Pear Tree Polaris International Opportunities Fund

The PEAR TREE POLARIS INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FUND provides investors with the opportunity to participate in the growth potential of companies predominantly located in developed foreign countries.

Investment Process

The Fund will generally own approximately 75 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 40,000 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*
-5.71%

NAV*
$11.72

INCEPTION
January 30, 2019

MINIMUM INVESTMENT
$100,000

CUSIP
70472Q732

BENCHMARK
MSCI ACWI ex US

NET EXPENSE RATIO(1)
0.99%

GROSS EXPENSE RATIO(2)
1.23%

 

*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)
-5.71% -2.33% 4.45% 0.02% 6.06% N/A 7.07% 1.23% 0.99%

Calendar Year

2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
16.63% -19.19% 13.55% 13.71% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Portfolio

as of December 31, 2023

Top Ten Holdings

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 21.00%
Neurones S.A. 2.30%
SpareBank Nord-Norge 2.20%
Sparebanken Vest 2.20%
D'Ieteren S.A. 2.20%
Bravida Holding AB 2.10%
Cranswick plc 2.00%
Computacenter plc 2.00%
Zhejiang Supor Co. 2.00%
Midea Group Co., Ltd. 2.00%
United Overseas Bank Limited 2.00%

Sector Weightings

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 100.00%
Financials 25.70%
Consumer Discretionary 25.60%
Information Technology 20.30%
Industrials 12.30%
Materials 7.70%
Consumer Staples 5.50%
Utilities 1.50%
Cash and Other Assets (Net) 1.40%

Top Ten Country Allocations

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 72.10%
United Kingdom 11.10%
Canada 10.50%
Italy 7.70%
Taiwan 7.40%
China 7.30%
Japan 7.20%
France 6.40%
Australia 6.10%
Norway 4.40%
Sweden 4.00%

Portfolio Characteristics

Net Assets $94,361,350
Number Of Holdings 70
Percentage in Top 10 Holdings 21.00%
Weighted Average Market Cap (Mil) $24,945.60
Annual Turnover 57.00%

Portfolio Allocation

Percentage of Portfolio 100.00%
Equity Securities 98.60%
Cash and Other Assets (Net) 1.40%

For the Quarter ended December 31, 2023

The Pear Tree Polaris International Opportunities Fund’s Ordinary Shares (the “Fund”) outperformed its benchmark, the MSCI ACWI ex USA Index (the “Index”). The Fund had a return of 12.16% at net asset value compared to 9.82% for the Index.

Market Conditions and Investment Strategies

By the end of the quarter, central banks signaled intention to cut interest rates in 2024; rate-sensitive cyclicals performed best in this environment. The Fund’s overweight positions in Financials, Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology (IT) contributed measurably; limited exposure to lackluster defensive sectors also helped. Holdings in the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, France, Japan and South Korea topped performance; investments in China lagged as the local economy did not recover as expected.

Over 70% of the Fund’s Financials holdings had double-digit returns for the quarter. 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. Muangthai Capital rose in anticipation of rate cuts likely to encourage bigticket consumer purchases via financing. Among Consumer Discretionary stocks, Italian appliance supplier De’Longhi boosted full-year guidance and announced a majority stake in espresso equipment brand, La Marzocco. Other gainers include French small appliance manufacturer SEB SA and Collins Foods, which reported strong sales growth in its Australian KFC and Taco Bell chains. Reply SPA, the Italian IT consultant, was the third largest contributor for the quarter, as the company reported strong quarterly results, while highlighting its market leadership in artificial intelligence (AI). AI was also the driver behind gains at Hansol Chemical, which produces semiconductor materials.

More than 85% of holdings were in absolute positive territory for the quarter. Of the small handful of decliners, only two Chinese Consumer Discretionary companies stood out. EV sales comprise 33% of total new car sales in China; automotive retailer Zhongsheng Group Holdings is a small player in this segment, mostly focused on combustion engine sales. Alibaba Group Holding reshuffled management after the success of rival PDD in the e-commerce industry. The company also halted its spin-off and listing of its Cloud Intelligence Group, citing U.S. export restrictions on semiconductor chips. Another sector underperformer was Games Workshop Group PLC, ceding some of its recent gains from its successful Warhammer 40K launch.

Portfolio Changes

During the quarter, the Fund sold out of its positions in three Mexican airports. By contract, the concession business is up for renegotiation every five years. The Mexican government is now seeking to modify the concession economics; they currently don’t have legal standing to do so. However, we deemed there is real risk for future renegotiations if/when the government has legal framework to change the terms. Future PLC was also sold, as its prior roll-up growth strategy is no longer realistic considering its current focus on organic investment to retain its declining audience. There were no new purchases for the quarter.

Outlook

Defensive names will likely be added to the portfolio in the months ahead; many of these growth-oriented companies have been on our research screens for many months, but proved too pricey. As investors refocus on cyclical drivers, we are able to snap up fundamentally-strong defensives at more reasonable valuations – thereby enhancing the risk/return profile and diversification of the Fund.

Distributions

Dividend Short-Term Capital Gain Long-Term Capital Gain
12/14/2023 $0.0212 $0.0000 $0.0000
10/24/2023 $0.1408 $0.0000 $0.0000
2022 $0.1988 $0.0000 $0.0000

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.