Neuberger Berman Genesis Fund (NBGIX), an $11 billion fund, is up 21% this year and has a 10-year annualized return of 11.4%. It has been managed by Judy Vale since 1994. She was joined by Bob D'Alelio in 1997. The fund targets undervalued growth companies with market capitalizations of less than $2 billion.
The fund's managers have, literally, a salt-of-the-earth investment approach as its second-largest stock, at 3% of the fund, is Compass Minerals (CMP - Get Report), a miner of rock salt and magnesium chloride, used for road de-icing as well as in consumer and industrial applications. The company also mines sulfate of potash, used in fertilizer. There is growing demand for potash and a short supply, which has resulted in a wave of mergers and takeover battles in the industry. Shares are up 30% this year.In the same vein, the fund has a 2.7% allocation to Church and Dwight (CHD), the world's leading producer of baking soda. Its shares are up 15% this year. Its products are sold under the Arm & Hammer brand, and its product line includes baking soda, toothpaste, cat litter and carpet cleaner. The fund's largest holding, at 3%, is Aptar (ATR), an international supplier of pumps, closures and aerosol valves to the personal care, fragrance/cosmetic, pharmaceutical, household, and food and beverage markets. Its shares are up 34% this year.