U.S. stocks started 2019 with the best January since 1987 and the best monthly gain since 2015. This sets up 2019 for a positive annual return based on historical data since 1936. The FOMC statement that the Fed would now be ‘patient’ on future rate changes and Chairman Powell’s statement that balance sheet ‘normalization’ would end sooner than expected, plus a robust employment report, all combined to spark investor sentiment to buy stocks.
Gabelli’s Private Market Value (PMV) with a Catalyst™ stock selection research ideas — Liberty Braves (BATRA), Energizer Holdings (ENR), 21st Century Fox (FOX), Herc Holdings (HRI), MGM Resorts International (MGM), Navistar International (NAV), Griffon (GFF) and updates on Textron (TXT) and GCP Applied Technologies (GCP) — were highlighted as seven ‘stock picks’ and two updates at BARRON’S 2019 Roundtable published in the January 21 issue.
Cambridge, MA based GCP Applied Technologies is a producer of cement, concrete additives, and weatherproofing for commercial construction and benefits from infrastructure spending. Swiss chemical company Sika AG is acquiring French rival Parex for $2.5 billion in the ongoing consolidation of the building materials industry. Sika recently fended off a hostile takeover from France’s Saint-Gobain. As a niche player, GCP is an appealing potential target.
Providence, RI based Textron continues to take share with new models as the long cycle in business jets unfolds. NetJets, the shared jet ownership division of Berkshire Hathaway, recently announced a deal to buy up to 175 Cessna Citation Longitude and 150 Hemisphere jets. Textron has a top notch management team.
Global M&A announced deal volumes were $4.1 trillion in 2018 with a strong first half driven by ‘megadeals’ greater than $10 billion in size. Companies will continue to focus on unlocking value with deal activity in 2019 as spin-offs and split-offs, often catalyzed by increased pressure by activists, remain center stage.
We continue to scour the market for great companies to invest in and are focused on fundamental opportunities globally. The small and mid-cap space continues to be well valued and the long term upside, thanks to financial engineering, serves to be fruitful for investors. The consumer and a focus on global infrastructure and development are major themes to keep an eye on as we begin the year. Trump and Trade remain at the forefront in the U.S. and as the dust settles globally economic questions remain open ended throughout Europe and Asia, leading many to raise cash and reevaluate the markets as future volatility remains a key driver for both sentiment and relations both at the personal and macro levels.
Column written by Michael Gabelli from Gabelli Funds
To access our proprietary value investment methodology, and dedicated merger arbitrage portfolio we offer the following UCITS Funds in each discipline:
GAMCO MERGER ARBITRAGE
GAMCO Merger Arbitrage UCITS Fund, launched in October 2011, is an open-end fund incorporated in Luxembourg and compliant with UCITS regulation. The team, dedicated strategy, and record dates back to 1985. The objective of the GAMCO Merger Arbitrage Fund is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing primarily in announced equity merger and acquisition transactions while maintaining a diversified portfolio. The Fund utilizes a highly specialized investment approach designed principally to profit from the successful completion of proposed mergers, takeovers, tender offers, leveraged buyouts and other types of corporate reorganizations. Analyzes and continuously monitors each pending transaction for potential risk, including: regulatory, terms, financing, and shareholder approval.
Merger investments are a highly liquid, non-market correlated, proven and consistent alternative to traditional fixed income and equity securities. Merger returns are dependent on deal spreads. Deal spreads are a function of time, deal risk premium, and interest rates. Returns are thus correlated to interest rate changes over the medium term and not the broader equity market. The prospect of rising rates would imply higher returns on mergers as spreads widen to compensate arbitrageurs. As bond markets decline (interest rates rise), merger returns should improve as capital allocation decisions adjust to the changes in the costs of capital.
Broad Market volatility can lead to widening of spreads in merger positions, coupled with our well-researched merger portfolios, offer the potential for enhanced IRRs through dynamic position sizing. Daily price volatility fluctuations coupled with less proprietary capital (the Volcker rule) in the U.S. have contributed to improving merger spreads and thus, overall returns. Thus our fund is well positioned as a cash substitute or fixed income alternative.
Our objectives are to compound and preserve wealth over time, while remaining non-correlated to the broad global markets. We created our first dedicated merger fund 32 years ago. Since then, our merger performance has grown client assets at an annualized rate of approximately 10.7% gross and 7.6% net since 1985. Today, we manage assets on behalf of institutional and high net worth clients globally in a variety of fund structures and mandates.
Class I USD – LU0687944552
Class I EUR – LU0687944396
Class A USD – LU0687943745
Class A EUR – LU0687943661
Class R USD – LU1453360825
Class R EUR – LU1453361476
GAMCO ALL CAP VALUE
The GAMCO All Cap Value UCITS Fund launched in May, 2015 utilizes Gabelli’s its proprietary PMV with a Catalyst™ investment methodology, which has been in place since 1977. The Fund seeks absolute returns through event driven value investing. Our methodology centers around fundamental, research-driven, value based investing with a focus on asset values, cash flows and identifiable catalysts to maximize returns independent of market direction. The fund draws on the experience of its global portfolio team and 35+ value research analysts.
GAMCO is an active, bottom-up, value investor, and seeks to achieve real capital appreciation (relative to inflation) over the long term regardless of market cycles. Our value-oriented stock selection process is based on the fundamental investment principles first articulated in 1934 by Graham and Dodd, the founders of modern security analysis, and further augmented by Mario Gabelli in 1977 with his introduction of the concepts of Private Market Value (PMV) with a Catalyst™ into equity analysis. PMV with a Catalyst™ is our unique research methodology that focuses on individual stock selection by identifying firms selling below intrinsic value with a reasonable probability of realizing their PMV’s which we define as the price a strategic or financial acquirer would be willing to pay for the entire enterprise. The fundamental valuation factors utilized to evaluate securities prior to inclusion/exclusion into the portfolio, our research driven approach views fundamental analysis as a three pronged approach: free cash flow (earnings before, interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, minus the capital expenditures necessary to grow/maintain the business); earnings per share trends; and private market value (PMV), which encompasses on and off balance sheet assets and liabilities. Our team arrives at a PMV valuation by a rigorous assessment of fundamentals from publicly available information and judgement gained from meeting management, covering all size companies globally and our comprehensive, accumulated knowledge of a variety of sectors. We then identify businesses for the portfolio possessing the proper margin of safety and research variables from our deep research universe.
Class I USD – LU1216601648
Class I EUR – LU1216601564
Class A USD – LU1216600913
Class A EUR – LU1216600673
Class R USD – LU1453359900
Class R EUR – LU1453360155
The information and any opinions have been obtained from or are based on sources believed to be reliable but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. No responsibility can be accepted for any consequential loss arising from the use of this information. The information is expressed at its date and is issued only to and directed only at those individuals who are permitted to receive such information in accordance with the applicable statutes. In some countries the distribution of this publication may be restricted. It is your responsibility to ﬁnd out what those restrictions are and observe them.
Some of the statements in this presentation may contain or be based on forward looking statements, forecasts, estimates, projections, targets, or prognosis (“forward looking statements”), which reﬂect the manager’s current view of future events, economic developments and ﬁnancial performance. Such forward looking statements are typically indicated by the use of words which express an estimate, expectation, belief, target or forecast. Such forward looking statements are based on an assessment of historical economic data, on the experience and current plans of the investment manager and/or certain advisors of the manager, and on the indicated sources. These forward looking statements contain no representation or warranty of whatever kind that such future events will occur or that they will occur as described herein, or that such results will be achieved by the fund or the investments of the fund, as the occurrence of these events and the results of the fund are subject to various risks and uncertainties. The actual portfolio, and thus results, of the fund may differ substantially from those assumed in the forward looking statements. The manager and its affiliates will not undertake to update or review the forward looking statements contained in this presentation, whether as result of new information or any future event or otherwise.