Abbott Laboratories aims to keep hearts healthy and to nourish bodies at every stage of life by giving their customers information and medicines to manage our health. They create breakthrough products – in diagnostics, medical devices, nutrition and branded generic pharmaceuticals.
Adidas is the largest manufacturer of sportswear and sporting equipment in Europe and the second largest globally with 12% market share. Adidas is a global brand and well-managed company with good underlying growth. They have started to take market shares in the lucrative US market, and we see many years of strong growth ahead.
Alibaba operates China’s largest online ecommerce marketplace, matching over 300 million buyers to 8.5 million sellers with more than one billion product listings. Alibaba has market share of over 70% in China and exceptional growth prospects given the rapid growth in ecommerce in China. Alibaba also has a 37.5% interest in AliPay, China’s PayPal equivalent.
Cerner is the world’s largest Healthcare software application provider with a range of solutions for the needs of healthcare organisations. This includes electronic medical records, practise management and billing systems, as well as applications in the area of population health management (data analytics which predicts medical care requirements for patient populations). Cerner’s software is critical to their clients operations. Switching costs are high and switching tendencies are low. They have superior technology that has allowed them to continuously win market share as the industry consolidates. Cerner has a strong track record and attractive growth outlook as a result of increasing IT requirements in the healthcare sector.
Cognizant is a leading IT services company providing information technology, consulting and business services to a range of mainly larger global companies. Cognizant is a wide moat company that is deeply ingrained with its customers as a partner in IT and wider business strategy. Cognizant has invested heavily to position itself to capture the significant move of IT towards digital (social, media, analytics and cloud) which should underpin long term growth. Furthermore, Cognizant have a strong management team and a great track record of growth and innovation.
Core Laboratories is the leading, stand-alone service provider of proprietary and patented reservoir services to the oil and gas industry. The company has a strong value proposition, generating high returns for its customers at a relatively low cost. Core Labs operates in over a quarter of the world’s active oil fields, where its products and services are used to both increase the total volume of oil recovered and reduce overall production costs. CLB has a strong moat through its extensive, and hard to replicate, library of reservoir data and technical know-how acquired over decades of operations.
Descartes is a logistics software business. Descartes business moat is centred on its Global Logistics Network (GLN). The GLN connects supply chain participants, in real time, giving visibility and control of movement of goods across increasingly regulated and complex global supply chains.
Ecolab is the global market leader that provides cleaning and sanitising solutions for the foodservice, hospitality and healthcare industries. They also provide chemicals and technologies to the water treatment and oil production industries. Ecolab offers a strong value proposition for its vast client base with their product innovations resulting in reduced energy and water usage, lower labour costs and reduced downtime. Ecolab is a high quality company that invests significantly more than its competitors into developing innovative products and this has resulted in continued market share gains. Ecolab has an excellent record of predictable growth and strong growth prospects.
Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring. Driven by a passion to help patients, the company collaborates with the world’s leading clinicians and researchers to address unmet healthcare needs, working to improve patient outcomes and enhance lives.
Essilor International SA designs, manufactures and sells ophthalmic lenses and ophthalmic optical instruments. The company operates through three business segments: Lenses & Optical Instruments, Equipment, and Sunglasses & Readers. The Lenses & Optical Instruments business segment engages in the production, finishing, distribution and trading of lens and instruments. The Equipment business segment engages in the production, distribution and sale of high capacity equipment, such as digital surfacing machines and lens polishing machines, used in manufacturing plants and prescription laboratories for finishing operations on semi-finished lenses. The Sunglasses & Readers business segment engages in the production, distribution and sale of both non-prescription sunglasses and non-prescription reading glasses.
Expedia is the largest online travel agent (OTA) in the US and is ranked in the top 2 in most markets globally. The company has very strong network and scale moats. The network moat means that hotels only want to sign up with OTAs that have a large audience of travellers, and travellers only want to search on an OTA with a lot of properties. Expedia offers exposure both to solid growth in the global travel market as well as increased penetration of online bookings. We expect Expedia to grow earnings at mid teen rates for the next 5 years. The company is highly profitable, generates return on capital in excess of 20% with strong capital discipline.
Facebook owns four of the worlds’ most dominant social network and messaging platforms. Despite recent concerns over data privacy, Facebook’s recent results have shown a return to active user growth in its key US market, and the addition of 70 million monthly active users globally in the first quarter.
Fresenius is the market leader in the global dialysis industry, and is the only vertically integrated player –providing both products and services to the dialysis market. As kidney disease becomes more prevalent in an aging population, dialysis and associated treatments are becoming an increasing proportion of overall healthcare costs. Fresenius’ depth of knowledge and data around dialysis should allow them to improve patient outcomes while reducing the overall cost of treatment for this growing global dialysis population.
Google owned by Alphabet is the world’s leading internet search provider, the world’s most visited web property and the largest global advertising platform by advertising revenue. Google has high moats arising from scale, high switching costs and a strong brand which contribute to very strong returns on invested capital.
Hexcel is a global leader in advanced composites technology – offering a range of stronger, lighter and tougher. Operating in commercial aerospace, industrial, space and defence industries, Hexcel offers hundreds of products in multiple markets around the world.
Icon is a healthcare company that provides specialized services in clinical trial management for the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
LKQ Corp is the largest distributor of replacement parts and components needed to repair cars and trucks in the US and Europe. The value proposition is strong, as these alternative parts cost 20%-50% less than new parts and have been growing in popularity with auto repair shops and insurers. LKQ is the largest and only nationwide distributor of these parts in the US and is growing its footprint in Europe. We believe LKQ can grow strongly over the next few years with minimal impact from the economic cycle.
MasterCard is the second largest payment network in the world, operating in 210 countries and supporting more than 2 billion cards across its network. MasterCard’s growth outlook is underpinned by the secular shift to electronic payments and away from cash, particularly in emerging markets where MasterCard has significant presence. These structural growth drivers combined with increasing margins and high cash flow generation (allowing for substantial share buybacks) supports a strong growth outlook over the medium to long term.
PayPal is a technology-enabled provider of payment solutions, enjoying relationships with over 10 million merchants and 169 million consumers spanning the globe. The company is most well-known for its online payments technology where consumers can purchase online using their PayPal account in a way that is highly secure and doesn’t require sending credit card details over the internet.
United Parcel Service (UPS) is the world’s largest package delivery company and operates in over 220 countries and territories with its fleet of 100,000 ground vehicles and 530 aircraft. The market dynamics of the global freight industry are compelling, with high barriers to entry given the need for a large international network and delivery route density to be competitive. In addition to the strength of their business model, UPS are set to benefit from the growth in ecommerce activity and increasing cross-border trade volumes in Asia and Europe.
Zoetis a leader in the animal health space (both livestock and companion animal) – an industry with some attractive attributes. Zoetis has strong moats built around IP, brand and a large direct sales force giving them access to key decision makers (including veterinarians) and end-users. The growth runway is underpinned by a couple of secular growth drivers – increased global protein requirements and increased pet ownership and ‘humanisation’ of pets.
Portfolio holdings summary as at 28 February 2019
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