Is T. Rowe Price Growth Stock I (PRUFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Starting with T. Rowe Price Growth Stock I (PRUFX) is one possibility. PRUFX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

T. Rowe Price is based in Baltimore, MD, and is the manager of PRUFX. Since T. Rowe Price Growth Stock I made its debut in September of 2015, PRUFX has garnered more than $18.11 billion in assets. Joseph B. Fath is the fund’s current manager and has held that role since September of 2015.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 16.96%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 16.52%, which places it in the bottom 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. Over the past three years, PRUFX’s standard deviation comes in at 19.99%, compared to the category average of 15.82%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund’s standard deviation is 17.96% compared to the category average of 14.09%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.04, which means it is hypothetically more volatile than the market at large. Because alpha represents a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. With a positive alpha of 0.59, managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring 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 principally on equities that are traded in the United States.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 85.66% of its assets in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $751.38 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology

  2. Retail Trade

Turnover is about 22.7%, so those in charge of the fund make fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, PRUFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.51% compared to the category average of 1%. So, PRUFX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1 million, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, T. Rowe Price Growth Stock I ( PRUFX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, T. Rowe Price Growth Stock I ( PRUFX ) looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on PRUFXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.

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