Baron Global Advantage Fund (BGAIX)

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

Institutional Performance

Review and Outlook (for quarter ended 9/30/2014)

The Review and Outlook for period ending September 30, 2014 is not yet available

Top Contributors/Detractors to Performance

Contributors (for quarter ended 9/30/2014)
  • Shares of leading Chinese tutoring services provider TAL Education Group rose significantly in Q3. Performance was driven by strong reported results, with 45% revenue growth and improved gross margins on a favorable mix-shift towards small classes. The company also expanded into three new cities, bringing its physical presence to 19 cities. Given its strong reputation in math and science, high barriers to entry, and strong margin and cash flow characteristics, we think TAL is well positioned for solid growth over the next few years.

  • Facebook Inc. is the world's largest social network. Shares of Facebook were up in Q3 on reports of continued improvements in consumer engagement and mobile monetization. We believe that Facebook is in the early innings of building out its global advertising business while investing in newer synergistic offerings such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. supplies semiconductor-based systems for computing, storage and communications applications that connect servers to servers and servers to storage. Mellanox's stock rose on reports of better Q2 results and Q3 guidance, as the latest generation of Intel chips spurred customer demand for high performance interconnect systems. We believe we are still in the early innings of the Mellanox growth story.

Detractors (for quarter ended 9/30/2014)
  • Shares of Incorporated, a leading digital couponing platform, declined sharply on news of disappointing Q2 results. Digital coupons represented less than 1% of total U.S. consumer packed goods (CPG) coupon distribution volume in 2012, but accounted for almost 7% of all U.S. CPG coupon redemptions. We believe that, as a market leader, has considerable room for expansion going forward.

  • Shares of Benefitfocus, Inc. fell in Q3, 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.

  • AO World plc is the leading online seller of major domestic appliances in the U.K., with a 10% market share. Shares fell in Q3 due to contractions in valuations for the online sector in the UK over the past several months. We think AO's unique supply chain and customized software give it a strong competitive advantage, and we believe it can be several times larger over the next few years as it expands into new product categories and continental Europe. It took its first step overseas with its September 30 launch of a website in Germany.

Quarterly Attribution Analysis

This Fund does not have an Attribution Analysis for this time period.

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