Polen Capital: “MercadoLibre (MELI) can Compound Earnings at a 25% Rate”

Polen Capital, an investment management firm, published its “Polen International Growth” second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of 5.57% was delivered by the fund for the Q2 of 2021, outperforming its MSCI All Country World benchmark that delivered a 5.47% return for the same period. You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Polen Capital, the fund mentioned MercadoLibre, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) and discussed its stance on the firm. MercadoLibre, Inc. is a Buenos Aires, Argentina-based online marketplace company with a $91.2 billion market capitalization. MELI delivered a 9.58% return since the beginning of the year, extending its 12-month returns to 55.71%. The stock closed at $1,835.68 per share on August 26, 2021.

Here is what Polen Capital has to say about MercadoLibre, Inc. in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

“Argentina-based MercadoLibre operates Latin America’s leading ecommerce website and digital wallet. Both e-commerce and consumer finance are underpenetrated among the nearly 400 million citizens living in the company’s three largest markets: Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.

MercadoLibre’s digitally native solution gives more than 70 million users an easy access point for both online shopping and a digital wallet.

From humble beginnings as a third-party marketplace, MercadoLibre’s management built the business over the last twenty years by steadily expanding the platform’s reach with new services to suit both merchants and consumers. Today’s offerings include financing capabilities for buyers and sellers, logistics, loyalty programs, classifieds listings, and grocery items. We think MercadoLibre can compound earnings at a 25% rate for the next five years.”

Based on our calculations, MercadoLibre, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. MELI was in 74 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021, compared to 69 funds in the previous quarter. MercadoLibre, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) delivered a 35.11% return in the past 3 months.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.