Baron FinTech: “We See a Long Runway for Growth and Competitive Advantages on SPGI”

Baron Funds, an investment management firm, published its fourth quarter 2020 “Baron FinTech Fund” investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of 13.61% was recorded by its Retail Shares, and 13.67% by its Institutional Shares in the fourth quarter of 2020, both below its  FactSet Global FinTech Benchmark that delivered a 21.35% return but above its S&P 500 index that was up by 12.15% in the same period. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.

Baron FinTech Fund, in their Q4 2020 investor letter, mentioned S&P Global Inc. (NYSE: SPGI) and emphasized their views on the company. S&P Global Inc. is a New York-based independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics, and data provider that currently has an $83.5 billion market capitalization. Since the beginning of the year, SPGI delivered a 5.51% return, impressively extending its 12-month gains to 58.62%. As of March 23, 2021, the stock closed at $346.83 per share.

Here is what Baron FinTech Fund has to say about S&P Global Inc. in their Q4 2020 investor letter:

“S&P Global Inc. provides credit ratings, indices, data, and analytics to the financial and commodities markets. The company reported strong financial results due to continued growth in debt issuance. However, the stock declined on investor expectations that issuance will moderate in 2021 due to tough comparisons and potentially higher interest rates. Also, the company’s announced acquisition of IHS Markit received a mixed reaction, potentially due to the size and complexity of the combined company as well as overlapping ownership causing some shareholders to reduce concentration. We continue to own the stock as we see a long runway for growth and significant competitive advantages for the company.”

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Our calculations show that S&P Global Inc. (NYSE: SPGI) does not belong in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, S&P Global Inc. was in 75 hedge fund portfolios, compared to 71 funds in the third quarter. SPGI delivered an 8.75% return in the past 3 months.