Technology

Is BlackRock Small Cap Growth Equity A (CSGEX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If you have been looking for Small Cap Growth funds, a place to start could be BlackRock Small Cap Growth Equity A (CSGEX). CSGEX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

CSGEX is part of the Small Cap Growth category, and this segment boasts an array of many other possible options. Small Cap Growth mutual funds usually focus their portfolios on stocks with large growth opportunities and a market cap of under $2 billion. These portfolios tend to feature small companies in up-and-coming industries and markets.

History of Fund/Manager

BlackRock is based in New York, NY, and is the manager of CSGEX. The BlackRock Small Cap Growth Equity A made its debut in September of 1993 and CSGEX has managed to accumulate roughly $178.88 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 8.15%, and is in the bottom third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 10.83%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. The standard deviation of CSGEX over the past three years is 17.65% compared to the category average of 11.51%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.48% compared to the category average of 11.51%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment. In CSGEX's case, the fund lost 50.99% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 2%. This could mean that the fund is a better choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.17, which means it is hypothetically more volatile than the market at large. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. CSGEX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -3.44, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 92.4% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $2.94 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Health
  2. Technology
  3. Industrial Cyclical

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, CSGEX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.75% compared to the category average of 1.25%. From a cost perspective, CSGEX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $1,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, BlackRock Small Cap Growth Equity A ( CSGEX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Small Cap Growth segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.


Click to get this free report

Get Your Free (CSGEX): Fund Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Technology Videos

Zacks

Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at www.zacks.com.

Learn More