Global technology stocks performed very well in the quarter and even outpaced the strong gains of the broad U.S. market. Hardware and semiconductor stocks were particularly strong, while electronic components and electronic technology names were basically flat. On a regional basis, U.S. technology stocks dramatically outperformed those in other markets.
The Global Technology Fund returned 13.28% in the quarter compared with 11.39% for the MSCI All Country World Index Information Technology and 10.99% for the Lipper Global Science / Technology Funds Index. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2013, the fund returned 39.92% versus 27.06% for the MSCI All Country World Index Information Technology and 35.10% for the Lipper Global Science / Technology Funds Index. The fund's average annual total returns were 39.92%, 29.40%, and 11.97% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of December 31, 2013. The fund's expense ratio was 0.97% as of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.
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We saw good results from our large overweight in semiconductors, and we continue to believe many companies in the segment are well positioned to benefit from global adoption of smartphones and tablets. Growing electronic penetration and the proliferation of semis in products outside of traditional tech is another driver for the sector. Our stock selection in the software sector detracted modestly. We prefer companies with unique intellectual property and strong market positions. Cloud software companies have performed particularly well, and we are mindful that valuations for certain companies may be extended. We are focused on finding the durable, longer-term winners within this rapidly growing segment.
Despite the strong rally earlier in the year, technology valuations do not appear excessive overall. While multiples are extended in certain technology subsectors, we continue to focus on identifying attractive companies through rigorous fundamental research. In particular, it is likely that semiconductor capital equipment firms will be the beneficiaries of a ramp-up in spending by foundry, logic, and memory companies.