Portfolio managers of some hard-hit small-cap growth funds had a new mantra on Monday:
It should come as no surprise that many of the funds with the heaviest weightings in small-cap technology names took the hardest hits in Friday's market meltdown. Some had one-day losses of more than 20%.
Managers of some of the hardest-hit funds said Monday they have a newfound love of some of the larger-cap names in the technology sector, like
"The tape is telling us that big is beautiful,'' says Don Luskin, portfolio manager of the
, who was busy adding to his positions in
and Cisco on Monday.
Luskin's fund declined 44.3% from the March 10 peak of the
index through Friday. His fund, which provides real-time tracking of its portfolio on its
Web site, owns such stocks as biopharmaceutical firm
and Internet infrastructure player
, which declined by 62.7% and 60.2%, respectively, from March 10 through Friday.
The renewed desirability of large-cap tech stocks was reflected in Monday's recovery of the Nasdaq, up 218 points, and the
, up 277 points. Cisco, for example, surged 16.6%,
rose 17% and Sun Microsystems was up 11%.
Even more telling was that the
, an index of the biggest stocks in the Nasdaq, was up 10%, while the
, an index of small companies, rose by only 1.2% on Monday.
Orbitex Growth is another hard-hit fund hoping to ease the pain with bigger-cap stocks. The fund has taken a 57.6% dive since March 10.
"These last few weeks, there have been some changes going on in how investors are viewing some forms of technology, such as semiconductors, wireless and networking,'' says manager Richard Begun.
His stakes in such companies as
RF Micro Systems
declined by 52.8% and 62.5%, respectively, from March 10 through Friday.
Now, he says, "there is more upside in Cisco or Sun."
Not every manager is loading up on big-cap stocks, though.
Since the Nasdaq peak, the worst-performing fund has been
Putnam OTC Emerging Growth, a technology-heavy offering that was down 57.7% through Friday.
Putnam OTC's holdings are particularly concentrated in business services, media, telecommunications and technology, which suffered the most in last week's selloff. The $7 billion fund is Putnam's most aggressive offering, and during the small-company bear market in October 1998, it declined by more than 30%.
In this round, stocks like
, an Internet software maker, fell by 57.3%, while
, an e-commerce strategy developer, saw its stock plunge by 52.8% since March 10 through Friday.
Unlike some other growth managers, Putnam OTC manager Michael Mufson wears his poor performance with a bit of pride and says he'll continue to focus on emerging companies with higher-than-usual rates of growth. Vignette, for example, increased its revenue more than 60% from the end of the third quarter of 1999, he says.
"The corrections that the fund experienced have been very sharp and very short," Mufson says, indicating that he doesn't expect lasting damage from Friday's meltdown.
The lack of big and beautiful stocks landed two
New Opportunities, off 56.8%, and
Select Equity, off 52.6% -- among the bottom-10 performers since March 10.
PBHG tends to duplicate its holdings in several of the funds through centralized stock-picking decisions. As of the last filing date, shares of InfoSpace.com,
made showings in several of the worst-performing PBHG funds. These stocks were down 60.2%, 59.2% and 46.9%, respectively, since March 10.