The blue chip benchmarks were roughly flat for the second quarter, as relief over resilient corporate earnings growth and enthusiasm about a reaccelerating U.S. economy gave way to worries over the ongoing Greek debt crisis and a plunge in Chinese stocks. Media and telecom stocks outperformed the broader market, driven mainly by the performance of media shares. Telecom services stocks also saw decent gains, but telecom equipment shares declined sharply.
The Media & Telecommunications Fund returned 3.58% in the quarter compared with 1.80% for the Lipper Telecommunication Funds Average. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2015, the fund returned 7.51% versus 2.51% for the Lipper Telecommunication Funds Average. The fund's average annual total returns were 7.51%, 20.22%, and 14.72% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of June 30, 2015. The fund's expense ratio was 0.80% as of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.
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Our overweight in media as well as our stock selection within the group benefited results. We generally perceive fewer opportunities among telecom firms than we do elsewhere, as telecom operators in most markets are facing either regulatory or competitive issues. This belief was reflected in our significant underweight in the segment, which also benefited results. Conversely, our stock selection in information services weighed on relative returns, as did not owning any semiconductor shares. We remain active investors in non-U.S. opportunities, particularly in the burgeoning Chinese online media and e-commerce markets.
Our perspective remains basically unchanged from the previous quarter. We expect that a muted global economic environment will continue to offer modest returns for most stocks in our universe. While we do perceive some pockets of attractive valuations, relatively full valuations will also likely keep a lid on gains. Traditional media firms will continue to struggle with a soft advertising market, but even more so as viewers migrate to other content sources; although, the transition to online video is proceeding slower than we expected given the need to secure agreements with individual broadcast stations. As a result, we are focusing on high-quality companies with strong brands that are less susceptible to declining advertising spending. With one important merger and acquisition (M&A) announced within the cable industry during the quarter, we believe that the pace of M&A in cable and telecom is likely to slow given the need to digest the current deals.