Nick Geissler ’16 pitched Chipotle Mexican Grill to the the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on February 24, 2106. Chipotle is a fast-casual Mexican food chain that serves a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Chipotle optimizes transparency and customization by employing traditional cooking methods and utilizing an assembly line mode of production. Chipotle was a pioneer of fast-casual dining and has been one of the most successful restaurant brands in the S&P 500 for the last ten years. Nick leveraged the company’s recent price drop, from their food-borne illness scare, as a catalyst for investing in a historically successful company. Citing competent management and the company’s history of responding to customer concerns, Nick advocated that Chipotle would likely return to their former success, given time. In addition, the class enjoyed a catered Chipotle lunch in order to better experience and understand the product being presented. In the end, the SMIF decided to wait temporarily to reevaluate Chipotle’s price closer to their 1Q16 earnings report. The SMIF expressed confidence but decided to postpone a vote on the position until a later time.
John Campbell, a Bucknell University ’85 graduate, visited the SMIF class on February 24 to discuss financial management and planning. Mr. Campbell is the Area Business Manager for the Central, Western and Northern Pennsylvania regions for Wilmington Trust. He actively participates in the leadership and administration of the Market Area including contributing to the development of strategic plans, taking a leadership role in managing the execution of those plans, and resolving business administration issues within the regions. He actively participates in the leadership and administration of the Market Area including contributing to the development of strategic plans, taking a leadership role in managing the execution of those plans, and resolving business administration issues within the regions. John joined M&T Bank in 1986, which acquired Wilmington Trust in 2011. He has nearly three decades of experience in the financial services industry. John shared with the class his experience in financial services and provided invaluable advice for the portion of the class looking to enter the industry.
Eric Hubey ’16 pitched Nike Inc. to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on February 17, 2016. Nike, a globally recognized brand, engages in the design, development, marketing and sale of footwear, apparel, and equipment, accessories and services. It focuses on NIKE Brand and Brand Jordan product offerings in seven key categories: running, basketball, football, men’s and women’s training, NIKE sportswear, and action sports. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries include Converse Inc. and Hurley International LLC. Nike has a significant global presence, with their largest two markets coming in the United States and China respectively. Nike has a robust growth strategy and excellent margins, to date. Eric touted the company’s strong fundamentals and their large position and steady performance in the S&P 500. The SMIF agreed and saw Nike as an excellent opportunity to diversify and grow our Consumer Discretionary sector. In the end, the SMIF voted to enter into Mr. Hubey’s recommended position.
Joe Cullina ’16 pitched CVS Health Corporation to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on February 10, 2016. CVS is an integrated pharmacy health care company with three reportable business segments: Pharmacy Services, Retail Pharmacy and Corporate. The pharmacy services arm of the business provides pharmacy benefits management (PBM) to employers, insurance companies, and government entities. This segment works with health providers to secure cheaper pharmaceutical solutions while improving clinical outcomes for plan members– a large potential source of growth for the company. Joe expressed confidence in the future guidance of the company, citing a trustworthy management team. Additionally, given a volatile start to 2016, Joe expressed pessimism towards consumer discretionary spending and stressed the limited risk associated with consumer staples and potential growth derived from their role in health care. The class agreed and voted unanimously to purchase CVS.
Yang Gao ’16 pitched Expedia Inc. (EXPE) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on February 3, 2016. Expedia is the second largest online travel service provider in the world, in terms of booking volumes. It operates a variety of online travel portals which offer its customers diversified services depending on market demand. Expedia drives its business by either acting as a travel agent and charging a commission for every transaction or by acting as a merchant and purchasing the travel inventory (plane tickets and hotel rooms) from travel providers in bulk at discounted prices and selling back to customers at a premium. Yang expressed optimism in consumer discretionary spending and stressed the company’s diversified business model as a catalyst for driving growth. The class responded cautiously and were weary of entering a new consumer discretionary sub-sector in the midst of high market volatility and the emergence of the Zika virus. In the end, the pitch missed passing by a single vote and we will look to evaluate new positions moving forward.
David Granson ’93 joined the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) for a special lunch on February 2, 2016. Granson is currently a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in their Investment Management Division. He advises endowments, pension plan sponsors and other tax exempt entities as well as wealthy family groups and private companies on comprehensive wealth management strategies. Granson joined Goldman in 1997 as a Summer Associate in the Equities Division and was named Managing Director in 2012. Prior to joining the firm, David was a senior Investment Analyst at SEI investments, responsible for ultra-high net worth and non-profit clients with $10 billion in assets. David graduated from Bucknell with a BA in political science and history and also holds an MBA from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. During our time with David, we discussed the macroeconomic environment as well as the current headwinds facing energy and recent stock volatility.
Yvonne Jeng ’16 pitched Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on January 27, 2016. Alexion is a biotechnology company that is focused on the research, development, and commercialization of antibody therapeutics for life-threatening, ultra-rare diseases. The company’s mission is to develop life-transforming therapies for patients with rare diseases and deliver medical breakthroughs where none currently exist. Three drugs lead Alexion’s rare disease-focused pipeline: Soliris, Strensiq, and Kanuma. Most notable is Soliris, the company’s billion-dollar blockbuster. Alexion has over 20 drug candidates in its pipeline, which spans several therapeutic areas. Many of them have the potential to become first-in-class therapies for patients with severe and life-threatening disorders. Alexion has experienced exceptional revenue growth throughout the past few years. The company’s future will reside in the orphan drug market, a rapidly growing but incredibly risky market.
Amanda Beare ’16 pitched The Home Depot (HD) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on January 20, 2016. Two seasoned retailing executives, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, founded Home Depot in 1978, along with the help of investment banker and Bucknell University alumnus Kenneth Langone ’57. Home Depot and its subsidiaries operate full-service, warehouse-style stores that average approximately 104,000 sq. ft. of indoor space, and an additional 24,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space for gardening needs. The company offers over 30,000 different types of building materials, home improvement supplies, and garden and lawn products for professional customers, do-it-yourself customers, and do-it-for-me customers. Home Depot differentiates its business from others by striving to achieve superior customer service, product authority, disciplined capital allocation, heightened productivity and efficiency, and a greater interconnected. The class voted to buy Home Depot.