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Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund

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$ (as of )
Total Assets by Class
$26,469,801.75 (as of 12/01/2023)
Total Assets by Fund
$143,709,658.39 (as of 12/01/2023)
Morningstar Category

Portfolio Overview

Investment Overview

The Fund seeks attractive capital appreciation and current income by investing globally in owners/operators of essential services companies involved in the communications, utility, transportation, and energy industries. The highly experienced portfolio team applies a disciplined, bottom-up investment process that strives to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns.

Management Team

Investment Partner

Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co.

Duff & Phelps Investment Management pursues specialized investment strategies with exceptional depth of resources and expertise. Since its earliest beginnings, providing research and analysis of income producing securities to Depression-era investors, the firm's attention has been set on identifying attractive opportunities through active management and fundamental research, while managing the associated risks. Today, building on a distinguished legacy, Duff & Phelps has earned a reputation as a leader in investing in Global Listed Infrastructure, Global Listed Real Estate, Clean Energy, and Diversified Real Assets.

Quality. Reliability. Specialization. Since 1932.

Learn more about Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co.

Investment Professionals

Connie Luecke

Connie Luecke, CFA

Senior Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager

Industry start date: 1983
Start date as fund Portfolio Manager: 2004

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Steven Wittwer

Steven Wittwer, CFA

Executive Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager

Industry start date: 1997
Start date as fund Portfolio Manager: 2018

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Key Features

Attractive Income and Growth Potential

Pursues the relatively high, predictable dividends and solid capital appreciation opportunities that infrastructure companies can offer

Strong Protective Attributes

Focuses on essential services companies that historically have performed well regardless of economic conditions, with long-term contracts or regulatory agreements that provide a potential inflation hedge

Lower Relative Risk Profile

High-conviction portfolio of 40-60 securities emphasizes quality, developed market owner/operators with high-visibility revenues, above-average dividend payouts, and steady cash flow and earnings growth

Portfolio Characteristics

Top Holdings (% Fund)

(as of 09/29/2023)
Transurban Group
American Tower Corp
NextEra Energy Inc
Cheniere Energy Inc
Enbridge Inc
National Grid PLC
CenterPoint Energy Inc
Crown Castle Inc

Holdings are subject to change.


(as of 09/29/2023)
Average Weighted Market Cap (billions) $36.71
Median Market Cap (billions) $20.10
Trailing P/E Ex-Negative Earnings 17.31
Price-to-Cash Flow 9.34
Price-to-Book Value 2.05
3-Year Earnings Growth Rate 11.65

Industry Allocation (% Equity)

(as of 09/29/2023)
Electric Utilities
Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation
Airport Services
Highways & Railtracks
Telecom Tower REITs
Rail Transportation
Construction & Engineering
Gas Utilities
Water Utilities
Integrated Telecommunication Services

Top Countries (% Invested Assets)

(as of 09/29/2023)

Performance & Risk

Growth of $10,000 Investment

From to
This chart assumes an initial investment of $10,000 made on for Class ddd shares including any applicable sales charges. Performance assumes reinvestment of dividends and capital gain distributions.


As of
As of

Performance data quoted represents past results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and current performance may be higher or lower than the performance shown. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Sales Charge and Expenses

Yields / Distributions1

(as of )
30-day SEC Yield
30-day SEC Yield (unsubsidized)
Distribution Rate (at NAV)
Income Distributions Current Month
Income Distributions YTD

Risk Statistics3

(as of )
Fund Index
Std Dev

Risk Considerations

Equity Securities: The market price of equity securities may be adversely affected by financial market, industry, or issuer-specific events. Focus on a particular style or on small, medium, or large-sized companies may enhance that risk.
Industry/Sector Concentration: A portfolio that focuses its investments in a particular industry or sector will be more sensitive to conditions that affect that industry or sector than a non-concentrated portfolio.
Foreign Investing: Investing in foreign securities subjects the portfolio to additional risks such as increased volatility; currency fluctuations; less liquidity; less publicly available information about the foreign investment; and political, regulatory, economic, and market risk.
Income: Income received from the portfolio may vary widely over the short- and long-term and/or be less than anticipated if the proceeds from maturing securities in the portfolio are reinvested in lower-yielding securities.
Market Volatility: The value of the securities in the portfolio may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies and/or general economic conditions. Local, regional, or global events such as war or military conflict, terrorism, pandemic, or recession could impact the portfolio, including hampering the ability of the portfolio's manager(s) to invest its assets as intended.
Prospectus: For additional information on risks, please see the fund's prospectus.



Market Developments

Equity markets slid lower in the third quarter, as investors came to grips with the idea of interest rates remaining higher for longer. Coming out of the September FOMC meeting, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at one more rate hike in 2023 and the need to maintain higher rates for some time. The European Central Bank also plans to keep rates higher for longer, tightening into a slowdown. Investors are concerned that Europe may be on the verge of recession. Meanwhile, economic data from China continues to be worse than expected, and the Chinese real estate sector is once again showing signs of weakness. Global developed markets (as measured by the MSCI World Index (net)) fell 3.46% on a total return basis. Global listed infrastructure stocks (as measured by the FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 Index (net)) declined 8.75% in the quarter, trailing the broader market.

Energy infrastructure was the best-performing sector in the quarter. Oil market tightness bolstered prices and offset any concerns about economic growth risks in China. In June, OPEC+ agreed on a broad deal to limit oil supply into 2024. Saudi Arabia pledged an additional voluntary cut through August, followed by a further extension in September through the end of 2023. Global natural gas prices rose during the quarter, driven by strong demand in Europe and Asia as countries looked to replenish inventories ahead of winter. Labor disputes at key Australian LNG export facilities together with extended maintenance at Norwegian facilities added pressure on prices as well. While midstream companies generally do not take on direct commodity price exposure, commodity price movements tend to influence investors, and higher prices are generally supportive of midstream companies.

Transportation stocks fell during the quarter, but the sector remains the best performer so far this year. Airport management teams reported strong passenger traffic for the summer holiday season across Europe and a favorable outlook for autumn. Toll roads also provided positive updates as traffic levels and pricing remained strong in all regions. North American railroads traded lower as the companies noted that softer freight volumes are likely to continue for the remainder of the year.

Utility stocks lagged in the quarter as investors appeared to shun defensive sectors such as consumer staples, real estate, and utilities. U.S. utilities traded lower despite constructive earnings results and management commentary. The higher interest rate environment remains a headwind for the sector in the minds of investors, while regulatory challenges and wildfire concerns in multiple states added to investor caution. Japanese utilities were an exception, rebounding alongside Japan’s broader stock market in the quarter. Japanese utilities benefited from government approval of higher electric rates, better-than-expected fuel costs, and planned restarts of nuclear power plants.

The communications sector declined and remained the worst-performing sector year-to-date. A mix of higher interest rates and a maturing of the independent tower business model have contributed to the group’s underperformance. While the pace of carrier upgrades has slowed after the initial 5G deployment, the telecom industry is in the midst of a multi-year investment cycle to deploy new spectrum and accommodate wireless data growth. When interest rate headwinds begin to dissipate, we believe the attractive risk-reward profile for tower stocks supported by a solid business model and strong long-term fundamentals will become more apparent.

Performance Review

Performance was primarily hurt by stock selection in utilities, which was partially offset by positive selection in midstream energy. Sector allocation had limited impact, with the negative contribution from an overweight position in communications offset by the positive contributions of an overweight position in midstream energy and underweight position in transportation.

At the security level, the largest positive contributors to performance were Cheniere Energy and Targa Resources. Cheniere Energy is the leading producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the United States. Cheniere reported another quarter of strong demand for LNG and financial results were better than consensus estimates. Management raised full year guidance for 2023 and provided constructive messaging about plans for substantial stock buybacks. The company also benefited from higher global gas prices and increased investor flows into the energy sector. The stock represents the largest overweight position in the portfolio. Targa Resources is an integrated midstream energy company that benefited from the strong commodity price environment. Volume growth was also supportive, and investors are gaining confidence that the company’s earnings floor is higher than previously thought. In addition, Targa delivered a healthy pace of share repurchases, while continuing to execute on a robust capital spending program to maintain the company’s growth profile.

The top detractors from performance were NextEra Energy and Transurban Group. NextEra declined significantly in the quarter as the rapid rise in interest rates has made it more difficult to fund growth in their renewable business. Historically, NextEra dropped down renewable assets to a publicly traded subsidiary, NextEra Partners (NEP). This arrangement allowed NextEra to recycle capital and invest more to grow their renewable business. However, higher rates pushed the cost to fund the acquisitions of renewable assets by NEP to unattractive levels, meaning NextEra has lost a key avenue to finance its growth. Transurban, a toll road operator based in Australia, was weak on conservative earnings and dividend guidance for fiscal year 2024. The guidance reflects the usual pattern for Transurban, as the company is typically cautious at the beginning of the year and then reports better results as the year progresses. Additionally, the Australian regulator announced its intention to oppose the company’s bid on a toll road concession in Melbourne, which would extend Transurban’s current network of toll roads. While this is disappointing, Transurban is considering various options to reverse the decision. We continue to believe the company has an attractive set of assets and a long pipeline of growth projects.


The remainder of the year will present challenges as companies adjust to higher interest rates, volatile commodity prices, and continued political uncertainties. We are optimistic that listed infrastructure companies will display the resiliency of their business models as they weather these headwinds over the market cycle. We believe secular trends support continued progress within each sector. Asset renewal, energy security, decarbonization, and data growth are driving durable, long-term investment cycles that will continue for years to come despite negative short-term economic developments.

Wireless tower activity in the U.S. should remain robust as carriers shift from the initial stages of 5G buildout and blanket coverage to focus on more targeted network densification. In Europe, we expect healthy organic activity to continue as the tower companies benefit from further enhancements to mobile networks as well as inflation-linked escalators embedded in their contracts. Predictable cash flows provided by long-term contracts should make the tower companies more resilient to the macroeconomic challenges that may be ahead.

Utilities will benefit from the transition to renewable energy and renewal of assets, tailwinds we expect to last for years to come. The rapid rise in interest rates presents a near-term challenge, but over the medium term, regulatory agreements will adjust to reflect the macro environment. We believe there are multiple capital growth opportunities not just for renewables but also for transmission and resiliency spending as well. These investments in the utility grid both in the U.S. and Europe will support earnings and represent a long-term positive for the sector.

Our view on the transportation sector is cautious due to mixed outlooks for the near and medium term. Toll roads have shown resiliency in various market environments due to their stable business models, including inflation-linked tolling regimes and efficient cost structures. Therefore, we foresee relatively steady operations ahead and maintain an overweight position compared to the benchmark. Airports have experienced a strong recovery of passenger air travel, especially leisure travel. Despite this recovery, economic concerns together with higher airfares and operating costs have increased the uncertainty for airport fundamentals as we look ahead. North American railroads enjoy strong pricing trends in an inflationary environment and are well equipped to offset rising costs. However, near-term weakness in freight volumes and potential margin compression lead us to be cautious on the rails. Relative to the benchmark, the portfolio has an underweight position in both airports and railroads.

The midstream sector continues to be well-positioned to weather high inflation and commodity price volatility. Supply cuts from OPEC and Russia, combined with resilient global demand, have led to bullish drawdowns in global inventories and should continue to support elevated oil prices through year-end. Natural gas inventories in Europe are nearly full, which should keep a ceiling on prices over the short term. However, we expect a structurally tight market over the medium term, with upside volatility driven by colder winter weather and/or any extended supply disruptions. Midstream balance sheets are significantly stronger and dividend payouts are at sustainable levels. Most companies are at or near targeted leverage metrics and have pivoted to shareholder-friendly capital allocation policies. The sector is more insulated than it has been in prior downturns, which gives us a higher degree of comfort amid an uncertain macro backdrop.

The coming months will undoubtedly present unforeseen challenges, but we expect to find opportunities as well. Based on our current views of macroeconomic trends, industry drivers, and geopolitical risks, we believe our strategy is appropriately positioned. Our objective is to invest in companies with experienced management teams and predictable business models that are positioned for success despite the uncertain economic environment. As always, we will continue to closely monitor global developments through our research and management meetings, incorporating changes to portfolio positioning as warranted.

The commentary is the opinion of the subadviser. This material has been prepared using sources of information generally believed to be reliable; however, its accuracy is not guaranteed. Opinions represented are subject to change and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of securities.

Related Literature

Marketing Materials

Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Fact Sheet - I
Virtus DPIM Global Infrastructure Fund Fact Sheet - R6
Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Fact Sheet - A
Morningstar - Quarterly Ratings


Mutual Fund Distributions

Financial Materials

Virtus Opportunities Trust Statutory Prospectus
Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Summary Prospectus
Virtus Opportunities Trust SAI
Virtus Opportunities Trust Annual Report
Virtus Opportunities Trust Semiannual Report - Equity Funds


Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Quarterly Holdings
Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Top Holdings
Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Holdings Fiscal Q1
Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Holdings Fiscal Q3

SEC 19(a) Notices

Section 19(a) Notice for Ex-Date December 22, 2022

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of any Virtus Mutual Fund before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contains this and other information about the fund. Please contact your financial representative, call 1-800-243-4361 to obtain a current prospectus and/or summary prospectus. You should read the prospectus and/or summary prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

Performance data quoted represents past results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and current performance may be higher or lower than the performance shown. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Average annual total return is the annual compound return for the indicated period. It reflects the change in share price and the reinvestment of all dividends and capital gains. NAV returns do not include the effect of any applicable sales charges. POP and w/CDSC returns include the effect of maximum applicable sales charges.

Returns for periods of less than one year are cumulative total returns.

1 Yields/Distributions: 30-day SEC Yield is a standardized yield calculated according to a formula set by the SEC, and is subject to change. 30-day SEC Yield (unsubsidized) is the 30-day SEC Yield without the effect of applicable expense waivers. Distribution Rate is calculated by (a) annualizing the latest income distribution for fixed income funds or funds less than 1 year old, or (b) summing all income distributions over the preceding 12 months for all other funds, and dividing the NAV on the last business date of the period, unless otherwise indicated. The Distribution Rate may be comprised of ordinary income, net realized capital gains and returns of capital.

2 Distribution History: Distributions are represented on a cash basis and may be reclassified at year end for tax purposes. The Fund will send you a Form 1099-DIV for the calendar year that will tell you how to report these distributions for federal income tax purposes. STCG: Short Term Capital Gain, LTCG: Long Term Capital Gain

3 Risk Statistics: R2 is a statistical measure that represents the percentage of a fund or security's movements that can be explained by movements in a benchmark index. Beta is a quantitative measure of the volatility of a given portfolio to the overall market. Alpha is a risk adjusted measure of an investment's excess return relative to a benchmark. A positive Alpha indicates that the investment produced a return greater than expected for the risk (as measured by Beta) taken. Standard Deviation measures variability of returns around the average return for an investment fund. Higher standard deviation suggests greater risk. Risk Statistics are calculated using 36 monthly returns.

4 Characteristics: For Equity Funds: Avg. Weighted Market Cap (bn): The sum of each security's weight within the fund (or index) multiplied by the security's market capitalization; Trailing P/E Ex-Negative Earnings: Per-share stock price divided by the latest 12-months Earnings per Share; Price/Cash Flow: Per-share stock price divided by the per-share operating cash flow; Price/Book: Per-share stock price divided by the latest 12-month per-share Book Value; 3-Year EPS Growth Rate: Average of earnings per share growth for latest 3-year period. The 3-Year EPS Growth Rate is not a forecast of the fund's performance.

4 Characteristics: For Fixed Income Funds: Effective Duration represents the interest rate sensitivity of a fixed income fund. For example, if a fund's effective duration is five years, a 1% increase in interest rates would result in a 5% decline in the fund's price. Similarly, a 1% decline in interest rates would result in a 5% gain in the fund's price.

Morningstar Disclosures:
The Morningstar Rating for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods. Ratings do not take into account the effects of sales charges and loads.

© 2023 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.