Why CIGRX Delivered a Below-Average Performance

Performance evaluation of the Calamos International Growth Fund

The Calamos International Growth Fund – Class A (CIGRX) has been a below average performer in 2016 year-to-date among the 12 funds chosen for this review. For the one-year period, it stands right in the middle of the pack. The graph below compares its performance against the iShares MSCI ACWI ex U.S. ETF (ACWX) and the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA).

Let’s look at what has contributed to this below average performance by the fund in YTD 2016.

Why CIGRX Delivered a Below-Average Performance

Contribution to returns

Information technology has been the major reason why the CIGRX has posted gains in YTD 2016 until August 19. Apart from Tencent Holdings Limited (TCEHY) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), ARM Holdings (ARMH) has also emerged as a major positive contributor. However, there has been some drag from United Internet, Enghouse Systems, and Ingenico Group.

The consumer staples segment has been another major positive contributor. Beiersdorf and Nestlé (NSRGY) have led the sector. Kion Group, Thales, and Nidec (NJ) have been among the major contributors in the year so far. Materials have also been major positive contributors primarily due to Newcrest Mining, Silver Wheaton (SLW), and Barrick Gold (ABX).

On the other end of the spectrum, financials have hurt the fund the most in the year so far. Azimut Holding, London-based investment manager Henderson Group, Prudential (PUK), Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo (IITSF), and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) have driven down returns from the sector. Positive contributions from Vonovia SE and Tokio Marine Holdings (TKOMY), among a few others, have reduced the overall negative contribution a bit.

Health care has been another pain point for the CIGRX. Ireland-based Shire (SHPG), Belgian biopharmaceutical company UCB, and Novo Nordisk (NVO) have been primarily responsible for driving down the health care sector.

Investor takeaways

CIGRX’s portfolio has seen quite a bit of churn. This could either be an intentional strategy, or it could show that fund management is yet to find stocks that fit its investment theme. If it is a thought-out strategy, then it doesn’t seem to have had a positive impact on the fund’s performance. On the other hand, if fund management has not been able to settle on stocks that it likes, it may mean that times like 2015 and 2016 have been too difficult for the fund to navigate smoothly.

Let’s now move on to the Calvert International Equity Fund – Class A (CWVGX).