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Is Fidelity Equity-Income Fund (FEQIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for FEQIX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If investors are looking at the Large Cap Value fund category, Fidelity Equity-Income Fund (FEQIX) could be a potential option. FEQIX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

Objective

FEQIX is classified in the Large Cap Value segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Investors interested in a stable income stream fund these mutual funds very appealing because they have a unique investing strategy. Large Cap Value funds invest in stocks with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more, but whose share prices do not reflect their intrinsic value. This tactic often leads to low P/E ratios and high dividend yields; however, these funds'high growth opportunity are often slowed, as large-cap securities are generally in stable industries with low to moderate growth prospects.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is responsible for FEQIX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. Fidelity Equity-Income Fund made its debut in May of 1966, and since then, FEQIX has accumulated about $7.22 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Ramona Persaud, has been in charge of the fund since October of 2011.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 12.58%, and is 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 13.19%, which places it in the top 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. The standard deviation of FEQIX over the past three years is 17.57% compared to the category average of 17.65%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 14.5% compared to the category average of 14.47%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. FEQIX has a 5-year beta of 0.92, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -3.5. This means that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Investigating 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 mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 90.25% stock in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $203 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Finance
  2. Industrial Cyclical

Turnover is 50%, which means, on average, the fund makes fewer trades than comparable funds.

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, FEQIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.59% compared to the category average of 1%. So, FEQIX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Equity-Income Fund ( FEQIX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Large Cap Value funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare FEQIX to its peers as well for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.



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