Three new companies in SKAGEN Global
The SKAGEN Global team took advantage of the turbulent start to the year to buy into three new companies, each of which offers good opportunities for a value-based investor.
Market corrections can mean good opportunities for the patient investor; this is one of the basic tenets for a value-based investor. It also applies to the equity fund SKAGEN Global, which recently bought into the Chinese search engine, Baidu, the Japanese entertainment company, Sony, and the French IT-services company, Capgemini.
Investing in China's answer to Google
Since being established as a web services company 16 years ago in Beijing, Baidu has evolved to become the Chinese equivalent of the US search engine Google. Baidu currently offers 57 online services as well as being China's largest search service. When Chinese equities fell out of favour with investors in the winter, the SKAGEN Global team took advantage of a rare opportunity to invest in Baidu at an attractive price.
The core search business is highly profitable whereas other business operations within new online services are still loss-making. The company has been punished for this by investors. The SKAGEN Global portfolio management team believe that the company will be able to curb the losses much more quickly than many analysts anticipate. This will enable Baidu to grow earnings at 30 percent per year with positive cash flow. SKAGEN Global's base case envisions 50 percent upside while a net cash balance sheet helps limit the downside to roughly 15 percent.
French and Japanese misapprehension
The investment cases of the two other new companies in SKAGEN Global's portfolio are also built around misunderstandings by analysts in the market.
Sony's history is characterised by the company's ability to create iconic products from the Walkman to the PlayStation. Many people, including analysts, mainly focus on the less attractive parts of the Sony conglomerate, e.g. image sensors and life insurance. SKAGEN Global sees Sony as a play on the structural trend of digitalisation of media and entertainment. One telling example is Sony's gaming platform, PlayStation, which is becoming the "Netflix for gaming" and thus commands huge operating leverage that is underappreciated by the market.
The same tendency applies to analysts' view of Europe's largest provider of IT services, Capgemini. The market still perceives the French company as a slightly old-fashioned, cyclical IT consulting company. The group structure has evolved positively over recent years, however, and most of the cyclical elements have been removed. The team's proprietary analytics show that Capgemini should be able to further enhance margins towards 12-13 percent, maybe even as high as 15 percent, underpinned by 5+ percent organic growth and more meaningful scale benefits.
If you would like more information about the funds' holdings, you can find these in the quarterly market report. The monthly status reports also give an overview of all the movements in the funds' various portfolios.