Global equities climbed in the quarter amid signs that the U.S. economy was recovering from a weather-driven contraction in the first quarter and hopes that new stimulus measures in Europe would boost eurozone economies. Corporate merger activity was supportive, and signs of a de-escalation of the crisis in Ukraine were encouraging. Within the global technology universe, hardware and semiconductors stocks performed very well, while media and software shares lagged. Notably, IT services firms were the sole notable segment to record a loss for the period.
The Global Technology Fund returned 9.45% in the quarter compared with 6.34% for the MSCI All Country World Index Information Technology and 6.25% for the Lipper Global Science / Technology Funds Index. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, the fund returned 51.65% versus 31.62% for the MSCI All Country World Index Information Technology and 33.91% for the Lipper Global Science / Technology Funds Index. The fund's average annual total returns were 51.65%, 24.73%, and 12.90% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of June 30, 2014. The fund's expense ratio was 0.95% as of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2013. Investors should note that the fund's short-term performance is highly unusual and unlikely to be sustained.
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We remain overweight in the media segment, where many companies are benefiting from the increased global penetration of Internet connectivity and the adoption of online services. Market-leading companies continue to exploit the increased global demand for data, content, and e-commerce. Conversely, we are underweight in IT services, which faces long-term challenges as companies are increasingly moving toward cloud-based software that requires less implementation work than traditional large, complex installations at each customer's location.
The sharp correction that began in March negatively affected biotechnology and Internet-related companies, a trend that continued through most of May. However, we were able to use this opportunity to add to select stocks with strong fundamental cases and outsized growth potential that were trading at steep discounts. We also added to a handful of durable growth companies with attractive earnings profiles whose prospects may be underappreciated by the market. Overall, valuations for the technology sector are reasonable, but quite full in some cases. Given the current environment, we do not expect outsized returns from particular segments of the market. Instead, we remain focused on seeking select opportunities through rigorous fundamental research.