The Oakmark Fund increased 2% in the first quarter, fractionally exceeding the S&P 500 gain, which also rounded to 2%. For the first half of our fiscal year Oakmark Fund was up 14%, compared to 13% for the S&P 500. Additionally, the Fund ended the quarter at an all-time high price. Because our goal is to increase the capital of our shareholders, we are always pleased to report new highs.
After such a strong year for equities in 2013, we are not surprised to see returns moderate as we move into 2014. Stocks certainly aren’t as cheap as they were a year ago, but we are still finding attractive companies to add to the portfolio. At Oakmark, we’re big fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, so as we approach playoff time, we start to think about some of the best hockey clichés. One of our favorites is, “a two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey.” While we are amused by the fragile logic of this statement, we appreciate the simple message that in a fast-paced, competitive environment, you can’t sit on a lead. At Oakmark, we have an amazing team of research analysts who have remained diligent in uncovering attractive investment opportunities. As you will see below, we added four companies to the portfolio during the first quarter that we think are high-quality and attractively priced. Continue Reading »