Deep value investing has the potential to discover these mispriced securities and seeks to outperform the broad global equity markets while exhibiting lower volatility over a full market cycle. It aims to provide consistent added value across market cycles with meaningful downside risk mitigation.Philosophy and Process: Deep Value Equity Investing at PIMCODeep value investing at PIMCO emphasizes a diversified portfolio of stocks that we believe are significantly undervalued relative to what we have determined to be their intrinsic worth – that is, undervalued based on either an asset-based valuation or an earnings based valuation of their business – and the gains they may be reasonably expected to offer over time. A company’s stock can be undervalued because of a disappointing earnings report, a restructuring, a lawsuit, management that failed to deliver results, an adverse short-term cyclical trend, or some other perceived negative. Value investors in general seek to profit from investors’ tendency to overreact to this negative information and to punish the shares of even those companies with long-term potential. As companies that fall out of favor can sometimes stay out of favor for an extended period of time, PIMCO Pathfinder Strategy anticipates a three- to five-year investment horizon for typical deep value equity holdings. Determining a security’s intrinsic value entails rigorous evaluation of the company’s fundamentals, industry trends, competitors and the global economic environment for its goods and services. The initial step is to locate securities that are candidates for this thorough evaluation process. Seeking stocks primarily in developed economies around the world, portfolio managers and analysts study annual reports and company filings, and sift through information on corporate actions, restructurings, spin-offs, mergers and acquisitions, and also consult extensive networks of industry contacts, including high-level company management. In addition, the team visits companies worldwide to engage face-to-face with senior management and to get a first hand view of operations.The fundamental bottom-up analysis that underpins deep value investing seeks securities with compelling ratios of upside potential relative to downside risk: steeply discounted stocks of strong businesses. The steep discount coupled with solid company fundamental analysis is intended to help ensure each investment has an appropriate margin of safety.Companies sought are likely to display one or more of these favorable characteristics: solid earnings power and free cash flow generation; sustainable business models and competitive advantages that translate into assets overlooked by the markets; the flexibility to restructure inefficiencies; and capable, steady, shareholder-friendly management.
In addition, the securities will typically have identifiable catalysts either within a company’s operations or its capital structure, or in the market environment itself, that can be used to help unlock its underlying value. The “value” in deep value investing means more than just evaluating a “bargain” – it speaks to the real worth inherent in many of these companies, and the potential shareholder benefit should the stocks appreciate from what may very well be deeply mispriced levels.Analysts use several methods to search for mispriced stocks. Multiples-based fundamentals (ratios of price-to-earnings, price-to-cash-flow, price-to-book, price-to-sales) can help to pinpoint stocks whose market price is well below the determined intrinsic value of the businesses. Free cash flow yields can be assessed against the averages across industry peers and a high free cash flow yield may indicate an attractive company. Ultimately, however, either an asset-based valuation or an earnings based valuation tends to drive our estimate of a stock’s intrinsic value.Understanding the equity as a business – thinking like an owner – is a critical component of the deep value approach. It entails ongoing contact with top-level management to understand their current thoughts on the operation of the business. At times it can also mean advising them on how they may be able to create value for their shareholders, as PIMCO Pathfinder Strategy actively pursues the activation of catalysts that may help to realize intrinsic value.Working to realize profit potential in a deep value strategy involves adhering to a discipline of knowing when to buy and when to sell: endeavoring to buy at a specific discount (for example, a 30% discount to intrinsic value) and selling when the securities are trading at prices approaching what we have determined to be their intrinsic value. The strategy anticipates three- to five-year investment horizons for typical deep value equity holdings. However, it may liquidate holdings that don’t meet its investment objectives when it is appropriate to do so.An active deep value investment strategy will likely involve significant deviations from benchmark exposures and is not managed with the objective of limiting tracking error.Supplemental Strategies for Deep Value In addition to undervalued securities from a broad range of global markets, deep value investing at PIMCO also incorporates alternative strategies in merger arbitrage and other special situations.Merger arbitrage has the potential to generate equity-like returns with low volatility and relatively low correlation to the overall market, by seeking to capture the spread between the current price of the target company and the ultimate takeover price upon acquisition. Such investments can complement a deep value equity portfolio, and may help to improve a portfolio's overall risk and return.
In merger arbitrage, PIMCO Pathfinder Strategy’s focus is on announced actions, which then undergo thorough due diligence, in an effort to improve results and obtain a reasonable margin of safety. In line with a conservative approach, PIMCO Pathfinder Strategy does not use leverage for these investments.Managing Risk in Deep Value InvestingThe deep value investment process strives to identify and mitigate downside risks in all market environments. Sources of risk in equity selection can include security overvaluation (overestimating the intrinsic value), excessive leverage, flawed business models and inadequate company management. Sources of risk in portfolio construction can include individual company risk, sector or industry risk, overall equity market risk, and/or currency risk.Risk management techniques include thorough fundamental research, a disciplined buy strategy focused on purchasing at a significant discount to intrinsic value with an attractive margin of safety, a disciplined sell strategy as the security approaches its intrinsic value or the investment thesis changes, and selective hedging strategies with currency forwards and derivatives. Constructing a diversified portfolio of stocks we have determined to be deeply discounted, with investments in alternative strategies such as merger arbitrage, which have low to moderate correlations to the market, should also help lower the overall volatility of the portfolio. At the portfolio level, the strategy will tactically hedge currency, equity market and other risk exposures as appropriate. In addition, the willingness of the managers to hold a relatively elevated level of cash if the managers think it is appropriate to do so, can help mitigate systemic downside risk. Integrating Bottom-Up Security Analysis with PIMCO’s Research Inputs to Maximize ValueDeep value investing at PIMCO draws on the PIMCO Pathfinder Strategy team’s disciplined and time-tested investment process, combining thorough fundamental security analysis with PIMCO’s expertise in credit research and global economic analysis. Economic views can be a very helpful “input” into the analytical process, as companies don’t exist in a vacuum. Economic variables such as one’s outlook on interest rates or inflation can be critical in assessing the value of a security. Deep value investors with access to highly developed secular and cyclical economic outlook analysis have a potential advantage in evaluating the full spectrum of global economies, industries, firms and individual securities.The deep value portfolio management team can also tap into other benefits of the PIMCO platform, including deep resources in cash and currency management, policy research and operational execution. In addition, PIMCO’s size and reach in the marketplace may offer unique insights into and opportunities with top-level company management. Given these combined resources, PIMCO’s deep value portfolio managers can focus their efforts on uncovering fundamentally attractive, yet potentially out-of-favor and undervalued companies, at a price which they believe includes a reasonable margin of safety, in their attempt to produce attractive risk-managed returns for investors.
Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results . Equities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic, and industry conditions. Investments in value securities involve the risk that the market’s value assessment may differ from the manager and the performance of the securities may decline. Investing in securities of smaller companies tends to be more volatile and less liquid than securities of larger companies. Investing in distressed companies (both debt and equity) is speculative and may be subject to greater levels of credit, issuer and liquidity risks, and the repayment of default obligations contains significant uncertainties; such companies may be engaged in restructurings or bankruptcy proceedings. Investing in foreign denominated and/or domiciled securities may involve heightened risk due to currency fluctuations, and economic and political risks, which may be enhanced in emerging markets. Investments in companies engaged in mergers, reorganizations or liquidations may involve special risks as pending deals may not be completed on time or on favorable terms. High-yield, lower-rated, securities involve greater risk than higher-rated securities; portfolios that invest in them may be subject to greater levels of credit and liquidity risk than portfolios that do not. Derivatives may involve certain costs and risks such as liquidity, interest rate, market, credit, management and the risk that a position could not be closed when most advantageous. Investing in derivatives could lose more than the amount invested. Diversification does not ensure against loss.
This material contains the current opinions of the managers and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material is distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO and YOUR GLOBAL INVESTMENT AUTHORITY are trademarks or registered trademarks of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. and Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, respectively, in the United States and throughout the world. ©2013, PIMCO.
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