Ron Baron

Ron Baron

Last Update: 2014-11-13

Number of Stocks: 357
Number of New Stocks: 22

Total Value: $24,141 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 4%

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

Ron Baron Watch

  • Growth Opportunities in Software - Baron Funds Newsletter

    It has been a rocky nine months for software stocks. After soaring 47.6% in 2013, the S&P Software and Services Select Industry Index1 was down 4.85% year-to-date as of September 30, 2014, and down 9.1% since its peak on March 5, 2014. In contrast, the S&P 500 Index was up 8% year-to-date as of September 30, outpacing software by roughly 10%.


    U.S. equity markets experienced a sudden reversal in sentiment in late March and early April, sparked by concerns over interest rates and geopolitical unrest. Investors swiftly rotated away from high growth, smaller cap stocks into larger cap “value” stocks in a “flight to safety.” The impact was particularly acute in stocks that had been strong performers, as investors took profits and redeployed their assets elsewhere. Software-as-a service (SaaS) stocks, which had enjoyed an extraordinary runup in 2013, bore the brunt of this reversal in sentiment. Many had been trading at high valuations under non-traditional valuation metrics, in which multiples were being based on revenue instead of earnings, given the large addressable markets of these companies and the significant reinvestments they were making into their businesses. With high growth suddenly out of favor, investors turned to more traditional EBITDA, EPS and cash flow-based metrics and found valuations stretched given minimal near-term expectations of profitability.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Tesla Motors Inc

    During the quarter we purchased shares in Tesla Motors, Inc (TSLA). The pace of innovation at Tesla is head spinning and the progress being made towards the goal of revolutionizing the auto industry is impressive. Recently, Tesla announced an all-wheel-drive (AWD) model with two electric motors. Tesla’s model D has a longer range due to its dual motor performance optimization! In addition, Tesla announced initial Autonomous Driving capabilities and the potential for the car to serve as a valet for its driver. For those of you who used to watch David Hasselhoff in “Knight Rider,” it must bring a smile to your face. Tesla continues to delight customers and out-innovate its competition. (Gilad Shany)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Focused Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Ron Baron’s Baron Focused Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report

    Dear Baron Focused Growth Fund Shareholder:


    Performance

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Carlyle Group

    The Carlyle Group (CG), a leading alternative asset management firm, has been under pressure in the most recent quarter with the stock declining approximately 10%. We took advantage of the weak share price to add to our position. Carlyle manages approximately $200 billion for its clients in diverse strategies and numerous products. Its history of providing solid risk adjusted returns to its clients has enabled it to build sticky relationships with clients who invest in multiple funds. The current decline in its share price is the result of concerns regarding increased regulation and higher rates impacting fund performance. While these factors may affect the company in the near term, they do not alter the long term thesis that we believe Carlyle Group can continue to broaden its product offering and manage considerably more assets. Carlyle Group is a dominant firm in the alternative space, which is growing at twice the rate of traditional managers. Additionally, we feel that Carlyle could grow faster than the industry as limited partners (clients) consolidate their manager selection. While Carlyle’s earnings are more volatile than the earnings of traditional asset management firms, the company’s diverse product lineup should bring some stability to its high margin profits. We believe Carlyle will continue to broaden its product offerings and expand its distribution channels and can significantly increase its assets under management and earnings power over the next few years. (Michael Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on Manchester United plc

    Manchester United plc (MANU) is an English Premier League professional sports team. The business had three principal segments: Commercial, Broadcasting and Matchday. The team has a global brand, with a proven history of success, having won 11 of the last 20 Premier League Titles. Soccer is now the second most popular sport among the 12-24 age group in the U.S., and Manchester United is among the most popular soccer teams globally. Manchester United has over 500 million fans worldwide and is positioned to benefit from greater broadcast fees and higher sponsorship and merchandising revenue over the next several years. The increase in broadcast, licensing and merchandising related revenues should generate substantially more cash flow and drive greater value to shareholders over the next several years. (Ashim Mehra)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on Helmerich & Payne Inc

    Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP) is the leading land drilling contractor in the U.S. Shares fell in the quarter despite the fact that rising demand for its new rigs spurred clients to continue to add to the company’s record backlog of new rig contracts. The company’s fiscal third quarter earnings were a bit below expectations, which contributed to the stock weakness, but it appears that most of the weakness was related to concerns that lower oil prices would short-circuit the upturn in U.S. drilling. (Jamie Stone)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on Concho Resources Inc

    Concho Resources, Inc. (CXO), is an exploration and production (E&P) company focused on the Permian Basin in West Texas. Shares fell in the third quarter, in line with the decline in oil prices. Concho remains on track to deliver on its “three by two” plan, designed to double production in three years. Even at lower oil prices, we believe Concho has the wherewithal to deliver on the program. In addition, drilling results from Concho and other E&P companies in the region are pointing to the potential for significantly more value creation from Concho’s resource base. (Jamie Stone)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on Air Lease Corp

    Air Lease Corp. (AL) is an aircraft leasing company with a young, fuel-efficient fleet, addressing demand for replacement of older aircraft and more lift in emerging markets, namely Asia. It has strong growth and predictable cash flows, as evidenced by a 23% rise in sales and 42% rise in earnings-per- share in the second quarter. Deliveries are 100% booked through 2015 and 50% placed for 2016.We believe the stock fell in the third quarter due more to general market weakness than reported results, and that Air Lease is well positioned for a long “runway” of profitable growth. (David Goldsmith)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on Vail Resorts Inc

    Shares of Vail Resorts, Inc. (MTN), the largest ski resort operator in the U.S., increased in the third quarter as the company resolved its litigation with the owners of Park City and bought the resort from them at what we believe is an attractive price. The resort gives Vail access to two adjacent resorts in Utah which, when combined, will make it the largest ski resort in the U.S. The company believes that by adding Park City to its season pass, it should be able to increase sales, which should help to insulate it from weather abnormalities. (David Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on The Charles Schwab Corp

    Shares of brokerage firm The Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) increased in the third quarter. The company indicated at its biannual investor meeting that earnings should approach the high end of initial guidance. Additionally, the company announced plans to return more cash to shareholders through dividends and buybacks. We believe Schwab is well positioned from a regulatory standpoint and has less exposure to trading commissions than its peers. It has been experiencing consistent and sustained growth in accounts as brokers leave traditional wirehouses. (Michael Baron)


    The Fund’s investments in alternative investment money manager The Carlyle Group (CG), and financial intermediary The Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW), are benefiting from strong performance of equities since the financial panic, which had resulted in increased investor interest in that asset class.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Mobileye NV

    Mobileye N.V. (MBLY) is a software and systems design leader for camera-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The share price increased after we participated in Mobileye’s IPO in the quarter. We believe the company has the potential to become a multi-decade leader in the race to autonomous driving, a trend that we believe will improve transportation safety and efficiencies. (Gilad Shany)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Ron Baron’s Baron Partners Fund Q3 2014 Report

    Dear Baron Partners Fund Shareholder:


    Performance

      


  • Baron Growth Fund Comments on Benefitfocus Inc

    Shares of Benefitfocus, Inc. (BNFT) fell in the third quarter, partly due to a secondary offering in July that increased the public float by more than 30%. Benefitfocus is the leading provider of cloud-based benefits software, offering an integrated suite of solutions to help customers more efficiently shop, enroll, manage, and exchange benefits information. We think Benefitfocus serves an addressable market more than 100 times larger than its current business, which should allow it to compound revenue at more than 30% annually. (Neal Rosenberg)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Growth Fund Comments on Financial Engines Inc

    Shares of Financial Engines, Inc. (FNGN), a service provider to defined contribution plans and individual investors, fell in the third quarter. While the company continues to penetrate the market, investors have become concerned about profitability and competition. Gross profit yield continues to gradually decline as plan providers use their gatekeeper positions to receive a higher share incremental economics. Investors are also concerned that cheaper target date funds could take market share. We retain conviction about the company’s unique product and significant market opportunity. (Michael Baron)


    The share price of Financial Engines, Inc. (FNGN), a service provider to defined contribution plans and individual investors, has declined by approximately 50% year-to-date. Although we thought its valuation was justified by its growth prospects, lower profit yield in 2014 and investor rotation away from less established businesses led to the drop in share value. We took advantage of its attractive stock price to add to the Fund’s investment and believe its long-term investment premise still holds. Financial Engines is the dominant player in a $5 trillion market, with roughly $900 billion in plan assets under contract and $100 billion in assets under management. Significant potential exists to add to these amounts through increased sales to plan sponsors and improved marketing to plan participants and broadening product offerings. Additionally, we believe the company should eventually be able to use its expertise to service the IRA and defined benefit market, each of which represents an additional $5 trillion in assets. We believe that Financial Engines’ essential advice offering and plan connectivity advantage will result in significant client growth and a highly profitable recurring revenue stream. (Michael Baron)

      


  • Baron Growth Fund Comments on Colfax Corp

    Shares of industrial machinery company Colfax Corp. (CFX) fell in the wake of weaker-than-expected second quarter results. Strong margins in welding were offset by operational missteps in the legacy fluid handling business combined with a weak macro environment. Colfax recently announced a new president for the fluid handling business, and we expect this business to get back on track soon. We believe that Colfax will continue to use its proven business strategy to improve operations at acquired companies, generating substantial shareholder value over time. (Rebecca Ellin)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Growth Fund Comments on Concur Technologies Inc

    A good example of this strategy during the quarter was our investment in Concur Technologies, Inc. (CNQR), a $7.2 billion company that was the subject of a takeover by global software firm SAP. Baron Growth Fund has owned Concur, a leading provider of travel and expense management software, since 2009, when the company had a market value of roughly $1.1 billion. We have since earned about six times our initial investment. Concur joins CFR Pharmaceuticals SA, Windy City Investments Holdings, LLC (Nuveen Investments), Kerzner International Holdings Ltd. and Targa Resources Corp. as other Baron Growth Fund investments that have been the subject of acquisitions in 2014.


    Shares of Concur Technologies, Inc. (CNQR) increased in the third quarter. Concur is a leading provider of travel booking and expense management software. On September 18, SAP SE announced an agreement to acquire Concur for $129 per share, a 28% premium to the closing price on September 2, the day before Bloomberg reported that Concur was exploring a sale. The $8.3 billion acquisition implied a valuation of roughly 9.7 times Concur’s estimated fiscal year 2015 revenue and confirmed our view that Concur was a valuable strategic asset. (Neal Kaufman)

      


  • Baron Growth Fund Comments on Community Health Systems Inc

    Community Health Systems, Inc. (CYH) is one of the largest hospital operators in the U.S., with a focus on small and mid-sized markets in 29 states. Shares rose on strong second quarter results, driven by higher utilization and an improved payor mix stemming from health care reform and the improving economy. Management’s volume initiatives are taking hold. More states with large Community footprints are pursuing Medicaid expansion. Finally, the integration with HMA is going well, and we think synergies will ultimately exceed initial guidance. (Susan Robbins)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Baron Growth Fund Comments on Under Armour Inc

    Shares of athletic apparel company Under Armour, Inc. (UA) increased in the third quarter. Under Armour continues to have brand momentum. Sales are growing faster than 30% in nearly all categories, and sales of higher priced merchandise and postponed inventory liquidations have boosted gross margins. Operating expenses rose as the company invested for future growth in women’s apparel, footwear, international, and direct-to- consumer selling. The company has diversified from a single product/category into a global sports brand. (Michael Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report.  


  • Ron Baron’s Baron Growth Fund Q3 2014 Report



  • Ron Baron Comments on BMW

    One more thing. While many car companies doubt electric cars will ultimately represent a large portion of new car sales, BMW (XTER:BMW) is not one of those companies. Two of our research analysts recently visited BMW’s headquarters in Munich, as well as its electric vehicle and carbon fiber assembly plants in Leipzig, Germany, and its battery pack assembly plant and research facility in Dingolfing, Germany. The BMW financial team believes a revolution in drive train is underway. We believe that BMW will likely phase out internal combustion engines over the next 10 years!

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Q3 2014 Shareholder Letter.  


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User Comments

Francesca turner
ReplyFrancesca turner - 8 months ago
why is illumina performing so badly and do you still own it?



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