourth quarter showed a disappointing preliminary reading of -0.1%. Even though the slightly negative figure resulted primarily from lower government spending (mainly defense) and some inventory liquidation, growth in the more important areas of the economy such as consumer and business spending were less than most forecasters had been looking for. While some improvement seems to be taking place in recent employment figures, the basic underlying unemployment rate remains basically unchanged at just under 8%. Although at a reduced rate, corporate profits are believed to have increased during the quarter in response to continuing cost reduction programs as well as an ever increasing contribution from foreign operations.  

  • Mairs & Power Q3 Commentary

    The stock market closed the third quarter within 10% of its all-time high, reached almost exactly five years ago on October 9th, 2007. The market was propelled to these levels by a strong third quarter in which the S&P 500 rose 6.35%, bringing the year-to-date total return to 16.44%. The Mairs and Power Balanced Fund was up 5.65% in the third quarter and up 14.63% through the first three quarters of 2012. During the third quarter, some of Mairs and Power Balanced Funds best performing stocks were MTS Systems (MTSC) (+39%), Sturm Ruger (+23%), Deluxe (DLX) (+23%), Pentair LTD (PNR) (+16%) and Home Depot (HD) (+14%).

    Some of the worst performing stocks were American Express (-2%), Hershey (-2%), Associated Banc (0%), Allete (0%), and H.B. Fuller (0%).  

  • Mairs and Power Balanced Fund Third Quarter Commentary: HSY, GM, TGT, IR, BMY

    The Balanced Fund produced a disappointing investment return of -10.2% in the third quarter. This result was better than -13.9% for the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index and -11.5% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average but worse than Mairs and Power Composite Index of - 6.7%. The Barclays Capital Government/Credit Bond Index was up 4.7% in the third quarter. Mairs and Power Balanced Fund lightly lagged balanced mutual funds reported by Lipper, which turned in an average return -9.6% in the third quarter. On a year-to-date basis, the fund delivered a return of -5.1% which is better than -8.7% of the S&P 500 but worse than 3.9% for the Dow Jones Industrial average. The Barclays Capital Government/Credit Bond Index was up 7.5% and the Mairs and Power Composite Index was down -2.3% on a year-to-date basis.

    Most of the damage in the quarter happened over a short period between late July and early August. In early July, as Congress engaged in a long debate over the bill that would raise the debt ceiling, the market appeared to be holding up. On closer review, economically sensitive stocks were dropping, but were largely offset by more defensive stocks which were rising. Once a deal was reached, rather than rally because a crisis was averted, the entire market began to selloff. The market hit a short term low shortly after Standard & Poor's downgraded the United States credit rating. The rest of the quarter saw increased volatility with no real direction, up or down. This volatility was a direct reflection of the high level of uncertainty with regard to the strength of the economy and European efforts to suppress a sovereign debt crisis.  

  • Bill Frels' Mairs and Power Fund Inc. 2Q Letter

    Reflecting continuing economic weakness in the second quarter, the Balanced Fund produced a
    disappointing investment return of only 0.5% during the period. By comparison, the Dow Jones
    Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index showed roughly similar respective returns  

  • Bill Frels Buys Nalco, Adds Target and Badger Meter

    Bill Frels is the lead manager of Mairs and Power, an investment firm that utilizes a conservative investment approach. The firm targets growth stocks and higher rated fixed income securities that are traded at a discount to their true valuation. Equity securities are typically held for relatively long periods of time to maximize tax efficiency and enable compounding to build on principal. Fixed income securities are usually held to maturity, with the firm looking for strong credit quality and ability to produce regular income. Securities are sometimes sold when fundamentals change, investment strategy shifts, or when equities become overvalued, but the firm generally has low portfolio turnover. Over the past decade, the Mairs and Power Growth Fund has produced a ten-year cumulative return of 81%, outperforming the S&P 500's return of 16.4%. In his second-quarter portfolio update, Frels bought Nalco (NLC) and added Target (TGT) and Badger Meter (BMI).

    Nalco Holding Co. (NLC)  

  • Mairs & Power Fund Reports Second Quarter Portfolio

    Mairs & Power was founded by Bill Frels. The funds invest in growth companies at reasonable prices. They look for high quality companies characterized by earnings that are reasonably predictable; return on equity that is above average; market dominance; and financial strength. Some emphasis is placed on small to medium sized companies, generally located in the upper Midwest region.

    For the last three years, the Mairs and Power Growth Fund has had annual turnover of less than 5%. That implies a 20-year holding period. As of 06/30/2011, Mairs & Power owns 192 stocks with a total value of $3.7 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells that have the impact to portfolio of more than 0.01%.  

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