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Baron Funds: “Marqeta (MQ) Earns High Incremental Margins on Each Dollar Spent on its Cards”

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Baron Funds, an asset management firm, published its “Baron FinTech Fund” second quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of 16.79% was delivered by the fund’s institutional shares for the Q2 of 2021, outperforming the S&P 500 Index, which appreciated 8.55%, and the FactSet Global FinTech Index which rose 5.40% for the same period. You can take a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to have an idea about their top bets for 2021.

In the Q2 2021 investor letter of Baron Funds, the fund mentioned Marqeta, Inc. (NASDAQ: MQ) and discussed its stance on the firm. Marqeta, Inc. is an Oakland, California-based IT service management company with a $14.4 billion market capitalization. The stock closed at $26.96 per share on September 3, 2021.

Here is what Baron Funds has to say about Marqeta, Inc. in its Q2 2021 investor letter:

"We participated in the IPO of Marqeta, Inc., a modern card-issuing platform that enables companies to run their own payment card programs. Marqeta is built on modern technology and can be accessed with open APIs that are easy to use and developer-friendly, resulting in most of its clients coming from word-of-mouth referrals instead of outbound sales. The modern technology stack allows for the programmability of cards, enabling companies to authorize transactions in real time and control how the cards are used. This programmable nature means that cards can be used in a range of use cases for which traditional cards are not suitable. Examples include cards with spending controls for different employees and purchase categories as well as cards for food delivery companies that restrict spending only to authorized purchases to reduce fraud. While there are other card issuers, none can provide the level of functionality at large scale that Marqeta can. Marqeta generates revenue from the interchange fees earned on transactions that are processed on its cards. It shares a portion of this with its customers, meaning that card solutions become a revenue stream rather than a cost center. Many of the company’s clients are fast growing, and Marqeta continues to innovate the features on its platform, which in turn give its clients more tools with which to develop new card payment products and experiences. Given a largely fixed cost structure, Marqeta earns high incremental margins on each dollar spent on its cards. Led by founder-CEO Jason Gardner, we believe that Marqeta is a high-quality, differentiated business in the FinTech space with a long runway for growth."

Most Profitable Industries in the World in 2021
Most Profitable Industries in the World in 2021

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Based on our calculations, Marqeta, Inc. (NASDAQ: MQ) was not able to clinch a spot in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. MQ was in 35 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first half of 2021. Marqeta, Inc. (NASDAQ: MQ) delivered a -1.17% return in the past month.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 115 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Federal Reserve has been creating trillions of dollars electronically to keep the interest rates near zero. We believe this will lead to inflation and boost real estate prices. So, we recommended this real estate stock to our monthly premium newsletter subscribers. We go through lists like the 10 best EV stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.