Baron Global Advantage Fund (BGAFX)

Portfolio Management

Alex Umansky

Fund Manager since 2012

View All Commentary by Alex

Fund Description

Baron Global Advantage Fund invests in growth companies of all sizes anywhere.


Portfolio Commentary

Retail Performance

Review and Outlook (for quarter ended 3/31/2014)

The Review and Outlook for period ending March 31, 2014 is not yet available

Top Contributors/Detractors to Performance

Contributors (for quarter ended 3/31/2014)
  • Shares of Illumina, Inc., the leading provider of next generation DNA sequencing instruments and consumables, rose in Q1, driven by better than expected Q4 financial results, strong 2014 financial guidance, and the announcement of multiple new product introductions, including an ultra-high throughput sequencing platform that will be the first to sequence a full human genome for less than $1,000. We believe Illumina has further distanced itself from its competitors and holds an effective monopoly on DNA sequencing at a time when demand is accelerating.

  • Inc. is a leading digital couponing platform. We participated in’s recent IPO as we believe it should benefit from secular growth around the early penetration of digital coupons. Digital coupons represented less than 1% of U.S. coupons in 2012, but accounted for almost 7% of total coupons used. Looking ahead, we believe that will benefit from the increasing prevalence of online couponing through mobile app offerings from retail loyalty programs and companies like Paypal.

  • Shares of Sarana Menara Nusantara Tbk PT, the largest independent owner of wireless towers in Indonesia, increased during Q1, after reporting a strong Q4, including 23% organic lease growth. We think the well-capitalized Indonesian carriers will continue improving their 3G data coverage, which will require more equipment space on towers. Sarana’s ability to deploy capital at high rates of return should continue throughout 2014.

Detractors (for quarter ended 3/31/2014)
  • Yandex N.V. is the leading search engine provider in Russia. The stock was a detractor in Q1 due to a decline in the Russian ruble and rising geopolitical tension over Crimea. Although we expect the conflict to negatively impact the company's growth rate going forward, we continue to hold shares in Yandex due to its strong competitive positioning and positive long-term growth prospects relative to its current valuation.

  • Shares of, Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, fell due to weaker than anticipated revenue growth in Q4. We expect the company to improve growth rates going forward. Amazon continues to expand into large new growth markets, including apparel, consumer product goods, consumer electronics, grocery, and Amazon Web Services. Given that e-commerce still represents less than 10% of retail sales today, we believe that the ongoing shift to online retailing represents a multi-year opportunity from which Amazon should benefit.

  • Sina Corporation is a leading Chinese Internet portal and the majority owner of SINA Weibo, the largest Twitter-like microblogging service in China. Sina was a detractor in Q1 due to concerns over slowing user growth, as well as the dilutive impact of the pending IPO of Weibo, where Alibaba exercised its option to increase its stake in Weibo from 18% to 30%. We continue to own shares in Sina as we believe Weibo is worth more than its current embedded valuation.

Quarterly Attribution Analysis (for quarter ended 3/31/2014)

The Quarterly Attribution Analysis for period ending March 31, 2014 is not yet available

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