John Rogers

Last Update: 02-12-2016

Number of Stocks: 196
Number of New Stocks: 12

Total Value: $8,341 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 4%

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

John Rogers Watch

  • Still Bullish On Dun & Bradstreet

    In this article, let's take a look at Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (NYSE:DNB), a $4.21 billion market cap company, which is a worldwide provider of business information and related decision support services and commercial receivables management services.


    Little Growth

      


  • John Rogers Ariel Funds Q4 2014 Commentary

    Investing in small- and mid-cap stocks is riskier and more volatile than investing in large-cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Ariel Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors, and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains, and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the period ended December 31, 2014, the average annual total returns of Ariel Fund (Investor Class) for the 1-, 5- and 10-year periods were +10.95%, +16.62% and +7.16%, respectively. Ariel Fund’s Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.03% for the year ended September 30, 2014. Ariel Fund’s Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.03% for the year ended September 30, 2013. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for Ariel Fund may be obtained by visiting our website, arielinvestments.com.

      


  • Weekly Guru Bargains Highlights: NFLX, CS, CAT, HAL, SLB

    According to GuruFocus updates, these stocks have declined the most since Gurus have bought.



    Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX): Down 26% Since George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) Bought In the Quarter Ended on 2014-09-30

      


  • Respected Value Investor John Rogers Of The Ariel Fund Shares His Top Three Picks For 2015

    Where does John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio) see value in 2015.


    He believes industrial companies are well set for 2015 thanks to lower energy costs.

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Fund December Commentary

    Investments in foreign securities may underperform and may be more volatile than comparable U.S. stocks because of the risks involving foreign economies and markets, foreign political systems, foreign regulatory standards and foreign currencies and taxes. The use of currency derivatives and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may increase investment losses and expenses and create more volatility. Investments in emerging and developing markets present additional risks, such as difficulties in selling on a timely basis and at an acceptable price. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for the Funds may be obtained by visiting our website, arielinvestments.com.

      


  • Various Hedge Fund Managers Bet on American Express

    In this article, let's take a look at American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), a $94.23 billion market cap company that is a leading global payments and travel & expense services company.


    Spending patterns

      


  • John Rogers' October Commentary

    Recently, we have been concentrating on fundamentals—by rereading one of our favorite books, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Princeton professor Burton G. Malkiel. We highly recommend the 10th edition, which was revised in 2012. It remains a timeless, thoughtful meditation on efficient markets.


    This great tome has become reduced and simplified to one notion in the popular imagination: Buy index funds. While it certainly helped launch passive investing, Random Walk contains a great deal more than one simple lesson. Ironically, the crucial insight embedded in its title all too often gets lost—the stock market follows a random walk. Dr. Malkiel writes: A random walk is one in which future steps or direction cannot be predicted on the basis of past history.

      


  • Johnson & Johnson Fairly Valued – I Will Bet on It

    In this article, let´s consider Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), a $297.71 billion market cap that is the world's largest and most diverse healthcare company. It has a trailing P/E ratio that indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued (PE 19.4x vs Industry Median 42.0x).


    Key drivers

      


  • Some Drivers of the World's Largest Automaker

    In this article, let's take a look at Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM), a $182.43 billion market cap company that is one of the world's largest automobile producers.


    Quality and more

      


  • John Rogers Ariel Appreciation Fund Q3 Commentary

    Investing in mid-cap stocks is riskier and more volatile than investing in large-cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Ariel Appreciation Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the period ended September 30, 2014, the average annual total returns of Ariel Appreciation Fund (Investor Class) for the 1-, 5- and 10-year periods were +12.22%, +16.54% and +8.80%, respectively. The Fund’s Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.13% for the year ended September 30, 2013. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for Ariel Appreciation Fund may be obtained by visiting our website, arielinvestments.com.

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Fund Q3 2014 Commentary

    Investing in small- and mid-cap stocks is riskier and more volatile than investing in large-cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Ariel Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors, and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the period ended September 30, 2014, the average annual total returns of Ariel Fund (Investor Class) for the 1-, 5- and 10-year periods were +15.52%, +16.46% and +7.18%, respectively. Ariel Fund’s Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.03% for the year ended September 30, 2013. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for Ariel Fund may be obtained by visiting our website, arielinvestments.com.

      


  • Southern Company a Fairly Valued Stock

    In this article, let´s consider Southern Company (NYSE:SO), a $42.29 billion market cap, which has a trailing P/E ratio that indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued (PE 18.9x vs Industry Median 20.1x). The obvious question I’m sure you want to know is – what is the future stock price movement? Although I cannot predict exactly the moment, we can see some drivers of this Atlanta-based energy holding company, which is one of the largest producers of electricity in the U.S., and then try to analyze its intrinsic value and compare it with the actual trading price.


    Principal drivers

      


  • State Street: A Good Business Model

    In this article, let's take a look at State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT), a $29.10 billion market cap bank holding company with more than $27 trillion of assets under custody and $2 trillion of assets under management. It operates in 26 countries and more than 100 geographic markets worldwide.


    Global reach

      


  • 5-year lows: Aeropostale Inc, ASA Gold And Precious Metals Ltd, Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc, and Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc

    According to GuruFocus' list of 5-year lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 5-year lows: Aeropostale Inc, ASA Gold And Precious Metals Ltd, Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc, and Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc


    Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO) Reached $2.89

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Investments Monthly Commentary - September

    We continue to field questions concerning the “active versus passive” investing debate. For our part, we largely agree with Morningstar’s Michael Breen, who wrote in his “Give Peace a Chance in the Active vs. Passive Debate” article: [T]here’s value to both active and index approaches. A number of actively managed funds have beaten the broad market, but index funds tracking the market still delivered solid returns over time in a cheap, low-maintenance package that’s a perfect fit for many investors. Meanwhile, those willing to roll up their sleeves and do a little fundamental research appear to have a good chance of picking winning active funds.1


    More on that last point later, but first we want to address where our philosophy comes from and why this heated debate has become even more pertinent lately.

      


  • Guru-Held Stocks Trading At Historical Low P/B

    Buying stocks based on historical low price-to-book (P/B) ratios has been shown to be an effective investment strategy. At GuruFocus, our “Top 25 Historical Low P/B Ratio Companies” portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 by 16.13 percent since its inception in 2010. Our portfolio is rebalanced once a year and can be viewed at GuruFocus.com. Below is the latest list of stocks that are trading near historical low P/B ratios and are widely held by the investing gurus we follow:


    Kellogg Co (K) is trading at its 10-year low P/B ratio of 5.81. The company is engaged in the manufacture and marketing of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. Its brands include Kellogg’s, Keebler, Cheez-It, Murray, Austin and Famous Amos. The 10-year median P/B ratio is 8.4. The stock is undervalued since its book value per share has been accelerating to higher 5- and 1- year annual growth rates of 11.8 and 47.8 percent, compared to its 10-year annual growth rate of 4.10. The stock would be priced at $88.10 if trading at its 10-year median P/B ratio. The stock is held by 16 gurus we follow with Hotchkis & Wiley holding the largest position of 2.38 million shares, representing 0.66 percent of the shares outstanding.

      


  • Accenture is a Leading IT Services Provider

    In this article, let's take a look at Accenture plc (ANC), a $52.36 billion market cap company, which is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.


    A well-positioned company

      


  • Ariel Funds' John Rogers August Commentary

    We have noted before that standardized return periods, especially shorter-term ones, can unfortunately drive investors to make poor decisions. To illustrate the point, below we discuss the trailing three-year returns of the equity markets. These three-year numbers have been rising for several months, and we think they are likely to rise next month—fairly substantially, in fact. This observation is not in any way a prediction; it is based on the known past rather than on the unknowable future.


    Nobody knows what will happen in September 2014, but we do know what happened in September 2011. That is, a short bear market that many seem to have forgotten came to a close. Specifically, from May 1, 2011, through September 30, 2011, the S&P 500 Index fell –16.26%, the MSCI EAFE Index dropped –22.19%, and the Russell 2000 Index lost –25.10%. Many use a drop of –20% as the measurement of a bear market and largely pay attention to the large-cap market, so some view the event as a simple correction. On the other hand, Russell and other experts use a –15% drop to define bear markets; that is our standard at Ariel. Given small caps’ –25% decline alongside sharp drops globally, from our perspective it clearly merits the label of bear market. Whether or not you call the five-month drop in 2011 a bear market, it certainly greatly affects the current three-year return numbers. Obviously, as new monthly returns become a part of the three-year record, older months “roll off.” For this reason, standardized period returns can jump or plummet around inflection points that happened years ago. Below we show the last three-year returns from the past five months to illustrate the point.

      


  • I Feel Bullish on Costco Due to its Business Model

    In this article, let's take a look at Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), a $55.22 billion market cap company, which operates about 650 membership warehouses in the U.S., and other countries such as Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.K., Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Australia.


    Costs reduction

      


  • Many Hedge Fund Managers Invest in Bed Bath

    In this article, let's take a look at Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY), a $13.10 billion market cap company, which isone of the best retailer of the industry.


    Long-term goal

      


  • Weekly CEO Buys Highlight: OPK, BOBE, CONN, WPX, PHII

    According to GuruFocus Insider Data, these are the largest CEO buys during the past week. The overall trend of CEOs is illustrated in the chart below:


    Opko Health Inc (NYSE:OPK): CEO & Chairman, 10% Owner Phillip Md Et Al Frost bought 103,000 shares

      


  • Accenture: What Amazing ROE During Ten Years

    In this article, let´s see one of the most important financial ratios applying to stockholders, the best measure of performance for a firm's management: the Return on Equity (ROE), and we are going to analyze it in the case of Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN).


    ROE is calculated as net income applicable to common shares divided by the average book value of common equity: ROE = Net Income / Av. Book Value

      


  • The Top Five Guru-Held Mid-Cap Stocks of Q2

    Using the GuruFocus Aggregated Portfolio Screener you can filter results to see what companies maintain the highest amount of guru ownership. By using this screener, we filtered down to see mid-cap companies which are held by the most gurus. The following five mid-capped companies are held by the largest number of gurus during the past quarter.


    Quest Diagnostics (DGX)

      


  • Weekly 3-Year Low Highlights: GES, QLGC, NPK, PHMD, FHCO

    According to GuruFocus list of 3-year lows, Guess? Inc, QLogic Corp, National Presto Industries, PhotoMedex Inc, and Female Health Co have all reached their 3-year lows.


    Guess? Inc (NYSE:GES) Reached $23.44

      


  • Weekly 3-Year Low Highlights: CHL, TM, STO, NTT

    According to GuruFocus list of 3-year lows; China Mobile Ltd, Toyota Motor Corp, Statoil ASA, and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, have all reached their 3-year lows.


    China Mobile Ltd (NYSE:CHL) Reached $60.94

      


  • Guru Stocks at 52-Week Lows: CHL, TM, SNY, NVO, TSM

    According to GuruFocus list of 52-week lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 52-week lows.


    China Mobile Ltd (NYSE:CHL) Reached the 52-Week Low of $60.94

      


  • 5-year lows: Aeropostale Inc, Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc, Layne Christensen Co, and Forest Oil Corp.

    According to GuruFocus list of 5-year lows, these Guru stocks have reached their 5-year lows: Aeropostale Inc, Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc, Layne Christensen Co, and Forest Oil Corp.


    Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO) Reached $3.17

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Fund July Commentary

    Our May commentary addressed U.S. stock market performance from January to May. As you may recall, returns had been up and down, large and mid caps had trounced small caps, and value had beaten growth. While the returns of Ariel Fund and Ariel Appreciation Fund were quite similar, the disparity between benchmarks made Ariel Fund look solid and Ariel Appreciation Fund appear lethargic. This commentary will focus more attention on assessing performance generally and on the Russell Midcap Value Index in particular.


    Dissecting investment results can be tricky. First and foremost—and this is no secret—strong absolute returns sometimes mask poor relative returns, while low absolute returns can actually be solid in a given market environment. That is, a +10% gain is not astounding in the context of a market that is up more than +32%, as the market was in 2013. By contrast, a –10% loss would have been stellar for an equity portfolio in 2008, when the S&P 500 plummeted –37%.

      


  • Widely Held Guru Stocks Near Historical Low P/B Ratios

    Buying stocks at historically low price-to-book (P/B) ratios has been an effective strategy. The model portfolio, “Top 25 Historical Low P/B Ratio Companies”, has outperformed the S&P 500 by 29.51 percent since its inception in 2010. The following stocks are widely held by the investing gurus we follow and are trading near their historical low P/B ratios:


    Kellogg Company (K) is trading at a low P/B ratio of 6.10, near its 10-year low of 5.88. Its principle products are ready-to-eat cereals and convenience foods, such as cookies, crackers, savory snacks, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. The 5- and 10-year median P/B ratios are 8.4 and 8.5. At the 5-year median, the stock would be priced at $87.60. Book value per share has been growing at an annual rate of 11.90 percent over the past five years. The stock is held by 18 gurus we follow with Hotchkis & Wiley having the largest holding of 2.43 million shares, representing 0.68 percent of the shares outstanding.

      


  • Goldman Sachs: A Strongest Investment Bank

    In this article, let's take a look at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), a $77.3 billion market cap company, which is one of the world's leading investment banking and securities companies.


    Well-Positioned

      


  • This Tobacco Stock Looks Attractive Enough

    In this article let's take a look at an option for investing in the tobacco sector with British American Tobacco plc (BTI), which sells tobacco products in 180 countries. The company holds leadership positions in around 50 of them. Brands like Dunhill, Kent, Pall Mall, and Lucky Strike account for one third of group sales because they are well known and have been gaining share over the past several years.


    Competitive Advantages

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Fund Q2 2014 Shareholder Letter

    Investing in small- and mid-cap stocks is riskier and more volatile than investing in large-cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Investing in equity stocks is risky and subject to the volatility of the markets. Ariel Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the period ended June 30, 2014, the average annual total returns of Ariel Fund (Investor Class) for the 1-, 5- and 10-year periods were +29.50%, +24.25% and +7.54%, respectively. Ariel Fund’s Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.03% for the year ended September 30, 2013. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for Ariel Fund may be obtained by visiting our website, arielinvestments.com.Investing in small- and mid-cap stocks is riskier and more volatile than investing in large-cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Investing in equity stocks is risky and subject to the volatility of the markets. Ariel Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.

      


  • Guru Held Stocks Near Historical Low P/B

    Buying stocks at historically low price-to-book (P/B) ratios has been an effective strategy. The model portfolio, “Top 25 Historical Low P/B Ratio Companies”, has outperformed the S&P 500 by 25.44 percent since its inception in 2010. The following stocks are the most widely held stocks by the investing gurus we follow that are trading near their historical low P/B ratios:


    Kellogg Co (K) is trading at a low P/B ratio of 6.80, near its 10-year low of 5.92. The company is well-known for its cereal and offers other convenience foods. Some of the other brands it markets are Keebler, Cheez-It, Murray, Austin and Famous Amos. The stock is held by 17 gurus we follow with Hotchkis & Wiley holding the largest position of 2.43 million shares, representing 0.68 percent of the shares outstanding.

      


  • John Rogers Comments on Contango Oil & Gas Co

    Also, natural resources explorer Contango Oil & Gas Co. (MCF) slipped –11.37% after an earnings report that disappointed the Street. Specifically, the company’s first-quarter loss of $10 million was driven by $42 million in dry-hole (a well that produces no commercially viable oil and gas) costs from a Gulf of Mexico well. Investors focused heavily on that unfortunate news—which we see as an unlucky part of the business— rather than on the company’s otherwise solid numbers. We were quite encouraged that the company plans to shift its capital expenditures entirely onshore where dry-hole risks are much lower.

    From John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio)' Ariel Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary.  


  • John Rogers Comments on Charles River Laboratories Intl Inc

    Preclinical testing firm Charles River Laboratories Intl, Inc. (CRL) dropped –11.30% as mergers and acquisitions ramped up in the health-care sector. Health-care consolidations have been rising, the most prominent being a proposed $100 billion acquisition of Astra-Zeneca by Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and with mergers come the rationalization of research capabilities. The market tends to react swiftly and sharply to such events. We think such reactions are generally overblown, as the effects tend to be more short-term than long-term; as such we think Charles River has become a better bargain lately.

    From John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio)' Ariel Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary.  


  • John Rogers Comments on CBRE Group Inc

    In addition, global real estate company CBRE Group, Inc. (CBG) jumped +16.81% after a very strong quarterly earnings report. Its adjusted earnings per share were $0.25, $0.08 higher than expectations, on the basis of strong revenue overall and nearly across its units. The market seemed especially pleased that management saw more upside than downside for the rest of 2014.

    From John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio)' Ariel Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary.  


  • John Rogers Comments on US Silica Holdings Inc

    Industrial sand producer U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. (SLCA) piled up a +45.60% return after a great earnings report. Recent results were solid, but the key takeaway from management’s comments was the comparison of the current environment to that of 2011 and 2012, when business boomed based on heavy demand. All along, we have viewed Silica as a cyclical business, so we expected it to improve along the way; by the same token, we do not think a great environment will persist forever.

    From John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio)' Ariel Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary.  


  • John Rogers' Ariel Fund Second Quarter 2014 Commentary

    Quarter Ended June 30, 2014


    After a slow start to the year, global equities accelerated in the second quarter of 2014. For the quarter, domestic large caps edged out mid caps and foreign equities—with small caps posting a solid but less dramatic quarterly gain. The pattern from the first quarter continued: a preference for yield-bearing investments and equities with a reputation for steadiness and fundamental strength. For instance, across Russell’s main smaller-cap value indexes (2000, 2500 and Midcap), the two top-performing sectors were utilities and energy. Along the same lines, in smaller- cap stocks value topped core, while growth underperformed. The pattern was not as pronounced abroad, where emerging markets stocks outpaced developed markets—with sagging China being a key exception. We had strong returns this quarter, as Ariel Fund gained +6.42%, beating the Russell 2500 Value Index’s +4.20% advance, as well as the +2.38% rise of the Russell 2000 Value Index.

      


  • John Rogers' Ariel Investments 2nd Quarter 2014 Commentary

    We will come right out and say it: this has been a strange year for the markets so far. In 2014, through mid-April, the S&P 500 Index took a bumpy trip to nowhere—or technically a +0.02% gain. Since then, however, it has returned +7.54%. According to the Wall Street Journal, the S&P 500 has also had 16 record closes in the second quarter of 2014, and its volatility has dropped to the lowest level since 2007. At this point in a bull market, you might expect record highs and low volatility to drive unencumbered exuberance, but not this time. On the one hand, the Investors Intelligence Advisors Sentiment Charts show 61% are bullish on the market and 16% are bearish, with the rest expecting a correction. On the other hand, market pundits continue to detect fear, skepticism and worse in market movements. One global strategist recently told Bloomberg Businessweek: “Classically, the market climbs a wall of worry. Now we’re having a wall of hatred.”


    A look at asset flows suggests what investors are doing, and what it might mean. When we examined 56 Morningstar mutual fund categories and find the biggest inflows in dollar and percentage terms in the first five months of 2014, some fairly clear patterns emerge.

      


  • John Rogers and RS Investments Top Guru Real Time Trades of the Week

    The following information is a highlight of the real-time guru activity we saw this week. To view more information on these gurus, check out their guru portfolios. The “Real Time Picks” reports the stock purchases and sells that Gurus have made within the prior two weeks. If a Guru makes a purchase or sell of a company in which they own a greater-than 5% stake, SEC regulations require them to report their transaction within two days. This week we saw notable increases and buys in Real Time activity from John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio) and RS Investment Management (Trades, Portfolio).

    John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio)  


  • Ariel Investments' John Rogers Discusses KKR, First American, Dun & Bradstreet



  • John Rogers' Ariel Investment Fund April Commentary

    At Ariel Investments, three qualities connect our various strategies: patience, focus and independent thinking. Our portfolios now stretch from micro-cap to large cap and range from deep value to traditional value to global, but the philosophy behind them inspires similar activity during market dislocations. That is, when stocks fall, whether across markets or within one of our portfolios, our portfolio managers and analysts get extra busy. As vigilant assessors of value, we gather information and crunch numbers to determine whether the price shifts reflect fundamental, long-term changes in what businesses are worth. If we determine gaps between price and value have widened, hence creating better investment opportunities, we will buy more shares of the companies that have been, in our view, unfairly punished.


    In the first four months of 2014 some areas of the market have gained in quite normal amounts. Large caps are up +2.56% at home and +2.31% in developed markets abroad, as measured by the S&P 500 and MSCI EAFE indexes, respectively. Smaller-cap U.S. stocks, however, have had a mixed year, with some small- and mid-cap indexes up and some down; the bellwether small-cap Russell 2000 Index has fallen –2.80%. Moreover, our portfolios in the micro-cap to mid-cap range have had negative returns in the first four months of the year. We think that has created opportunities for our managers, so this month, we wanted to describe the most significant stock purchases in our smaller-cap deep value and traditional value portfolios firm-wide.

      


  • John Rogers Comments on Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings

    We purchased a previous holding in our mid ca p fund, Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (LH). LabCorp maintains a leading market position in an indust ry that continues to show promising growth potential du e to technological advances, aging demographics, health care cost containment, and preventative medicine. LabCorp maintains a solid balance sheet, generates a significant amount of free cash flow and has been returning value to shareholders through share repurchases. The company operates with an experienced management team that is conservative yet willing to take slight risks in order to grow the business long-term.

      


  • John Rogers Comments on International Game Technology

    Also, gaming manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) returned –22.00% after a subpar earnings report. Its revenue and earnings per share both slid below consensus estimates. Specifically, revenues were 2% lower than Wall Street expected, while the (adjusted) EPS of $0.25 did not meet the $0.30 forecast. The miss came from weak regional gaming trends and higher-than-expected operating expenses. We think operating issues can be corrected and believe management is focused on the issue. In the meantime, we see light business as temporary and industry-wide— beyond IGT's control. We would be more concerned if the short-term results stemming fr om lost market share, for instance. Although there have been headwinds for this company, we remain optimistic over the long term.

      


  • John Rogers Comments on Coach Inc.

    A few of our holdings struggled at quarter end. Specialty retailing Coach, Inc. (COH) de clined –10.91% after missing expectations. The company reported EPS of $1.06 after making $1.23 per share last year. Consensus had been $1.11. The main culprit was lower traffic in retail stores. It has been a very difficult winter for many retailers, but for Coach the more important issue is its st yle turnaround. Stuart Vevers, the new creative director, has his first complete line appearing this spring and hitting stores next fall. As long- term investors, a six-month waiting period is not difficult, but obviously, Wall Street is less patient than we are. We believe the company will emerge with its brand largely intact, new products to captivate customers and better financial results to follow.

      


  • John Rogers Comments on Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

    In addition, scientific research specialist Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) returned +8.12% after a very solid earnings report. Its revenue was $3.5 billion, up 6% over the previous period, and its earnings per share was $1.43, significantly above the $1.37 cons ensus estimate. Its forecast for 2014 was even more positive : full-year revenue guidance was in the $16 billion-plus ra nge, smashing the $13 billion consensus estimate, and the low end of its EPS guidance was more than $0.40 higher than Wall Street's best guess. Our strategy with Thermo Fisher has been to look beyond the gloom and doom that has cast a dark cloud over the whole sector to see the potential for a bright future.

      


  • John Rogers Comments on JLL Inc.

    Several of our holdings posted strong returns this quarter. Real estate specialist JLL Inc. (JLL), previously known as Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., surged +15.73% due to a strong earnings report. Specifically, in late January the company reported better-than-expecte d (adjusted) earnings per share (EPS) of $3.33; the Street expected $3.09. Revenues topped forecasts, $1.5 billion rather than $1.3 billion. In addition, the company's operating results were boosted by solid investment sales, facility management services and momentum in leasing revenues. Moreover, management signaled continued improvemen ts across its businesses. The market is still applying a cautiously cyclical set of expectations to this firm, but we believe its gradual growth is more secular in nature.

      


  • Cheap Stocks from John Rogers of Ariel Investments



  • John Rogers' Ariel Appreciation Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary

    Investing in mid-cap stocks is more risky and more volatile than investing in large cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Investing in equity stocks is risky and subject to the volatility of the markets. Ariel Appreciation Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the period ended March 31, 2014, the average annual total returns of Ariel Appreciation Fund (Investor Class) for the one-, five- and ten-year periods were +25.33%, +28.77% and +8.55%, respectively. The Fund's Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.13% for the year ended September 30, 2013. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for Ariel Appreciation Fund may be obtained by visiting our web site, arielinvestments.com.

      


  • Ariel Fund First Quarter 2014 Commentary

    Investing in small and mid-cap stocks is more risky and more volatile than investing in large cap stocks. The intrinsic value of the stocks in which the portfolio invests may never be recognized by the broader market. Investing in equity stocks is risky and subject to the volatility of the markets. Ariel Fund often invests a significant portion of its assets in companies within the financial services and consumer discretionary sectors and its performance may suffer if these sectors underperform the overall stock market.


    Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All performance assumes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains and represents returns of the Investor Class shares. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. For the period ended March 31, 2014, the average annual total returns of Ariel Fund (Investor Class) for the one-, five- and ten-year periods were +23.74%, +30.25% and +7.37%, respectively. Ariel Fund's Investor Class shares had an annual expense ratio of 1.03% for the year ended September 30, 2013. Performance data current to the most recent month-end for Ariel Fund may be obtained by visiting our web site, arielinvestments.com.

      


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