Top Fund Managers Looking to Bounce Back

Many fund managers with strong long-term track records have been hit hard during the market’s late summer/early fall tumble. But, according to Barron’s, that makes several of those funds attractive bargains right now.

Among the funds Barron’s examines:

  • Delafield Fund: Delafield has returned 9.6% annualized over the past decade. While it’s down 16.2% this year, its managers “have been busy snapping up shares of efficient manufacturers that have gotten hammered,” writes Barron’s Michael Shari. “Following a simple formula since their start in 1993, they focus on a company’s liabilities in order to calculate how much it will ‘cost’ to own the shares for a couple of years. They’re willing to absorb a loss for a year or so while waiting for other investors to recognize the company’s earnings prospects.”
  • Manning & Napier Equity Series: The fund has averaged 10-year returns of 5.1%, but is down more than 11% this year. Manager Jeffrey Coons uses a discounted cash-flow analysis to find stocks. “Markets turn very quickly, and this market is quite volatile,” Coons says. “We think we are quite well-positioned.” One area he’s avoiding: firms that rely on government spending for their profits.
  • Eagle Mid-Cap Growth: The fund has averaged annualized returns of nearly 9% per year over the past decade, but is down about 14% this year. Manager Bert Boksen’s fund has been hit hard by some tech and cyclical holdings. He’s now  focusing on “stable” areas, “like vitamins, beauty supply and health care.” According to Shari, Boksen targets firms with accelerating earnings growth, strong balance sheets and some sort of catalyst that should provide a “kick-start”. He avoids making big bets on a single stock or sector.