Find out more about our performance, with the help of market commentary from our Investment Manager.
For the month of January, the Company’s Total Shareholder Return and NAV Total Return were -3.7% and -2.0% respectively, with the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) benchmark returning -0.9%.
Two of the Company’s financial services positions were amongst the biggest detractors over the month, with falls seen in both Mastercard and Visa’s share prices. The worsening global pandemic outlook, and consequent implications for a return to freedom of global travel and pickup in cross-border transactions weighed on the share prices of these businesses during January. However both companies posted better-than-expected financial results at the end of the month, and have seen their share prices recovering through early February.
The top 3 positive contributors over the month were Alibaba, Abbot Laboratories and Microsoft. Alibaba is benefiting from the long-term growth of domestic consumer spending in China, and in January its share price saw a significant bounce back from falls experienced in December. Abbot saw particularly strong returns this month largely due to the success of its COVID-19 testing business, which saw sales of over $2.4 billion over the fourth quarter. Microsoft shares rallied on announcement of impressive Q4 earnings results. The big tech giant continued to benefit from the work-at-home environment – with fourth quarter revenue up 17% year-on-year, comfortably surpassing analysts’ estimates.
Within the Company’s portfolio, a position was initiated in Ebara Corporation, a Japanese-based global manufacturer of environmental and industrial machinery. Ebara is a leader in incinerator technology for solid waste disposal and power generation facilities using its advanced environmental engineering capabilities, and is a cashflow generative business with a strong balance sheet. A recent weakening in the firm’s share price presented an attractive buying opportunity for one of the Company’s stock pickers. Elsewhere, Liberty Global, a US-based holding company of leading European telecommunications operators was added to the Company’s portfolio. Please note that Lomas’ mandate was terminated at the beginning of February. For further details see the Alliance Trust website.
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We have been awarded the Association of Investment Companies’ Dividend Hero award and are proud to have increased our dividend every year for over 50 years, making us one of just four investment trusts to achieve this*. For more information and a full list of qualifying companies, you can visit the AIC’s website. * As at 30 June 2020.More information
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