Allianz Technology Trust (LSE:ATT)
The Trust’s objective is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing principally in the equity securities of quoted technology companies on a worldwide basis.
The award-winning Allianz Technology Trust PLC offers investors access to the fast moving world of technology with the reassurance that investment decisions are made by Walter Price who has 40 years of experience of investing in technology. He is Co-Head of the AllianzGI Global Technology Team which currently manages $4bn in assets under management.
Disclaimer: A ranking, a rating or an award provides no indicator of future performance and is not constant over time.
Fund Manager's Review
The Allianz Technology Trust’s NAV returned 4.1% in July, outperforming the Dow Jones World Technology Index return of 1.7% GBP. During the month, stock selection contributed and industry allocation had negligible impact on relative performance. For the year to date period, the Trust returned 41.9%, significantly outperforming the benchmark return of 24.0%.
Our underweight position in Microsoft was one of the top relative contributors. The company reported solid quarterly financial results, but the mix of how the company achieved them could be perceived as disappointing to some investors. The biggest issues were that the Productivity and Business Processes segment missed estimates and Azure cloud computing growth came in below expectations at 50% year-on-year. The decelerations should not come as a surprise given the current environment, but some investors were expecting better results for Office 365 and Dynamics given the surge in work from home and some increased licensing. Overall, we believe Microsoft has done a good job of meeting the complex requirements of its enterprise customers as they begin the migration to cloud based architectures. Our holdings are underweight relative to the benchmark’s large position in the stock. Our exposure to the cloud and artificial intelligence themes is spread across multiple companies in the portfolio.
Our position in Twilio was also one of the top relative contributors during the period. The company provides a cloud-based platform that enables developers to build, scale, and operate real-time communications within software applications as a pay-as-you-go service. Shares appreciated through the month amid positive industry checks and other companies in the cloud communications space reporting solid results. In our view, this feedback suggests the company’s solutions remain in high demand with new verticals like education and healthcare continuing to grow while major verticals like travel and hospitality slowly recover.
Other top active contributors included overweight positions in Tesla and Zscaler and not owning Intel.
Our underweight position in Apple, one of the largest holdings in the benchmark, was the top detractor from relative performance. Shares surged after the company reported quarterly financial results well ahead of expectations. The strength in the quarter was driven by iPhone, iMac, and iPad sales that more than offset slightly weaker sales in wearables/ accessories. In part, Apple is benefitting from the work-from-home trend as reflected in strength in their PC and tablet product categories. Wearables/accessories sales were a bit muted due to store closures caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Management indicated that while sales trends were weak in April, demand picked up strongly in May and June. In this challenging environment, the company has continued to execute and deliver solid profitability and strong free cash flow. Apple maintained its capital return program to shareholders with combined cash dividends and stock repurchases of $19.6B in the quarter. iPhone demand has picked-up meaningfully coupled with the launch of the second generation of its lower-end iPhone, the iPhone SE, with a starting price of $399. The lower price point creates potential growth opportunities in emerging markets like India and China, which could increase the installed base of users and drive demand for wearables/accessories and services.
The reopening of the economy as well as the beginning of the new 5G iPhone product cycle should provide a supportive environment for the remainder of the year. Apple remains the largest position in the portfolio, but continues to be significantly underweight relative to the benchmark’s large position. Our position in memory chip supplier, Micron, was also a top relative detractor as shares pulled back slightly following strong performance the prior month. At the end of June, the company reported solid quarterly financial results that beat expectations, and management provided stronger than expected guidance. In particular, management’s outlook commentary was ahead of consensus and stronger than the recent mixed industry data points. While the company is marginally lowering production to better manage inventories, Micron sees a steady demand trajectory in the cloud data center market and an improving outlook in the mobile/smartphone space. Other top active detractors included overweight positions in Zoom Video Communications and Paycom Software and an underweight position in Alibaba
In our view, the technology sector continues to benefit from strong tailwinds which should continue to drive attractive long term appreciation. There is no question in our minds that the present events around the COVID-19 crisis will spur the use of technology and change how we live and work in the future. As companies adjust budgets due to supply and/ or demand disruptions, the need for companies to reduce costs should accelerate the move to cheaper and more productive solutions such as cloud, software-as-a-service, artificial intelligence, cyber security, etc. We are in a period of rapid change, where the importance of technology is key to the prosperity of most industries. This environment is likely to provide attractive growth opportunities in many technology stocks over the next several years. We continue to believe the technology sector can provide some of the best absolute and relative return opportunities in the equity markets – especially for bottom-up stock pickers.
14 August 2020
Walter Price, CFA
Allianz Technology Trust PLC is managed by Walter Price who is a Managing Director and Co-Head of the AllianzGI Technology Team in San Francisco, having joined in 1974. Walter is a current Director and past president of the M.I.T. Club of Northern California. He also heads the Educational Council for M.I.T. in the Bay Area and is a past Chairman of the AIMR Committee on Corporate Reporting for the computer and electronics industries.
Investing involves risk. The value of an investment and the income from it may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the full amount invested. The views and opinions expressed herein, which are subject to change without notice, are those of the issuer and/or its affiliated companies at the time of publication. The data used is derived from various sources, and assumed to be correct and reliable, but it has not been independently verified; its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed and no liability is assumed for any direct or consequential losses arising from its use, unless caused by gross negligence or wilful misconduct. The conditions of any underlying offer or contract that may have been or will be made or concluded shall prevail.
All data source Allianz Global Investors as at 31.01.20 unless otherwise stated.
This is a marketing communication issued by Allianz Global Investors GmbH, an investment company with limited liability, incorporated in Germany, with its registered office at Bockenheimer Landstrasse 42‑44, D‑60323 Frankfurt/M, registered with the local court Frankfurt/M under HRB 9340, authorised by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (www.bafin.de). Allianz Global Investors GmbH has established a branch in the United Kingdom, Allianz Global Investors GmbH, UK branch, which is subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (www.fca.org.uk). This communication has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to ensure the impartiality of investment (strategy) recommendations and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing before publication of such recommendations. This is no recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular security. Any security mentioned above will not necessarily be comprised in the portfolio by the time this document is disclosed or at any other subsequent date.