In the second quarter of 2015, small-cap growth stocks extended their rally that began late in 2014. The Russell 2000 Growth Index gained nearly 2% for the quarter, easily outpacing the losses or marginally positive returns posted by large- and mid-cap equities as well as small-cap value shares. At least some of the outperformance of small-caps relative to large-caps likely stemmed from the continued strength of the dollar. Small-cap companies are significantly less reliant on revenue from foreign markets than large-caps, which means they are less affected by the reduced value of earnings from foreign sales in dollar terms. In addition, many small-cap companies continue to be attractive takeover candidates to larger-cap firms.
The New Horizons Fund returned 1.29% in the quarter compared with 1.98% for the Russell 2000 Growth Index and 1.71% for the Lipper Small-Cap Growth Funds Index. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2015, the fund returned 10.93% versus 12.34% for the Russell 2000 Growth Index and 9.63% for the Lipper Small-Cap Growth Funds Index. The fund's average annual total returns were 10.93%, 23.32%, and 11.98% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of June 30, 2015. The fund's expense ratio was 0.79% as of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.
For up-to-date standardized total returns, including the most recent month-end performance, please click on the Performance tab, above.
Current performance may be lower or higher than the quoted past performance, which cannot guarantee future results.
Share price, principal value, and return will vary and you may have a gain or loss when you sell your shares.
Our bottom-up investment process focuses on picking individual stocks, which drives the portfolio sector allocations. We strive to select companies that are either early-stage innovators with the potential to grow from the small-capitalization category into large-caps or that are firms that can durably grow over time as a result of the advantages of scale, a new technology, or an ability to increase efficiency in their markets. Information technology (27% of portfolio assets) and health care (21%) are the fund's largest sector allocations; the portfolio's technology exposure is an overweight relative to the benchmark, while it is significantly underweight health care. The next-largest allocation is to the consumer discretionary sector (21%), which is an overweight compared with the benchmark.
Small-cap growth stocks are richly priced from a historical standpoint, and we remain cognizant that it is possible for price corrections to occur that would bring small-cap growth valuations down to be more in line with historical standards. On the positive side, the U.S. economy appears capable of expanding at a healthy rate, even with subpar growth abroad. We have been focusing on finding high-quality secular winners and steering away from cyclicality-tilted companies. We remain confident in our ability to find smaller companies that are poised to grow rapidly and to hold them for the long term, even through the downturns and valuation adjustments that are part of every market cycle.