Ron Baron

Ron Baron

Last Update: 02-10-2016

Number of Stocks: 343
Number of New Stocks: 18

Total Value: $22,147 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 3%

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

Ron Baron Watch

  • Baron Emerging Market Fund 4th Quarter Letter

    Dear Baron Emerging Markets Fund Shareholder:


    Performance

      


  • Baron Focused Growth Fund 4th Quarter Letter

    Dear Baron Focused Growth Fund Shareholder:


    Baron Focused Growth Fund (the “Fund”) performed well in the three months ended December 31, 2015. It increased in value 6.33% (Institutional Shares) during the period. The Russell 2500 Growth Index, the smid-cap benchmark Index against which we compare the performance of this Fund, rose by 3.81%. The S&P 500 Index, which measures the performance of large-cap companies, increased by 7.04%. For the full year, Baron Focused Growth Fund declined by 2.12%, the Russell 2500 Growth Index fell 0.19%, and the S&P 500 Index increased in value 1.38%.

      


  • Baron Partners Fund 4th Quarter Shareholder Letter

    Dear Baron Partners Fund Shareholder:


    During the three-month period ended December 31, 2015, Baron Partners Fund (the “Fund”) advanced 2.84% (Institutional Shares). The Russell Midcap Growth Index, the benchmark against which we compare the performance of this Fund, increased 4.12%. The S&P 500 Index, which measures the performance of large cap companies, rose 7.04%.

      


  • Baron Small Cap Comments on Aspen Technology

    Commentary on Aspen Technology (NASDAQ:AZPN):


    During the past quarter, the Fund built out its position in new holding Aspen Technology and added to nine others. The Fund sold out of 13 stocks, as referenced before and trimmed many others.

      


  • Baron Small-Cap Fund 4th Quarter Letter

    Dear Baron Small Cap Fund Shareholder:


    Stocks rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2015, from the big sell-off in the prior quarter, as confidence in the strengths of large economies picked up. The Baron Small Cap Fund (the “Fund”) gained 4.09% (Institutional Shares) in the quarter. This is in line with the Russell 2000 Growth Index, which was up 4.32%, but trailed the S&P 500 Index, which was up 7.04%, as large-cap stocks continued to outperform smaller ones. For the year, the Fund lost 5.01%, while the Russell 2000 Growth Index was down 1.38% and the S&P 500 Index was up 1.38%.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on CarMax Inc.

    We significantly reduced our position in CarMax, Inc. (KMZ) during the fourth quarter due to concerns regarding the current highly competitive and promotional environment in the used car retail space.


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Alexion Pharmaceuticals

    We also sold our Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) position in the third quarter to harvest a tax loss. We rebuilt our position this quarter. Alexion is the premier orphan disease company, whose lead product Soliris is a lifesaving medicine for both Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). The company has expanded its efforts in orphan diseases (particularly ones with high unmet needs) with the acquisition of Strensiq for Hypophosphatasia (HPP) and Kanuma for Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency (LAL-D), both of which are approved or in the final stages of approval for launch worldwide.


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Cepheid

    Shares of Cepheid (NASDAQ:CPHD), a provider of equipment for molecular diagnostic tests, were down in the fourth quarter. The company took down full year 2015 guidance by about 1% (excluding the effects of foreign currency), and took down longer-term operating margin guidance in 2016 and 2017. Given these moves, we sold the position. While we believe the company’s technology and reach of its products is unique, we are also mindful that it could take additional time to empirically assess the ultimate success of the expansion strategy. (Randy Gwirtzman)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Golar LNG Ltd.

    Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLNG) is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping, regasification and liquefaction company. During 2015, Golar worked on a gas liquefaction project in Cameroon. While we think this project represents a great long-term investment opportunity, declining oil prices made LNG less attractive. In addition, LNG carriers have been trading at day rates that do not cover operational expenses. As a result, Golar’s stock price fell. We have exited our Golar position. (Gilad Shany)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on FireEye

    Shares of cybersecurity company FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ:FEYE) fell on reports of a disappointing third quarter and reduced fourth quarter financial expectations. Several executive departures also led to selling pressure. FireEye is shifting its focus from incident-driven sales to a more holistic risk mitigation approach that we believe will help stabilize results. We believe the trend of increasing cyberattack activity, despite ebbs and flows, is here to stay and that FireEye will be a beneficiary. We think FireEye also enjoys a lead over competition through its incident response service. (Gilad Shany)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Facebook

    Shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), the world’s largest social network, were up in the fourth quarter, driven by improved consumer engagement and monetization. Facebook is a beneficiary of the consumer engagement move to mobile. It is leveraging its leadership position in mobile to offer targeted advertising capabilities at scale. It is in the early stages of monetizing online video and Instagram, both of which hold significant growth potential in our view. We believe WhatsApp and Oculus also offer growth opportunities and possible synergies with the Facebook network. (Ashim Mehra)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on CoStar Group

    Shares of CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSGP), a real estate information and marketing services company, contributed to fourth quarter performance. The company’s financial results beat Street expectations, particularly on margin expansion. Bookings growth was strong, with net annualized subscription bookings more than doubling versus the prior year. We believe CoStar is poised to generate accelerating organic revenue growth and significant margin expansion as it leverages the multifamily marketing investments made over the last 18 months. (Neal Rosenberg)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Guidewire Software

    Shares of property and casualty insurance software vendor Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE:GWRE) rose in the fourth quarter. Guidewire is the gold standard of P&C core systems vendors, as evidenced by near-perfect retention rates, growing installed base, and accelerating adoption of its complete product suite. The company is in the early innings of a core system replacement cycle, and is dramatically expanding its addressable market through persistent innovation. We believe recent deals with six Tier 1 vendors represent a tipping point in demand. (Neal Rosenberg)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Alphabet Inc.

    Google Inc.’s new corporate name is Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) With the change, the company instituted a new holdco structure that gives management more direct oversight over its newer businesses such as Google Fiber and Calico. Alphabet’s shares rose on the strength of fourth quarter results that exceeded Street expectations. We believe that even while desktop search becomes a more mature business for the company, the company is well positioned to benefit from substantial growth in mobile and online video advertising. (Ashim Mehra)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Amazon.com

    Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) rose on strong fourth quarter results. Enhanced financial disclosures demonstrated that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was more profitable than investors anticipated. Rapid growth in the retail and AWS businesses boosted confidence in the company’s growth plans. With e-commerce comprising just 10% of global retail sales, we believe the shift to online retailing represents a multi-year growth opportunity. We also believe that, over time, the nascent AWS cloud computing opportunity will account for the majority of Amazon’s value. (Ashim Mehra)


    From the Baron Funds Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2015 commentary.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Inovalon Holdings

    Baron Growth Fund added to its position in Inovalon Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:INOV), a health care data and analytics company. The foundation of the company is a proprietary data set that contains more than 9.2 billion medical events from 127 million unique patients. This data powers Inovalon’s advanced analytics, which help insurers identify gaps in care, quality, data integrity and financial performance. Clients leverage Inovalon’s intervention platforms to drive improvement in clinical and quality outcomes, utilization, and financial performance across the healthcare landscape.


    Inovalon serves a vast addressable market. The company addresses a $14 billion annual opportunity, and we believe that logical adjacencies can increase the total addressable market by 3–4 times. We are particularly excited by a new relationship with Quest Diagnostics, which can bring Inovalon’s analytics to the commercial market. Secular drivers, particularly the need to reduce inexorable health care cost inflation and a shift to value-based from consumption-based health care, will help to sustain Inovalon’s growth. (Neal Rosenberg)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Inovalon Holdings

    Baron Growth Fund added to its position in Inovalon Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:INOV), a health care data and analytics company. The foundation of the company is a proprietary data set that contains more than 9.2 billion medical events from 127 million unique patients. This data powers Inovalon’s advanced analytics, which help insurers identify gaps in care, quality, data integrity and financial performance. Clients leverage Inovalon’s intervention platforms to drive improvement in clinical and quality outcomes, utilization, and financial performance across the healthcare landscape.

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Performance Food Group Company

    During the quarter, the Fund initiated a position in leading foodservice provider, Performance Food Group Company (NYSE:PFGC), which came public in October. PFG is the third largest player in the $240 billion U.S. foodservice distribution industry, supplying key ingredients and supplies to restaurants and fast casual chains. PFG’s larger competitors, namely Sysco and US Foods, have a centralized infrastructure that is set up to service larger and lower margin fast food chains and institutional accounts such as schools, prisons and hospitals. PFG, on the other hand, has pursued a more focused growth strategy targeting higher margin independent and local restaurants with an enhanced offering of proprietary brands. This strategy has enabled PFG to gain share and grow revenue faster than peers. The food-away-from-home industry that PFG distributes to is large and growing. At $600 billion, the segment has been growing at a 4% to 5% annual growth rate over the past two decades, as casual dining has expanded significantly. We believe PFG has a large market and margin opportunity and possesses competitive advantages, particularly a decentralized sales approach that helps foster better local relationships with customers. Finally, we believe PFG has built the right team to gain share in a growing market. The company is led by industry veteran and keen operator George Holm who, as CEO, has helped oversee strong and consistent growth for over a decade. (Matt Weiss)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Artisan Partners Asset Management

    Artisan Partners Asset Management, Inc. (NYSE:APAM), an investment manager, was formed in 1994 with a “lift out” strategy to attract top investing talent. While the corporate office focuses primarily on the distribution of a variety of the investment products, the investment professionals operate independently and autonomously. This relatively unique format has resulted in strong long-term performing products and a successful sales effort as the firm has grown to approximately $100 billion in client assets. Recent underperformance of key products, however, has led the stock to sell at what we feel are attractive prices given its long-term investment returns and its distribution force. Additionally, the company has been adding new teams in credit and developing world strategies, which is penalizing near-term profitability. However, we believe these strategies have the ability to add sizable revenue streams while also diversifying the business. (Michael Baron)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Community Health Systems

    Shares of hospital operator Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE:CYH) fell in the fourth quarter on an earnings miss driven by lower volumes and deteriorating payor mix. Concerns that the Affordable Care Act tailwind is largely over and leveraged companies will be hurt by rising interest rates also brought out sellers. We think the spinoff of Quorum Health will create value, HMA synergies will exceed initial guidance, record numbers of recruited doctors will boost admissions, more states will expand Medicaid, and deleveraging will strengthen the balance sheet. (Susan Robbins)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Dick’s Sporting Goods

    Shares of the leading sporting goods retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE:DKS) fell in the fourth quarter on reports of a weak third quarter and lowered guidance for the key holiday season. Unseasonably warm weather also impacted results. While we feel that demand for sporting goods is strong, consumers are seeking deals and discounts and migrating incremental purchases to e-commerce where Dick’s locations and merchandise are not as competitively advantaged. Dick’s e-commerce business is strong, its high margin private label opportunity is large, its chance to expand its very profitable stores is good, and a larger competitor is doing so poorly it may close stores. Dick’s is very attractively priced. (Michael Baron)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on Under Armour

    Shares of athletic apparel company Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA) fell in the fourth quarter. While the company reported another strong quarter of top line sales growth, some macro headwinds, investments, higher costs, and a product mix shift led to a temporary slowdown in income growth. Additionally, unseasonably warm weather during the important holiday season raised concerns around softer sales and discounting. (Michael Baron)

      


  • Baron Funds Comments on CoStar Group

    Shares of CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSGP), a real estate information and marketing services company, contributed to fourth quarter performance. The company’s financial results beat Street expectations, particularly on margin expansion. Bookings growth was strong, with net annualized subscription bookings more than doubling versus the prior year. We believe CoStar is poised to generate accelerating organic revenue growth and significant margin expansion as it leverages the multifamily marketing investments made over the last 18 months. (Neal Rosenberg)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s Growth Fund fourth quarter shareholder letter.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on ITC Holdings Corp

    ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE:ITC) is the nation’s largest independent transmission company. ITC’s shares rose in the fourth quarter in response to a company announcement that it is reviewing strategic alternatives to maximize value for shareholders, including a potential sale of the company. We believe ITC will be sold at a premium to the current share price. We think ITC’s stable regulatory structure, ability to earn returns on equity at the mid-to-high teens level, and above-average growth rate will appeal to buyers. (Rebecca Ellin)From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s Growth Fund fourth quarter shareholder letter.  


  • Baron Funds Comments on Vail Resorts

    Shares of Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN), an operator of ski resorts across the U.S. and Australia, increased in the fourth quarter as the company generated strong results from its first season at Perisher in Australia, as well as robust pass sales for the current ski season in the U.S. In addition, snow storms across Tahoe, Colorado, and Utah resulted in positive sentiment on the stock. The company continued to generate significant cash flow, and it has started to use it to repurchase stock. (David Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s Growth Fund fourth quarter shareholder letter.  


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