Large Cap Value Portfolio Commentary
Spring Update 2019

Market Perspectives

During the first quarter of 2019, the S&P 500 Index returned 13.65%, offsetting 2018’s performance of −4.38%. The Davis Large Cap Value SMA strategy delivered strong returns in the period led by health care, consumer discretionary and industrials holdings while financials holdings lagged.1

With respect to last year’s correction, we believe the pullback was long overdue based on historical experience. That said, we saw little indication the short-term volatility in stock prices reflected weakness in the underlying economy. In our view, while stocks entered correction territory in the second half of last year, the bear market in share prices was not driven by otherwise healthy business and economic fundamentals but rather by investor sentiment and macroeconomic concerns we believed would likely prove temporary. As a result, our conviction in the stocks we owned and the stocks we purchased during the period generally increased as prices declined given the strength of our strategy's companies’ balance sheets, competitive moats, earnings drivers, and proven management teams, coupled with more attractive valuations. We believe our focus on selective, growing and undervalued businesses should yield attractive results over the long term.

This report includes candid statements and observations regarding investment strategies, individual securities, and economic and market conditions; however, there is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts will prove to be correct. Equity markets are volatile and an investor may lose money. 1Davis Advisors’ Large Cap Value (SMA) Composite. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Portfolio Review

In keeping with our philosophy of buying durable businesses at value prices and holding them for the long term, we are investing selectively in businesses with attractive valuations that meet our investment criteria of strong balance sheets, durable competitive moats and the potential for earnings to expand over time.

The Davis Large Cap Value SMA strategy holds three categories of businesses including in order of proportion:

  • Dominant market leaders
  • Lesser-known, “out-of-the-spotlight” businesses
  • Contrarian investments2

Alphabet, known for its core search engine Google, is a diversified technology company with a dominant search and advertising business and a strong position in cloud computing.3 The company is also the foremost innovator of self-driving vehicles in the U.S. as well as both a pioneer and leader in artificial intelligence, among other business activities. Alphabet is representative of what we look for in market leaders—a strong balance sheet with currently more than $100 billion of cash and liquid securities representing more than 10% of the company’s market capitalization, strong competitive positions in growing markets and a proven management team and culture. While the company’s revenues continue to grow at a rate of more than 22%, the company trades at a reasonable multiple of owner earnings after adjustments.

The core of the strategy consists not only of dominant market leaders but also includes a number of out-of-the-spotlight businesses in areas ranging from aerospace to conservatively-managed financial companies to health care. What these businesses have in common is they represent well-priced, growing businesses that are often overlooked by the market despite their ability to compound earnings over the long term.

Our current headline risk positions include Adient, a global manufacturer of automotive seating now in the process of correcting plant operational issues that came to light in 2018. We believe these issues are fixable given time. Meanwhile, the company’s shares trade at less than five times owner earnings.

A second company in the strategy that is both out of favor and mispriced, in our opinion, is Apache, a U.S.-focused energy exploration and production company with significant operations in attractive North American basins for shale oil and gas. We believe the company’s shares are overly discounted relative to expected future cash flows.

During the first quarter of 2019 we purchased shares in Quest Diagnostics, a leading independent laboratory company. We believe the company should benefit from the industry wide focus on containing health care costs as Quest’s business model is designed to provide lab testing and other services at a far more reasonable cost than hospitals.

Overall, we believe our strategy is positioned to provide a diversified balance of durable, well-managed businesses with attractive growth prospects.

Since our firm’s inception over 50 years ago, Davis Advisors has employed a time-tested investment discipline of buying durable businesses at attractive prices and holding them for the long term. The more than $2 billion the Davis family and Foundation, Davis Advisors, and our employees have invested in similarly managed accounts and strategies remains a true sign of our commitment to and conviction in this enduring philosophy.4

2While we research companies subject to such contingencies, we cannot be correct every time, and a company's stock may never recover.  3Holdings discussed in this commentary are selected according to objective, nonperformance-based criteria. They are chosen each quarter according to a consistent methodology based on their weight in the Davis Advisors Large Cap Value model portfolio well as recent purchases and recent sales and are intended only as illustrations of the Davis Investment. They are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold any security. Individual account holdings may vary. 4As of 12/31/18.

This material may be shared with existing and potential clients to provide information concerning market conditions and the investment strategies and techniques used by Davis Advisors to manage its client accounts. Please refer to Davis Advisors Form ADV Part 2 for more information regarding investment strategies, risks, fees, and expenses. Clients should also review other relevant material, including a schedule of investments listing securities held in their account.

The performance of mutual funds is included in the Composite. The performance of the mutual funds and other Davis managed accounts may be materially different. For example, the Davis New York Venture Fund may be significantly larger than another Davis managed account and may be managed with a view toward different client needs and considerations. The differences that may affect investment performance include, but are not limited to: the timing of cash deposits and withdrawals, the possibility that Davis Advisors may not buy or sell a given security on behalf of all clients pursuing similar strategies, the price and timing differences when buying or selling securities, the size of the account, the differences in expenses and other fees, and the clients pursuing similar investment strategies but imposing different investment restrictions. This is not a solicitation to invest in the Davis New York Venture Fund or any other fund.

Davis Advisors is committed to communicating with our investment partners as candidly as possible because we believe our clients benefit from understanding our investment philosophy and approach. Our views and opinions include “forward-looking statements” which may or may not be accurate over the long term. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words like “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” or similar expressions. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are current as of the date of this report. We disclaim any obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. While we believe we have a reasonable basis for our appraisals and we have confidence in our opinions, actual results may differ materially from those we anticipate.

Returns from inception (4/1/69) through 12/31/01, were calculated from the Davis Large Cap Value Composite (see description below). Returns from 1/1/02, through the date of this report were calculated from the Large Cap Value (SMA) Composite.

Davis Advisors’ Large Cap Value Composite includes all actual, fee-paying, discretionary Large Cap Value investing style institutional accounts, mutual funds, and wrap accounts under management including those accounts no longer managed. Effective 1/1/98, a minimum account size of $3,500,000 was established. Accounts below this minimum are deemed not to be representative of the Composite’s intended strategy and as such are not included in the Composite. A time-weighted internal rate of return formula is used to calculate performance for the accounts included in the Composite.

Davis Advisors’ Large Cap Value (SMA) Composite excludes institutional accounts and mutual funds. Performance shown from 1/1/02, through 12/31/10, includes all eligible wrap accounts with a minimum account size of $3,500,000 from inception date for the first full month of account management and includes closed accounts through the last day of the month prior to the account’s closing. For the performance shown from 1/1/11, through the date of this report, the Davis Advisors’ Large Cap Value SMA Composite includes all eligible wrap accounts with no account minimum from inception date for the first full month of account management and includes closed accounts through the last day of the month prior to the account’s closing. The net of fees rate of return formula used by the wrap-fee style accounts is calculated based on a hypothetical 3% maximum wrap fee charged by the wrap account sponsor for all account service, including advisory fees for the period 1/1/06, and thereafter. For the gross performance results, custodian fees and advisory fees are treated as cash withdrawals. A list of Davis Advisors’ Composites is available upon request.

This report discusses companies in conformance with Rule 206(4)-1 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and guidance published thereunder. The companies we discuss are chosen in the following manner: starting at the beginning of the year, the holdings from a Large Cap Value model portfolio are listed in descending order based on percentage owned. Companies that reflect different weights are then selected. (For the first quarter, holdings numbered 1, 11, 21, and 31 are selected and discussed. For the second quarter, holdings numbered 2, 12, 22, and 32 are selected and discussed. This pattern then repeats itself for the following quarters. No more than two of these holdings can come from the same sector per piece.); one recent purchase and one recent sale are also discussed. A sale is defined as a position that is completely eliminated from the portfolio before the end of the quarter in question. If there were no purchases or sales, the purchases and sales are omitted from the report. If there were multiple purchases and/or sales, the purchase and sale discussed shall be the earliest to occur. If there are multiple purchases and/or sales on the same day, the one that is the largest percentage of assets will be discussed. No holding can be discussed if it was discussed in the previous three quarters. As this is primarily a domestic equity strategy, no more than one foreign holding will be discussed in any report. If more than one foreign holding would be discussed based on the criteria above, the holding with the largest percent of assets in the model portfolio would be chosen. However, if the model portfolio has an aggregate foreign holding percentage that is greater than 15% the commentary would include a discussion of the largest foreign holding in the model portfolio that has not been discussed in the previous three quarters.

The information provided in this report does not provide information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security. There is no assurance that any of the securities discussed herein will remain in an account at the time this report is received or that securities sold have not been repurchased. The securities discussed do not represent an account’s entire portfolio and in the aggregate may represent only a small percentage of any account’s portfolio holdings. It should not be assumed that any of the securities discussed were or will prove to be profitable, or that the investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable or will equal the investment performance of the securities discussed herein. It is possible that a security was profitable over the previous five year period of time but was not profitable over the last year. In order to determine if a certain security added value to a specific portfolio, it is important to take into consideration at what time that security was added to that specific portfolio. A complete listing of all securities purchased or sold in an account, including the date and execution prices, is available upon request.

The investment objective of a Davis Large Cap Value account is long-term growth of capital. There can be no assurance that Davis will achieve its objective. Davis Advisors uses the Davis Investment Discipline to invest a client’s assets principally in common stocks (including indirect holdings of common stock through depositary receipts) issued by large companies with market capitalizations of at least $10 billion. Historically, the Large-Cap Value strategy has invested a significant portion of its assets in financial services companies and in foreign companies, and may also invest in mid-and small-capitalization companies. The principal risks are: common stock risk, depositary receipts risk, emerging markets risk, fees and expenses risk, financial services risk, foreign country risk, foreign currency risk, headline risk, large-capitalization companies risk, manager risk, mid-and small-capitalization companies risk, and stock market risk. See the ADV Part 2 for a description of these principal risks.

The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 selected common stocks, most of which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The index is adjusted for dividends, weighted towards stocks with large market capitalizations and represents approximately two-thirds of the total market value of all domestic common stocks. Investments cannot be made directly in an index.

After 7/31/19, this material must be accompanied by a supplement containing performance data for most recent quarter end.

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