Some extraordinary moves in stock prices over the past few weeks have provided some great opportunities for long-term investors in high quality international companies.
The Esk Global Equity Fund added to one existing position in February and commenced two new positions. We are continuing with this process in March.
We added to our long-standing holding in L’Oréal on two occasions in late February as their share price sank back. We were particularly pleased to have this opportunity to add to this quality company as we had been looking for an opportunity to increase our weighting.
Their full-year results in February were impressive, beating most expectations. Naturally, they will suffer from the effects of the coronavirus but fully expect them to recover.
In a similar vein, we began to build a holding in one of the ultimate luxury goods companies, Hermes International, in the closing week of the month. Hermes balance sheet is of similar high quality to its products, we hope to see more opportunities to add to the shareholding.
A new addition to the portfolio is the Japanese Company, M3 Inc., which supplies medical information services for doctors over the internet. We acquired this holding over a ten-day period during the month as their stock price slipped back.
It has been a particularly uncomfortable period for the financial stocks in the Fund’s portfolio, though we are under-weight in the sector generally. It has also been difficult for the oil sector though, again, we have a less than 2% weighting to the area.
The portfolio does not contain any airline or travel companies. A long-term perspective, and policy to invest in quality companies in developed markets, allows us to feel more sanguine about current concerns that we expect to abate over the remainder of the year.