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Australian Equities Fund

A portfolio of Australian businesses with transparent and resilient business models

October 2022 - Monthly REPORT

AGM season sees company earnings headwinds pushed out to calendar 1H23

SUMMARY

The Fund generated a +2.7% return in the month of October.  By way of comparison, the (annual) return of the RBA cash rate + 6% equated to approximately +0.7% for the month, whilst the Australian stock market improved by +5.7%.

October is AGM season with company addresses typically providing investors with a trading update for their respective businesses.  Whilst a number of sectors surprised on the upside during the month – such as Financials, and Discretionary Retailers, overall revisions were mostly skewed to the downside.

The impact of elevated inflation and cost of living pressures was yet to take full effect in corporate trading to October, however, investors anticipate a more substantial impact on earnings to come in 1H calendar 2023. Importantly while consumer surveys continue to show a decline in consumer confidence, discretionary spending data points remain intact. Our base working assumption is that the “gravity” of higher interest rates and cost of living expenses will materialise early in the new year.

Despite an elevated level of volatility in markets, we remain as focused as ever on our primary objectives of capital preservation and generating a reasonable real return for our investors.

PORTFOLIO

Top Holdings (alphabetically)

Aristocrat Leisure
Australia
Consumer Discretionary
Aristocrat Leisure Limited manufactures and sells gaming machines in Australia and internationally. The Company also supplies gaming systems, software, table gaming equipment and other gaming related products and services to casinos, clubs and hotels.
BHP Group Ltd
Australia
Materials
BHP Group Limited operates as a mining company. The Company engages in the exploration, development, production, and processing of iron ore, metallurgical coal, and copper. BHP Group serves customers worldwide.
CBA
Australia
Financials
Commonwealth Bank of Australia provides banking, life insurance, and related services for individuals, small businesses and medium sized commercial enterprises. The Bank provides corporate and general banking, international financing, institutional banking and stock broking and funds management such as superannuation product.
Credit Corp
Australia
Financials
Credit Corp Group Limited provides collection and credit management services in Australia. The Company purchases charged-off and delinquent debts and also provides document serving and field call services, debtor location services and legal services.
CSL
Australia
Health Care
CSL Limited develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceutical and diagnostic products derived from human plasma. The Company's products include pediatric and adult vaccines, infection, pain medicine, skin disorder remedies, antivenoms, anticoagulants, and immunoglobulins.
NAB
Australia
Financials
National Australia Bank Limited (NAB) provides banking financial solutions. The Company offers internet banking, accounts, insurance, credit cards, home loans, and personal loans. NAB serves customers in Australia.
NIB Holdings
Australia
Financials
NIB Holdings Ltd. offers health insurance products. Depending on the specific product, the Company covers ambulance costs; and reimburses for costs not covered by Medicare including dental, optical, physiotherapy and natural therapies; and some hospitalization costs.
ResMed
Australia
Health Care
ResMed Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets medical equipment for the treatment of sleep disordered breathing. The Company sells diagnostic and treatment devices in various countries through its subsidiaries and independent distributors.
Telstra Group Ltd
Australia
Communication Services
Telstra Group Limited operates as a telecommunication company. The Company offers wide range of information and communication services. Telstra Group serves clients in Australia.
Woolworths
Australia
Consumer Staples
Woolworths Group Limited offers retail operations. The Company operates general merchandise consumer stores and supermarkets, as well as engages in procurement of food, liquor, and products. Woolworths Group also provides hotels which includes pubs, food, accommodation, and gaming operations. Woolworths Group serves customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Sector Breakdown

Capitalisation Breakdown

Country Breakdown

Custom Sector Breakdown

PERFORMANCE

Performance Table

NET PERFORMANCE FOR PERIODS ENDING 31 Oct 20221
1 MTH 1 YEAR 3 YEARS P.A. 5 YEARS P.A. 10 YEARS P.A. SINCE INCEPTION P.A.
Australian Equities Fund 2.7% -11.3% 1.9% 3.6% 7.2% 8.4%
Fund Objective: RBA Cash Rate plus 6% 0.7% 6.8% 6.4% 6.8% 7.5% 8.3%
ASX Accumulation All Ordinaries Index 5.7% -3.5% 5.2% 7.4% 8.9% 6.3%

Swipe horizontally to see all columns

Performance Chart

NET PERFORMANCE SINCE INCEPTION2

COMMENTARY

The Fund generated a +2.7% return in the month of October.  By way of comparison, the (annual) return of the RBA cash rate + 6% equated to approximately +0.7% for the month, whilst the Australian stock market improved by +5.7%.

The main positive contributors to performance in October were financials National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank, discretionary retailers Super Retail Group and Accent Group, and Aristocrat Leisure. The main detractors were Medibank Private (cyber security scare), NIB Insurance, BHP, Woolworths, and a revaluation of put options. Portfolio activity in August focused on taking profits from recent positive performers such as NAB and CBA as well as trimming positions in Amcor ahead of a Q1 trading update (which disappointed the market). Cash holdings continued to gradually rise throughout the month to finish at 13.3% on October 31.

The market performance in October was primarily driven by the Financials sector, with Energy continuing its strong positive contribution YTD. October is AGM season with company addresses typically providing investors with a trading update for their respective businesses. Whilst a number of sectors surprised on the upside during the month – such as Financials with expanding Net Interest Margins, and Discretionary Retailers with ongoing buoyancy in consumer spending, overall revisions were mostly skewed to the downside (i.e. the number of downward revisions was 1.5x the number of upward revisions), with high freight and energy costs and a weak AUD being key drivers of downgrades to forward estimates.

Outlook commentary remains varied as conditions have changed materially since FY22 and as a result, forecast error remains elevated. Factors such as the impact of rising rates and inflation on household budgets, rising cost pressures on corporate operating expenses – in particular around labour rates and shortages, and the rising cost of debt on corporate balance sheets continues to weigh on sentiment amongst investors. The impact of these factors was yet to take full effect in trading to October, however, investors anticipate a more substantial impact on earnings to come in 1H calendar 2023. Importantly while consumer surveys continue to show a decline in consumer confidence, discretionary spending data points remain intact. Our base working assumption is that the “gravity” of higher interest rates and cost of living expenses will materialise early in the new year.

We continue to position the portfolio with a view to navigate these challenges, ensuring exposure to business models with pricing power and low levels of price elasticity (to combat inflation) as well as those that benefit from a rising interest rate environment.  In addition, our cash balance continues to rise from a low point earlier in the year.

Despite an elevated level of volatility in markets, we remain as focused as ever on our primary objectives of capital preservation and generating a reasonable real return for our investors. We continue to believe this is best served by a disciplined approach and consistent investment methodology. A variety of good businesses run by honest and competent management teams at the right price will create a well-diversified portfolio of ever-growing cash earnings streams.

PERFORMANCE TABLE

FUND PERFORMANCE (A$, NET OF FEES)
Year Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun FUND FYTD RBA CASH RATE FYTD ASX ALL ORDS FYTD
2022/2023 6.4%-0.1%-6.1%2.7%2.4%0.7%6.5%
2021/2022 0.3%3%-0.4%-1.1%-0.6%1%-6.7%1.3%1.9%-0.6%-3%-7%-12%0.2%-7.4%
2020/2021 1.5%2%-2%1.5%10.2%2.3%-0.9%0.3%3.1%3.6%2.6%1.1%27.7%0.2%30.2%
2019/2020 3.2%0.6%1.4%-0.5%3.5%-3.3%2.3%-3.5%-19.5%8.5%6.2%0.1%-3.9%0.7%-7.2%
2018/2019 1.3%3.4%-2.5%-8%-1.6%-2%2.4%3.4%-1.1%2.9%4.9%1.2%3.6%1.5%11%
2017/2018 0.6%1%0.1%1.9%3.2%0.1%1.5%-1.3%-3%-0%2.5%1.5%8.1%1.5%13.7%
2016/2017 6.1%2.3%0.3%-3%-0.3%3.4%-0.8%0.7%1.8%1.7%-4.7%2.7%10.2%1.5%13.1%
2015/2016 3.3%-4.2%-0.6%4.1%3.4%0.2%-1.8%-3.2%3.1%0.7%4.6%-1.6%7.7%2%2%
2014/2015 1.9%1.5%-2.4%2.5%0%1.4%2.6%4%1.3%-1.7%1.1%-3.5%8.9%2.4%5.7%
2013/2014 2%2.3%1.4%2.3%-1.2%1.3%-2%1.4%-0.4%1.2%1.5%-1%9.1%2.5%17.6%
2012/2013 2.9%2.5%0.2%2.4%2.8%1.8%5.2%4.4%0%3.5%-1.3%-2.5%24%3.1%20.7%
2011/2012 -3.1%1.4%-2.4%4.7%-2.4%1%2.9%3.6%4.2%0.7%-1.1%-1.1%8.3%4.4%-7%
2010/2011 5.1%1.1%3.6%1.8%-0.1%3%0.7%1.5%1%0%-0.8%-0.5%17.4%4.7%12.2%
2009/2010 3.5%6.1%3.8%1.2%1%2.5%-3.6%1.1%3.6%-0.2%-4%-2.5%12.5%3.7%13.8%
2008/2009 -1%3.5%-4.7%-9%-5.3%3.9%0.2%-1.4%7.9%4.4%2.1%3.8%3%4.8%-22.1%

2022/2023

Jul 6.4%
Aug -0.1%
Sep -6.1%
Oct 2.7%
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun

2021/2022

Jul 0.3%
Aug 3%
Sep -0.4%
Oct -1.1%
Nov -0.6%
Dec 1%
Jan -6.7%
Feb 1.3%
Mar 1.9%
Apr -0.6%
May -3%
Jun -7%
FUND FYTD -12%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 0.2%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD -7.4%

2020/2021

Jul 1.5%
Sep -2%
Oct 1.5%
Nov 10.2%
Dec 2.3%
Jan -0.9%
Feb 0.3%
Mar 3.1%
Apr 3.6%
May 2.6%
Aug 2%
Jun 1.1%
FUND FYTD 27.7%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 0.2%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 30.2%

2019/2020

Jul 3.2%
Aug 0.6%
Sep 1.4%
Oct -0.5%
Nov 3.5%
Dec -3.3%
Jan 2.3%
Feb -3.5%
Apr 8.5%
Mar -19.5%
May 6.2%
Jun 0.1%
FUND FYTD -3.9%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 0.7%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD -7.2%

2018/2019

Jul 1.3%
Aug 3.4%
Sep -2.5%
Oct -8%
Nov -1.6%
Dec -2%
Jan 2.4%
Feb 3.4%
Mar -1.1%
Apr 2.9%
May 4.9%
Jun 1.2%
FUND FYTD 3.6%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 1.5%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 11%

2017/2018

Jul 0.6%
Aug 1%
Sep 0.1%
Oct 1.9%
Nov 3.2%
Dec 0.1%
Jan 1.5%
Feb -1.3%
Mar -3%
Apr -0%
May 2.5%
Jun 1.5%
FUND FYTD 8.1%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 1.5%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 13.7%

2016/2017

Jul 6.1%
Aug 2.3%
Sep 0.3%
Oct -3%
Nov -0.3%
Dec 3.4%
Jan -0.8%
Feb 0.7%
Mar 1.8%
Apr 1.7%
May -4.7%
Jun 2.7%
FUND FYTD 10.2%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 1.5%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 13.1%

2015/2016

Jul 3.3%
Aug -4.2%
Sep -0.6%
Oct 4.1%
Nov 3.4%
Dec 0.2%
Jan -1.8%
Feb -3.2%
Mar 3.1%
Apr 0.7%
May 4.6%
Jun -1.6%
FUND FYTD 7.7%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 2%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 2%

2014/2015

Jul 1.9%
Aug 1.5%
Sep -2.4%
Oct 2.5%
Nov 0%
Dec 1.4%
Jan 2.6%
Feb 4%
Mar 1.3%
Apr -1.7%
May 1.1%
Jun -3.5%
FUND FYTD 8.9%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 2.4%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 5.7%

2013/2014

Jul 2%
Aug 2.3%
Sep 1.4%
Oct 2.3%
Nov -1.2%
Dec 1.3%
Jan -2%
Feb 1.4%
Mar -0.4%
Apr 1.2%
May 1.5%
Jun -1%
FUND FYTD 9.1%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 2.5%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 17.6%

2012/2013

Jul 2.9%
Aug 2.5%
Sep 0.2%
Oct 2.4%
Nov 2.8%
Dec 1.8%
Jan 5.2%
Feb 4.4%
Mar 0%
Apr 3.5%
May -1.3%
Jun -2.5%
FUND FYTD 24%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 3.1%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 20.7%

2011/2012

Jul -3.1%
Aug 1.4%
Sep -2.4%
Oct 4.7%
Nov -2.4%
Dec 1%
Jan 2.9%
Feb 3.6%
Mar 4.2%
Apr 0.7%
May -1.1%
Jun -1.1%
FUND FYTD 8.3%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 4.4%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD -7%

2010/2011

Jul 5.1%
Aug 1.1%
Sep 3.6%
Oct 1.8%
Nov -0.1%
Dec 3%
Jan 0.7%
Feb 1.5%
Mar 1%
Apr 0%
May -0.8%
Jun -0.5%
FUND FYTD 17.4%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 4.7%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 12.2%

2009/2010

Jul 3.5%
Aug 6.1%
Sep 3.8%
Oct 1.2%
Nov 1%
Dec 2.5%
Jan -3.6%
Feb 1.1%
Mar 3.6%
Apr -0.2%
May -4%
Jun -2.5%
FUND FYTD 12.5%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 3.7%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD 13.8%

2008/2009

Jul -1%
Aug 3.5%
Sep -4.7%
Oct -9%
Nov -5.3%
Dec 3.9%
Jan 0.2%
Feb -1.4%
Mar 7.9%
Apr 4.4%
May 2.1%
Jun 3.8%
FUND FYTD 3%
RBA CASH RATE FYTD 4.8%
ASX ALL ORDS FYTD -22.1%

PROFILE

STATISTICAL DATA

PORTFOLIO SUMMARY
VOLATILITY3
11.5%
NUMBER OF STOCKS
25
BETA4
0.63
MAXIMUM DRAW DOWN
-23.1%

FEATURES

  • APIR CODE PCL0005AU
  • REDEMPTION PRICEA$ 1.7133
  • FEES * Management Fee: 1.025%
    Performance Fee: 10.25%
  • Minimum initial investment A$10,000
  • FUM AT MONTH END A$ 745.41m
  • STRATEGY INCEPTION DATE 1 July 2008
  • BenchmarkThe RBA Cash Rate Target plus Australian equity risk premium.

Fund Managers

Rhett Kessler

CIO and Senior Fund Manager

Anton du Preez

Deputy CIO and Fund Manager

Description

The Pengana Australian Equities Fund aims to enhance and preserve investor wealth over a 5- year period via a concentrated core portfolio of principally Australian listed securities. The Fund uses fundamental research to evaluate investments capable of generating the target return over the medium term. Essentially, we are in the business of seeking to preserve capital and make money – we are not in the business of trying to beat the market. We remain focused on acquiring and holding investments that offer predictable, sustainable and well-stewarded after-tax cash earnings yields in excess of 6% that will grow to double digit levels as a percentage of our original entry price in five years. We believe that building a well-diversified portfolio of these “gifts that keep on giving” represents a meaningful way to create and preserve financial independence for our co-investors.

EXPLORE OUR FUNDS

Harding Loevner International Fund
Harding Loevner International Fund
Axiom International Ethical Fund
Axiom International Ethical Fund
Axiom International Ethical Fund (Hedged)
Axiom International Ethical Fund (Hedged)
Australian Equities Fund
Australian Equities Fund
High Conviction Property Securities Fund
High Conviction Property Securities Fund
Global Small Companies Fund
Global Small Companies Fund
WHEB Sustainable Impact Fund
WHEB Sustainable Impact Fund
Emerging Companies Fund
Emerging Companies Fund
High Conviction Equities Fund
High Conviction Equities Fund
Pengana International Equities Limited (ASX: PIA)
Pengana International Equities Limited (ASX: PIA)
Private Equity Trust (ASX: PE1)
Private Equity Trust (ASX: PE1)
Alpha Israel Fund
Alpha Israel Fund

1. Net performance figures are shown after all fees and expenses, and assume reinvestment of distributions. The benchmark of cash rate plus 6% p.a. is included in the chart as it relates to the Fund’s investment objective and performance fee.  The Fund may invest up to 100% of its assets in equity securities.  The greater risk of investing in equities is reflected in the addition of a margin above the cash rate. No allowance has been made for buy/sell spreads. Please refer to the PDS for information regarding risks. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance, the value of investments can go up and down.
2. Inception 1st July 2008.
3. Annualised standard deviation since inception.
4. Relative to ASX All Ordinaries Index. Using daily returns.
*(including GST, net of RITC) of the increase in net asset value subject to the RBA Cash Rate & High Water Mark. For further information regarding fees please see the PDS available on our website.