U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 22 mins

Should Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF) Be on Your Investing Radar?

Sweta Killa
Xylem (XYL) first-quarter 2019 earnings lag estimates and improve year over year on sales growth. It lowers 2019 earnings projection on account of first-quarter results and forex woes.

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market, the Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/15/2006.

The fund is sponsored by Invesco. It has amassed assets over $207.19 M, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the Large Cap Growth segment of the US equity market.

Why Large Cap Growth

Large cap companies usually have a market capitalization above $10 billion. Considered a more stable option, large cap companies boast more predictable cash flows and are less volatile than their mid and small cap counterparts.

While growth stocks do boast higher than average sales and earnings growth rates, and they are expected to grow faster than the wider market, investors should note these kinds of stocks have higher valuations. Something to keep in mind is the higher level of volatility that is affiliated with growth stocks. Even though growth stocks are more likely to outperform their value counterparts in strong bull markets, value stocks have a record of delivering better returns in almost all markets than growth stocks.

Costs

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.59%, putting it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.24%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation to the Healthcare sector--about 18.60% of the portfolio. Industrials and Information Technology round out the top three.

Looking at individual holdings, Garmin Ltd (GRMN) accounts for about 1.18% of total assets, followed by Transdigm Group Inc (TDG) and Kinder Morgan Inc/de (KMI).

The top 10 holdings account for about 11.27% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

DEF seeks to match the performance of the Guggenheim Defensive Equity Index before fees and expenses. The Guggenheim Defensive Equity Index is comprised of approximately 100 stocks selected from the S&P 500 Index based on investment and other screening criteria. The companies selected have potentially superior risk-return profiles during periods of stock market weakness while still offering the potential for gains during periods of market strength.

The ETF has added roughly 12.24% so far this year and it's up approximately 8.25% in the last one year (as of 03/27/2019). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $41.71 and $50.42.

The ETF has a beta of 0.78 and standard deviation of 10.91% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 100 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

Invesco Defensive Equity ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, DEF is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Growth area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ) track a similar index. While iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF has $42.38 B in assets, Invesco QQQ has $72.13 B. IWF has an expense ratio of 0.20% and QQQ charges 0.20%.

Bottom-Line

An increasingly popular option among retail and institutional investors, passively managed ETFs offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; they are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Invesco Defensive Equity ETF (DEF): ETF Research Reports
 
Transdigm Group Incorporated (TDG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF): ETF Research Reports
 
Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports
 
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research