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Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure

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Ticker
PGUAX
CUSIP
92828R826
POP
$ (as of )
Inception
12/30/2004
Total Assets by Class
$33,103,379.21 (as of 01/21/2022)
Total Assets by Fund
$89,241,138.19 (as of 01/21/2022)
Morningstar Category
Infrastructure

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

Senior 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 12/31/2021)
Security
NextEra Energy Inc
7.31
 7.31%
American Tower Corp
6.04
 6.04%
Crown Castle International Corp
4.80
 4.80%
Aena SME SA
4.57
 4.57%
Dominion Energy Inc
4.24
 4.24%
Transurban Group
3.85
 3.85%
National Grid PLC
3.70
 3.70%
Sempra Energy
3.45
 3.45%
Cellnex Telecom SA
3.13
 3.13%
Norfolk Southern Corp
3.07
 3.07%

Holdings are subject to change.

Characteristics4

(as of 12/31/2021)
Average Weighted Market Cap (billions) $57.17
Median Market Cap (billions) $30.95
Trailing P/E Ex-Negative Earnings 26.94
Price-to-Cash Flow 19.31
Price-to-Book Value 3.21
3-Year EPS Growth Rate 5.43

Sector Allocation (% Equity)

(as of 12/31/2021)
Multi-Utilities
20.35
 20.35%
Electric Utilities
20.17
 20.17%
Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation
12.22
 12.22%
Specialized REITs
10.90
 10.90%
Airport Services
9.35
 9.35%
Railroads
9.17
 9.17%
Highways & Railtracks
5.56
 5.56%
Construction & Engineering
3.85
 3.85%
Water Utilities
3.17
 3.17%
Integrated Telecommunication Services
3.14
 3.14%
Gas Utilities
2.12
 2.12%

Top Countries (% Invested Assets)

(as of 12/31/2021)

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.

Performance

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

Distribution History2

(as of )
Ex-Date
Income
STCG
LTCG
Reinvest NAV

Risk Statistics3

(as of )
Fund Index
R2
Beta
Alpha
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 or medium-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, and political, regulatory, economic, and market risk.
Income: Income received from the portfolio may vary widely over the short and long term and may be less than anticipated.
Market Volatility: Local, regional, or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant impact on the portfolio and its investments, including hampering the ability of the portfolio manager(s) to invest the portfolio's assets as intended.
Prospectus: For additional information on risks, please see the fund's prospectus.

Commentary

4Q21

Market Review

Equity markets rallied, fueled by a strong round of corporate earnings reports and investors’ anticipation of further economic recovery and growth. Market participants largely shrugged off concerns about a change in U.S. monetary policy, while lingering fears around rising inflation and the Delta/Omicron variants of COVID-19 have remained in check.

Utilities were the best-performing sector after lagging the market for much of the year. Recent news highlighted favorable policy developments that will underpin long-term growth prospects as utilities transition to renewable sources of power generation. In the U.S., passage of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act will support most sectors in our strategy, particularly utilities. The communications sector was also strong as U.S. tower companies reported record levels of activity stemming from 5G network upgrades. The big three U.S. wireless operators have begun to upgrade their networks in earnest while a new entrant is feverishly building out a fourth nationwide network. The transportation sector rose modestly in the period, with a varied performance across the underlying industries. The U.S. freight railroads rose sharply as fears of a supply chain bottleneck subsided. Earnings reports revealed a very strong pricing environment for the railroad companies that would more than compensate for any volume weakness attributed to supply chain issues. Midstream energy stocks took a breather this quarter after a very strong run earlier in the year. Despite a near-term pullback in commodity prices due to Omicron fears, the supply-demand balance remains tight as volumes continue to ramp up with economic recovery.  

Portfolio Review

Stock selection was the key contributor to performance and was positive across all infrastructure sectors except communications. Sector allocation was neutral as the negative effects of an overweight position in midstream energy and underweight position in utilities were offset by the positive effects of an overweight position in communications and underweight position in transportation.

The largest contributors were U.S. railroads that bounced back sharply. The rails had sold off in the third quarter on worries about global supply chain congestion and the likely negative impact on freight volumes. The fourth quarter brought signs of bottlenecks easing and news of strong rail price increases. Norfolk Southern Corporation, primarily operating on the U.S. East Coast, reported a 15% increase in average revenue per carload on flat volumes, an indication of a very strong pricing environment. CSX Corporation, another railroad operator concentrated in the Eastern U.S., also had positive comments about the pricing environment.

The largest detractors were Orsted A/S and Cellnex Telcom SA. Denmark-based Orsted is an out-of-benchmark utility holding that is a leading global developer of renewables facilities, predominantly offshore wind. Orsted’s stock declined in the quarter primarily due to an earnings miss, which was caused by low wind speeds in the U.K. North Sea. We consider this condition to be temporary in nature. Despite this short-term stock pullback, we continue to believe the renewable energy marketplace has material growth potential and offers attractive rates of return. European wireless tower provider Cellnex traded lower r due to negative news on the M&A front.  The U.K. regulator expressed a negative opinion regarding Cellnex’s pending purchase of a second tower portfolio, citing market share concerns. We believe these regulatory limits will also crimp potential consolidation by Cellnex’s competitors. Narrowing the field of potential partners will increase the likelihood of Cellnex winning acquisitions and may help keep a lid on the pricing (i.e., no intense auctions).

Investment Outlook

We see opportunities as market volatility has created attractive valuations across much of the infrastructure universe. Strong secular trends support a steady growth cadence for communications and utility companies, while transportation and midstream energy companies are poised to benefit from improving economies.

Within communications, we continue to be bullish on wireless tower companies. In the U.S., we expect a reacceleration of growth to accommodate wireless usage and deploy new spectrum. In Europe, the independent tower model is accelerating, as more telecommunications carriers are considering selling off their tower portfolios. The 5G buildout is just beginning and will be a multi-year process, so tower companies’ runway for related growth is still quite long.

We maintain an underweight position to utilities relative to the benchmark, but have a positive bias toward utilities with a focus on the clean-energy transition. Decarbonization of the economy creates a win-win for utilities as they improve their environmental profile while also increasing their earnings. The transition to renewable energy provides a visible ramp of growth that extends for more than a decade. Utilities have much to offer as investments: strong earnings visibility; momentum from the global clean-energy theme; and attractive valuations relative to the broader market. 

We expect transportation to rebound as economies emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, but the pace of recovery has been varied within the sector. Over the course of the year, we expect global supply chain congestion to moderate, supporting more fluid movement of freight volumes as economies recover. Traffic trends for toll roads are improving and, in some cases, even surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Airports continue to suffer the most from the pandemic. Airport management teams remain focused on preserving liquidity and minimizing operating expenses, even as passenger volumes are beginning to show signs of improvement. Leisure travel should continue to improve due to pent-up demand, while business travel is likely to face continued challenges from video conferencing and corporate ESG objectives.

Midstream energy should continue to perform well. Although crude oil, natural gas, and LNG (liquified natural gas) prices are off the highs set several weeks ago, they remain at levels that are broadly supportive of producer economics and should encourage continued modest increases in activity levels. With signs of improvement in the operating environment, we view large, integrated midstream energy companies as undervalued, given their attractive asset bases and the essential role they play in the transportation of oil, natural gas, and LNG.

The new year 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 heading into 2022.

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

Distributions

Mutual Fund Distributions

Financial Materials

Virtus Opportunities Trust Statutory Prospectus
Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Summary Prospectus
Virtus Opportunities Trust Prospectus XBRL 485B 02 01 2021
Virtus Opportunities Trust SAI
Virtus Opportunities Trust Annual Report
Virtus Opportunities Trust Semiannual Report

Holdings

Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund Monthly 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

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 total dollar market value of all of a company’s outstanding shares; 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.

© 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.