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Fresh off of its worst performing month of 2021 (September, -4.65%), the S&P 500 Index posted its best monthly return in October to finish the month at 7.01%. The S&P 500 Index also finished the month at an all-time high, fueled by earnings strength and surging large cap growth stocks. Driven largely by stock selection and to a lesser degree its growth underweight, the Morningstar® Wide Moat Focus IndexSM (the “Moat Index” or “Index”) lagged the S&P 500 Index with a 3.69% return in October.
The Index’ lack of exposure to Tesla (narrow moat rating) and underweight to Microsoft were two of the leading drivers of Index underperformance in October. However, its overweight to several stocks drove the majority of its underperformance. The following are a few of those companies along with several bright spots.
Source: Morningstar. Data as of 10/31/2021. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Individual company and index performance is not illustrative of fund performance. For fund performance current to the most recent month-end, visit vaneck.com.
The Western Union Co. (WU)
Moat Sources: Cost Advantages; Intangible AssetsMorningstar Valuation: 30% DiscountOctober Total Return: -9.89%
“The biggest potential threat to Western Union's moat is a shift to alternative methods of transferring money. If these methods were to transform the industry, we could be forced to revisit our wide moat rating. In our opinion, these methods will grow in time to represent a meaningful part of the industry, but are unlikely to have a material impact on Western Union's competitive position for the foreseeable future. A nearer-term issue is an industry shift toward transactions funded by bank accounts and credit or debit cards, but Western Union has been investing heavily in these areas, and we believe it has positioned itself to maintain its overall share as these methods grow in importance.” Brett Horn, Senior Equity Analyst, Morningstar.
Polaris Inc. (PII)
Moat Sources: Intangible Assets; Cost AdvantagesMorningstar Valuation: 34% DiscountOctober Total Return: -3.94%
Intel Corp. (INTC)
Moat Sources: Cost Advantages; Intangible Assets Morningstar Valuation: 25% DiscountOctober Total Return: -8.03%
Gilead Sciences (GILD)
Moat Sources: Intangible AssetsMorningstar Valuation: 20% DiscountOctober Total Return: -7.12%
Aspen Technology Inc. (AZPN)
Moat Sources: Switching Costs; Intangible Assets Morningstar Valuation: 2% DiscountOctober Total Return: 27.60%
Tyler Technologies Inc. (TYL)
Moat Sources: Switching Costs; Intangible Assets Morningstar Valuation: 6% DiscountOctober Total Return: 18.44%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK)
Moat Sources: Intangible Assets Morningstar Valuation: 6% DiscountOctober Total Return: 17.23%
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)
Moat Sources: Cost Advantages; Intangible Assets Morningstar Valuation: 10% PremiumOctober Total Return: 20.59%
Source of all data: Morningstar. As of 31 October 2021.
VanEck Vectors Morningstar US Wide Moat UCITS ETF (MOAT) seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses the price and yield performance of the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index.
Effective 20 June 2016, Morningstar implemented several changes to the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index construction rules. Among other changes, the index increased its constituent count from 20 stocks to at least 40 stocks and modified its rebalance and reconstitution methodology. These changes may result in more diversified exposure, lower turnover and longer holding periods for index constituents than under the rules in effect prior to this date.
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S&P 500® Index: consists of 500 widely held common stocks covering the leading industries of the U.S. economy. Morningstar® Wide Moat Focus IndexTM consists of at least 40 U.S. companies identified as having sustainable, competitive advantages, and whose stocks are the most attractively priced, according to Morningstar.
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