Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value Small Cap Fund

The PEAR TREE POLARIS FOREIGN VALUE SMALL CAP FUND provides investors with the opportunity to participate in the growth potential of small cap companies located in foreign countries. A small cap company will generally be a company with a market capitalization from $50 million to $5 billion.

Investment Process

The Fund will generally own 50 to 100 stocks of non-U.S. companies located in Europe, Australia and the Far East. In addition, the Fund may also invest in companies located in emerging markets. The diversification within the Fund, coupled with the fact that the operation of the Fund’s investment model will generally lead the Fund to be invested in 15 or more foreign markets, reduces the likelihood that negative performance of a single country will significantly impact the Fund's return.

Buy and Sell Discipline

The investment process for the Fund combines both quantitative and fundamental techniques. The Fund's approach is primarily “bottom up,” searching for individual stocks with strong, undervalued cash flows, regardless of location or industry. The Fund uses proprietary models to rank countries and industries on the basis of value and to narrow a universe of over 30,000 companies down to 400 to 600 for further consideration. The Fund supplements the screening process by performing in-depth financial and fundamental analysis.

Portfolio Management

The Fund is managed by Polaris Capital Management, LLC, a Boston, Massachusetts money manager that specializes in the management of global, international, and domestic equity portfolios. Polaris brings over 35 years of investment experience to the Fund.

Fund Overview

YTD RETURN*
-0.76%

NAV*
$15.58

INCEPTION
May 1, 2008

MINIMUM INVESTMENT
$2,500

CUSIP
70472Q609

BENCHMARK
MSCI ACWI ex. US SMALL CAP

NET EXPENSE RATIO(1)
1.42%

GROSS EXPENSE RATIO(2)
1.52%

 

*as of 4/18/2024

Investment Professionals

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Sub-Advisor

Polaris Capital Management, LLC

Polaris is a leading global value equity manager, serving the investment needs of institutions and individuals since 1995. At Polaris Capital Management, we have a disciplined approach to investing in undervalued companies around the world, regardless of country, industry or market capitalization.

Portfolio Managers

Bernard R. Horn, Jr.
Sumanta Biswas, CFA
Bin Xiao, CFA
Jason Crawshaw

Performance

YTD
As Of 4/18/2024
Quarterly
As Of 3/31/2024
1 Year
As Of 3/31/2024
3 Years
As Of 3/31/2024
5 Years
As Of 3/31/2024
10 Years
As Of 3/31/2024
Since Inception As Of
3/31/2024
Total Gross Expense Ratio(1) Total Net Expense Ratio(2)
-0.76% 1.72% 14.81% 1.65% 6.40% 4.71% 6.13% 1.52% 1.42%

Calendar Year

2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
20.78% -17.60% 15.11% 6.36% 20.24% -19.09% 33.06% 2.46% -1.49% 6.54% 24.95%

Portfolio

as of December 31, 2023

Top Ten Holdings

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 26.50%
De'Longhi S.p.A. 3.30%
Hexpol AB 2.70%
Vistry Group plc 2.70%
Signify N.V., 2.60%
D'Ieteren S.A. 2.60%
Aalberts N.V. 2.60%
Daicel Corporation 2.50%
Elis S.A. 2.50%
Equatorial Energia S.A. 2.50%
EQB Inc. 2.50%

Sector Weightings

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 100.00%
Industrials 23.40%
Financials 23.00%
Consumer Discretionary 20.00%
Materials 8.40%
Information Technology 6.90%
Utilities 5.80%
Consumer Staples 4.40%
Energy 2.20%
Health Care 1.90%
Communication Services 1.40%
Real Estate 1.00%
CASH + other assets (net) 1.60%

Top Ten Country Allocations

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 72.50%
United Kingdom 17.80%
Japan 11.30%
France 9.10%
South Korea 6.70%
Netherlands 5.20%
Sweden 5.10%
Thailand 4.80%
Canada 4.50%
Norway 4.50%
Singapore 3.50%

Portfolio Characteristics

Net Assets $990,694,889
Number Of Holdings 64
Percentage in Top 10 Holdings 26.50%
Weighted Average Market Cap (Mil) $3,421.90
Annual Turnover 18.00%

Portfolio Allocation

Percentage of Portfolio 100.00%
Equity Securities 98.40%
Cash and Other Assets (Net) 1.60%

For the Quarter ended December 31, 2023

The Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value Small Cap Fund’s Ordinary Shares (the “Fund”) outperformed its benchmark, the MSCI ACWI ex USA Small Cap Index (the “Index”). The Fund had a return of 11.62% at net asset value compared to 10.20% for the Index.

Market Conditions and Investment Strategies

Improving inflation data in October and dovish comments from central banks spurred on a rally in November and December. Rate-sensitive cyclicals performed best in this environment, led by Financials, Consumer Discretionary and Industrials, where the Fund was overweight. Defensives including Health Care and Energy detracted. Holdings in the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands topped performance, with notable double-digit returns in each country. Jordanian stock Hikma Pharmaceuticals declined, as did two companies in Hong Kong. Foreign exchange contributed to portfolio performance, as the U.S. dollar
depreciated against almost all currencies to which the Fund has exposure.

Over 50% of Fund holdings had double-digit returns for the quarter, led by De’Longhi SPA, Hexpol AB, Tecnoglass Inc. and two Financials, goeasy Ltd and OSB Group PLC. Italian appliance supplier De’Longhi boosted full-year guidance and announced a minority stake in espresso equipment brand, La Marzocco. Hexpol recovered from third quarter lows after announcing a new CEO. goeasy posted impressive third quarter results, as increased loan originations led to record loan portfolio growth; the company also noted stable credit and lower net charge offs. OSB Group raised growth projections for the year, as U.K. customers
paid down debt. Competitor Paragon also announced good results, tangentially boosting OSB. Architectural glass manufacturer, Tecnoglass, entered the vinyl window market, effectively doubling total available market reach.

Detractors were few and far between this quarter. U.K-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals declined after issuing a cautious outlook on the U.S. injectable and generics market. Japan homebuilder, Open House Group, reported stellar fiscal year end numbers with higher sales, operating income and profit in all segments. However, the CFO forecasted flat to stagnant single-family home sales in 2024. Technip struggled to exit its Russian LNG business and was downgraded by Barclays.

Portfolio Changes

This quarter marked the largest turnover period for 2023, as the Fund sold out of five companies on valuation. The recent macroeconomic rotation spurred on the sales, as exemplified by the exits of Tripod Technology and Sercomm Corp.; both IT companies peaked on projected 2024 AI growth and resumption of consumer electronics sales. Capital was reallocated to the purchase of a half dozen attractively priced companies, diversified across Consumer Discretionary (Redrow PLC, The Berkeley Group Holdings and China Meidong Auto Holdings) and Industrials (Signify NV and Doosan Bobcat Inc.), plus one Consumer Staples company, South Korean confectionery, Orion Corp.

Outlook

The U.S. and India will enter 2024 firing on all cylinders, seemingly impervious to softening global demand trends. Similarly, we expect industry gainers will be concentrated in AI and green energy, where hype drives up stock prices. Most other industries will be more cautious, slowly rebuilding inventory after a long destocking period. Hype creates opportunities to sell at a profit, which is what we did in the fourth quarter; a potentially weaker 2024 market allows us to purchase good quality stocks at bargain prices. This is a prime opportunity for value investors like ourselves; we expect that portfolio repositioning will result in continued
outperformance.

Distributions

Dividend Short-Term Capital Gain Long-Term Capital Gain
2023 $0.3280 $0.0000 $0.0000
2022 $0.5771 $0.0000 $0.0000
2021 $0.1450 $0.0000 $0.1995

Performance data quoted represents past performance and is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance data quoted. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than original cost.

Before investing, carefully consider the Fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other information obtain the Fund's prospectus or, if available, the Fund's summary prospectus by calling (800) 326-2151 or by clicking the Literature and Forms section of this website to view or download a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

1, 3, 5, and 10Yr performance numbers quoted are average annual total returns. Performance numbers quoted under one year are cumulative.

Polaris Capital began subadvising the Pear Tree Small Cap Fund on January 1, 2015.

The Pear Tree Essex Environment Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is the successor to the investment performance of the Essex Environmental Opportunities Fund (“Predecessor Fund”) as a result of the reorganization of the Predecessor Fund into the Environmental Opportunities Fund on September 1, 2021. Performance information shown prior to the close of business on August 31, 2021 is that of the Predecessor Fund’s for the Fund’s Ordinary Shares and Institutional Shares.

Expense Ratios Disclosure

1. Expense Ratio (Gross)
The gross expense ratio is the total operating expense from the class of shares of the fund stated as a percent of the fund's total net assets as disclosed in the fund’s most recent prospectus before waivers or reimbursements.

2. Expense Ratio (Net)
Net Expense Ratio is the total annual operating expense from the class of shares of the funds stated as a percent of the fund's total net assets as disclosed in the fund’s most recent prospectus after any fee waiver and/or expense reimbursements that will reduce any fund operating expenses until July 31, 2024 for all funds except Pear Tree Polaris International Opportunities Fund whose net expense ratio will expire on September 30, 2024.

Risk Disclosure

Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value
Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value Small Cap
Pear Tree Polaris International Opportunities
Pear Tree Polaris Small Cap
Pear Tree Essex Environmental Opportunities

Foreign and Emerging Market Risk. Foreign markets, particularly emerging markets, can be more volatile than the U.S. market due to increased risks of adverse issuer, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments and can perform differently from the U.S. market. Emerging markets can be subject to greater social, economic, regulatory, and political uncertainties and can be extremely volatile.

Small Cap Investing. The value of securities of smaller, less well-known issuers can perform differently from the market as a whole and other types of stocks and can be more volatile than that of larger issuers.