Ron Baron

Ron Baron

Last Update: 05-15-2017

Number of Stocks: 323
Number of New Stocks: 28

Total Value: $18,885 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 3%

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

Ron Baron Watch

  • Ron Baron’s Top 4 New Buys for 1st Quarter

    Baron Capital Management founder Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio) gained 28 new holdings in the first quarter. His top four purchases for the quarter are Momo Inc. (NASDAQ:MOMO), Capitol Acquisition Corp. III (NASDAQ:CLAC), Welbilt Inc. (NYSE:WBT) and John Bean Technologies Corp. (NYSE:JBT).

    Investing in mostly small to midsized companies, Baron’s firm utilizes a long-term, fundamental, active approach. The portfolio is composed of 323 stocks valued at $18.8 billion.


  • T. Boone Pickens Gains Multiple Energy Holdings in 1st Quarter

    Oil tycoon T Boone Pickens (Trades, Portfolio)’ BP Capital Fund gained 10 new holdings in the first quarter. Among his purchases were Huntsman Corp. (NYSE:HUN), Antero Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:AM), Summit Materials Inc. (NYSE:SUM), Smart Sand Inc. (NASDAQ:SND), Noble Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:NBLX) and ProPetro Holding Corp. (NYSE:PUMP).

    Pickens invests largely in the oil industry as 84.9% of his portfolio holdings are energy-related stocks. The remainder of the portfolio is composed of basic materials, ETFs, consumer cyclical and industrial stocks. Pickens’ current portfolio consists of 51 stocks valued at $218 million.


  • 7 Rising Stocks That Beat the Market

    According to GuruFocus' All-in-One Guru Screener, the following are some of the stocks that have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index over the last 12 months and were bought by gurus during the last quarter.

    Arista Networks Inc. (ANET) with a market cap of $10.05 billion has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 97.2% in the last year.


  • Tom Gayner Gains 4 New Stocks in 1st Quarter

    Markel-Gayner Asset Management Corp.’s Tom Gayner (Trades, Portfolio) gained four new holdings in the first quarter. They are Healthcare Services Group Inc. (NASDAQ:HCSG), Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE:COL).

    As president and chief investment officer of Markel-Gayner Asset Management, Gayner utilizes fundamental analysis to find value in equity and fixed-income markets in the U.S. His current portfolio consists of 133 stocks and is valued at $4.4 billion.


  • Ron Baron Comments on Tencent

    Oh, one more thing. In late March, Tencent (HKSE:00700), the largest publicly owned company in China, announced that it had acquired 5% of Tesla’s shares for $1.8 billion. Tencent is capitalized at $272 billion and is one of the fastest growing businesses in China. Tencent had purchased Tesla shares over the past two years in open market transactions and through Tesla secondary public equity offerings. Tencent’s average purchase price was $217 per share. Although Tencent’s investment in Tesla is “passive” at present, Tesla currently does about 15% of its business in China and it could be a lot easier to penetrate that very large market if Tesla had help from such a partner. We will see.

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron Comments on Tesla

    During the first quarter of 2017, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s stock price increased 30.24% to $278.30 per share. Tesla is Baron Partners Fund’s largest holding and represented 14.2% of this focused Fund’s gross portfolio investments (18.2% of net assets) at quarter end. Until 2017, Tesla’s share price had been range bound principally between $200 and $250 per share since 2014. During that period, Baron Partners Fund purchased 1.1 million Tesla shares for an average cost of $213.35 per share. At the date of this letter, Tesla’s share price was above $300 per share.

    Since 2013, Tesla has more than tripled its annual revenues to more than $7 billion. Demand for Tesla’s new and used Model S sedans and Model X crossover cars continue to exceed its production capacity and “for sale” used cars. Tesla’s $100,000 luxury “S” sedans and “X” crossovers already outsell Mercedes Benz’ luxury cars…even in Europe! While Tesla’s Models S and X represent about 8% of worldwide luxury car sales, luxury cars comprise less than 2% of worldwide automobile sales. We believe Tesla’s revenues will increase at an even faster rate following the introduction this summer of its mass market, $35,000, Model 3 sedan.


  • Ron Baron Comments on Zillow Group

    Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZG) is the leading online real estate company in the U.S. Shares were down in the first quarter after the company reported a 2017 outlook that missed Street expectations. We believe that several products launched at the end of 2016 and early this year will start to have a positive impact on Zillow’s revenue growth through 2017. As the leader of a highly fragmented market, Zillow remains well positioned to grow its share, in our view. (Ashim Mehra)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron Comments on AO World plc

    AO World plc (LSE:AO.) is the leading online seller of major domestic appliances in the U.K. Shares were down in the first quarter as the company continues to be impacted by rising manufacturing prices as the British pound weakens relative to the Euro. We expect these higher prices to stabilize later in 2017. AO continues to execute its domestic plan and take share from competitors, and we expect its German business to expand while the company works to improve terms with vendors in advance of further volume expansion. (Ashim Mehra)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron Comments on Under Armour

    Shares of athletic apparel company Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA) declined in the first quarter on reported earnings and guidance that missed Street expectations. Increased promotional activity, improved competitor positioning, and a key distributor’s bankruptcy lowered wholesale revenue. The company is attempting to diversify its wholesale distribution domestically while growing into other geographies and categories, which will likely cut into profitability over the next year, in our view. We believe many of these issues are temporary and the long-term demand and earnings potential remain relatively intact. (Michael Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron Comments on Vail Resorts

    Shares of ski resort company Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) increased in the first quarter due to increased visitation and spend levels in a strong ski season. We believe Vail’s recent acquisitions of Whistler Blackcomb, Park City, and Perisher continue to help drive season pass sales and visitation, which, in turn, help insulate earnings from poor snowfall seasons and improve cash flow. (David Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron Comments on IDEXX Laboratories

    Shares of veterinary diagnostics leader IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDXX) rose in the first quarter, rallying on strong financial results and multiple expansion. Competitive trends are strong and improving, highlighted by instrument revenue growth, domestic lab growth, rising sales productivity, and stability in rapid assays. We think that IDEXX’s direct go-to-market model coupled with meaningful research and development-driven product enhancements will put steady upward pressure on organic revenue and earnings growth over time. (Neal Rosenberg)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron Comments on Tesla

    Shares of electric vehicle company Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose during the first quarter following its launch of GigaFactory, one of the world’s largest manufacturing facilities, which will potentially drive significant cost reduction. Tesla is on target for a July 2017 launch of its mass market Model 3, potentially the largest product cycle in history. Additionally, the company’s SolarCity merger is on track, showing less cash drain than initially feared by investors. We believe a pro-U.S. jobs administration is a tailwind for Tesla as it is one of North America’s fastest growing employers. The company also raised $1.4 billion from capital markets during the period. As importantly, we think, was an announcement by Tencent, the largest publicly owned company in China, that it had acquired 5% of Tesla for $1.8 billion. (Gilad Shany/Ishay Levin)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)'s first quarter 2017 Baron Partners Fund commentary.   

  • Ron Baron's Baron Partners Fund 1st Quarter Shareholder Letter

    Baron Partners Fund’s performance during the three months ended March 31, 2017 was strong. Its share price (Institutional Shares) increased 12.15%. This compares to the 6.89% gain for its primary benchmark, the Russell Midcap Growth Index. Morningstar ranked Baron Partners Fund’s performance among the 20 best performing funds in the Morningstar US Fund Mid-Cap Growth Category during the 2017 first quarter.

    U.S. stock prices had been highly correlated regardless of underlying business fundamentals from peak prices preceding the financial panic in 2008 through the recovery that extended through 2013. They have since been meaningfully less correlated, particularly in the last two quarters. We expect stock prices to remain more closely related to the fundamentals of their underlying businesses and less correlated with each other. We expect Baron Partners Fund to benefit from this change. This is since we expect the U.S. stock market and our economy to grow 5-6% per year in nominal terms (2-3% “real”), while the businesses in which Baron Partners Fund invests in our opinion could grow 15% per year or more over the long term. We believe faster long-term growth of Baron Partners Fund’s portfolio investments will be reflected in faster appreciation than passive market benchmarks over the long term, although we cannot guarantee it will.


  • Ron Baron's First Quarter Letter to Baron Funds Shareholders

    “Would you like to know the easiest way to make a billion dollars? Take a penny. Bury it in the ground for a thousand years. Then dig.” J.P. Morgan. Chairman and Founder. J.P. Morgan & Company. 1880. “The Last Days of Night.” Graham Moore. 2016.


  • Baron Opportunity Fund Comments on Mellanox Technologies

    We sold about half of our Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX) position after the company reported a weaker-than-expected fourth quarter and gave first quarter guidance that also missed expectations. In 20/20 hindsight our sale was hasty and in error. As we dug in, we came to the conclusion that the short-term pressure on sales was merely due to timing and certain product transitions. We did not wish to compound our error, and we added back to our position even as the shares recovered. We remain quite confident in the opportunity ahead of Mellanox and its ability to capture it.

    From the Baron Opportunity Fund first quarter 2017 shareholder letter.


  • Baron Opportunity Fund Comments on Proofpoint

    We recently established a position in Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFPT). We believe it is addressing a large market opportunity through its leading cloud-based cybersecurity and archiving platform, enabling companies to protect assets such as e-mail, cloud software applications and social media. We believe Proofpoint is positioned to gain market share as customers rethink their security architecture following deployments of new cloud applications, such as Office365, as well as the rising complexity of the IT environment and the evolving cyber-threat landscape. In addition, we believe the recently announced partnerships with vendors such as Palo Alto, Splunk and McAfee should provide the company additional opportunity for accelerated growth. Lastly, we expect the company to continue to use the data it collects to create improved threat protection products, and to leverage its strong brand and customer relationships to cross- and up-sell these enhanced solutions into its expanding customer base.

    From the Baron Opportunity Fund first quarter 2017 shareholder letter.


  • Baron Opportunity Fund Comments on Varonis Systems

    We initiated a position in Varonis Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNS) this quarter. Varonis helps organizations manage and protect their unstructured human-generated data (think office documents, PDFs, etc.) through a unique mouse trap – a proprietary software engine that captures, stores and analyzes the metadata of files in real time. We like to think that Varonis is doing inside the enterprise what Google is doing over the internet – if you have an easy way to index every file and track its use, you can provide high value-add services. One of these important services is insider threat protection. Varonis enables information technology managers to understand, in real time, where their data is, who has access to it and how it’s being used. This service has proven to be a highly effective tool in combatting the growing problem of ransomware. This has been one of the fundamental growth drivers for the company over the last year. Varonis has additional products and services, which we believe over time it will be able to sell into their existing and new customers. We believe Varonis plays in a large market with strong growth trends and benign competition. We like the pace of innovation and execution of the company and its consistency and look forward to seeing more from team Varonis in the future.

    From the Baron Opportunity Fund first quarter 2017 shareholder letter.


  • Baron Opportunity Fund Comments on

    We initiated a position in Ltd. (NASDAQ:WIX) during the quarter. Wix is the global leader in the do-it-yourself website building market, with 100 million registered users and 2.5 million premium subscribers. In addition to website building, Wix provides micro-businesses with tools to run their businesses, including marketing, scheduling and relationship management, among others, while charging them only about $13 a month on average. Wix’s growth is driven by extending its horizontal and vertical features as well as increasing the number of targeted verticals, such as hotels, restaurants, e-commerce and photographers. As highlighted above, Wix’s product innovation drives increasing conversion rates and enables Wix to increase its wallet share. The source of Wix’s competitive edge is its brand name and marketing reach along with its technological lead resulting in faster iteration with first-to-market features and vertical offerings. Wix’s subscription business model yields strong cohort economics, creating a predictable and a profitable business model (acquire a cohort once, get subscriptions forever). We believe Wix has major upside as it continues to innovate and convert an increasing number of businesses to premium subscribers.

    From the Baron Opportunity Fund first quarter 2017 shareholder letter.


  • Baron Opportunity Fund Comments on SS&C Technologies Holdings

    The Fund initiated a new position in SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSNC) during the quarter. SS&C is a leading provider of mission-critical software products and services that allow financial service companies to automate and outsource business processes. SS&C offers a vast portfolio of applications and services for portfolio management and accounting, financial modeling, trading, treasury management, and in particular, fund administration. The company’s products offer critical functionality to users, carry high ROIs relative to internally-developed software or paper-based processes, and are needed to meet regulatory requirements. We were able to acquire shares at attractive prices during the quarter due to market concerns about the health of the company’s hedge fund administration business. We believe that SS&C is poised to generate accelerating organic growth as it benefits from its enhanced scale and an improved competitive environment in the fund administration space, cross-sells products and services to its dramatically expanded customer base, and focuses on revenue growth from the integration of the Advent, Citi and Wells Fargo’s fund administration services, Conifer and Primatics acquisitions. SS&C now has a business that will generate almost $500 million per year in free cash flow, which opens up optionality around capital deployment, including continued M&A activity, deleveraging and a potential return of capital to shareholders.

    From the Baron Opportunity Fund first quarter 2017 shareholder letter.


  • Baron Opportunity Fund Comments on Synchrony Financial

    Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), the largest issuer of private label credit cards in the U.S., reported better-than-expected financial results with 12% growth in receivables, 13% growth in net interest income and significant margin expansion. However, the stock underperformed due to increasing concerns over consumer credit and broader underperformance of bank stocks, reversing their significant outperformance in the aftermath of the election. We continue to own the stock because we believe credit losses will be manageable and that the company has a long runway for profitable growth. (Josh Saltman)

    From the Baron Opportunity Fund first quarter 2017 shareholder letter.


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