Delaware U.S. Growth Fund

Objective

Delaware U.S. Growth Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in equity securities of companies we believe have the potential for sustainable free cash flow growth.

Strategy

The Fund invests in stocks of medium- to large-sized companies that its portfolio managers believe to have long-term capital appreciation potential and are expected to grow faster than the US economy.

Key features

  • Differentiated approach to growth investing with an emphasis on intrinsic business value and the cash economics of a business
  • Concentrated, actively managed approach
  • Long term investment horizon with a strong history of generating attractive risk-adjusted returns
Fund information
Inception date02/03/1994
Dividends paid (if any)Annually
Capital gains paid (if any)November or December
Fund identifiers
NASDAQDEUIX
CUSIP245917802

Institutional Class shares available only available to certain investors. See the prospectus for more information.

The performance quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.

Total returns may reflect waivers and/or expense reimbursements by the manager and/or distributor for some or all of the periods shown. Performance would have been lower without such waivers and reimbursements.

Average annual total return

as of month-end (07/31/2018)

as of quarter-end (06/30/2018)

YTD1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception date
NAV (view definition)8.79%16.82%8.74%12.69%11.35%8.19%02/03/1994
Russell 1000 Growth Index10.40%22.84%14.81%15.83%12.37%n/a
1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception date
NAV (view definition)3.90%18.02%8.91%13.08%10.76%8.08%02/03/1994
Russell 1000 Growth Index5.76%22.51%14.98%16.36%11.83%n/a

Returns for less than one year are not annualized.

Index performance returns do not reflect any management fees, transaction costs, or expenses. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index.

Expense ratio
Gross0.81%
Net0.81%
Quarterly total returns @ NAV
Year1st quarter2nd quarter3rd quarter4th quarterAnnual return
20181.36%3.90%n/an/an/a
20177.48%6.46%8.70%3.10%28.24%
2016-6.40%-1.34%7.27%-4.29%-5.18%
20152.78%1.43%-7.24%8.75%5.16%
2014-0.04%5.17%0.57%6.58%12.69%
201310.05%0.05%9.81%10.98%34.19%
201215.94%-5.21%6.29%-0.70%15.99%
20115.98%1.71%-10.34%11.75%8.00%
20102.45%-11.44%14.86%9.65%14.27%
2009-0.11%15.60%12.82%10.77%44.30%
2008-11.03%-3.85%-15.00%-22.31%-43.51%

Institutional Class shares available only available to certain investors. See the prospectus for more information.

Portfolio characteristics - as of 07/31/2018Russell 1000 Growth Index
Number of holdings30542
Market cap (median) Source: FactSet$44.2 billion12356633000.000000000
Market cap (weighted average) Source: FactSet$189.8 billion288906648839.970000000
Portfolio turnover (last fiscal year)43%n/a
Beta (relative to Russell 1000 Growth Index) (view definition)0.95n/a
Annualized standard deviation, 3 years (view definition)11.91n/a
Portfolio composition as of 07/31/2018Total may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Domestic equities97.6%
International equities & depositary receipts1.8%
Cash and cash equivalents0.5%
Top 10 holdings as of 07/31/2018

Holdings are as of the date indicated and subject to change.

List may exclude cash, cash equivalents, and exchanged-traded funds (ETFs) that are used for cash management purposes. Please see the Fund’s complete list of holdings for more information.

Holdings based by issuer.

Holding% of portfolio
Microsoft Corp.7.87%
Visa Inc.6.29%
Alphabet Inc.5.92%
Mastercard Inc.5.71%
Biogen Inc.4.76%
PayPal Holdings Inc.4.75%
IQVIA Holdings Inc.4.53%
KKR & Co. Inc.4.16%
FedEx Corp.3.83%
Liberty Global PLC3.59%
Total % Portfolio in Top 10 holdings51.41%

Sector allocation as of 07/31/2018

List may exclude cash, cash equivalents, and exchanged-traded funds (ETFs) that are used for cash management purposes. Please see the Fund’s complete list of holdings for more information.
SectorFund
Information technology48.7%
Healthcare17.0%
Consumer discretionary12.9%
Financials12.7%
Real Estate4.4%
Industrials3.8%
Distribution history - annual distributions (Institutional Class)1,2
Distributions ($ per share)
YearCapital gains3Net investment
income
20180.0000.000
20173.1650.008
20161.6500.043
20152.9520.142
20140.6950.118
20130.0000.019
20120.0000.028
20110.0000.021
20100.0000.022
20090.0000.009
20080.0000.017

1If a Fund makes a distribution from any source other than net income, it is required to provide shareholders with a notice disclosing the source of such distribution (each a "Notice"). The amounts and sources of distributions reported above and in each Notice are only estimates and are not provided for tax reporting purposes. Each Fund will send each shareholder a Form 1099 DIV for the calendar year that will provide definitive information on how to report the Fund's distributions for federal income tax purposes. The information in the table above will not be updated to reflect any subsequent recharacterization of dividends and distributions. Click here to see recent Notices pertaining to the Fund (if any).

2Information on return of capital distributions (if any) is only provided from June 1, 2014 onward.

3Includes both short- and long-term capital gains.

Institutional Class shares available only available to certain investors. See the prospectus for more information.

Investment manager

Delaware Management Company, a series of Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust (formerly, Delaware Management Business Trust) (a Delaware statutory trust)

Sub-advisor

Jackson Square Partners, LLC


Jeff VanHarte

Jeffrey S. Van Harte, CFA

Chairman, Chief Investment Officer — Jackson Square Partners, LLC

Start date on the Fund: April 2005

Years of industry experience: 37

(View bio)


Chris Bonavico

Christopher J. Bonavico, CFA

Portfolio Manager, Research Analyst — Jackson Square Partners, LLC

Start date on the Fund: April 2005

Years of industry experience: 30

(View bio)


Chris Ericksen

Christopher M. Ericksen, CFA

Portfolio Manager, Research Analyst — Jackson Square Partners, LLC

Start date on the Fund: September 2005

Years of industry experience: 24

(View bio)


Daniel J. Prislin, CFA

Portfolio Manager, Research Analyst — Jackson Square Partners, LLC

Start date on the Fund: April 2005

Years of industry experience: 24

(View bio)


Institutional Class shares available only available to certain investors. See the prospectus for more information.

The table below describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund.

Shareholder fees
Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on purchases as a percentage of offering pricenone
Maximum contingent deferred sales charge (load) as a percentage of original purchase price or redemption price, whichever is lowernone
Annual fund operating expenses
Management fees0.57%
Distribution and service (12b-1) feesnone
Other expenses0.24%
Total annual fund operating expenses0.81%
Fee waivers and expense reimbursementsnone
Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waivers0.81%

Institutional Class shares available only available to certain investors. See the prospectus for more information.

This commentary is currently not available. Please check back later.

Delaware U.S. Growth Fund Quarterly commentary March 31, 2018

Market Review

Despite modestly negative returns for developed market indices, the first quarter of 2018 was a solid one for risk assets as the weaker dollar supported commodities, which in turn benefited emerging market debt and equity. Among economic sectors, technology continued to lead both in the United States and globally, as most sectors were flat to negative for the quarter.

Outperformance of risk assets was also illustrated in US fixed income, as high yield outperformed the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Index despite a rising rate environment and negative returns.

Statistical factors continued recent trends with momentum and growth leading the pack while value trailed. The volatility factor also had weak returns as volatility increased dramatically in the first quarter from historically low levels.

In the US, for the first quarter, the small-mid cap Russell 2500TM Growth gained 2.38% while the large-cap Russell 1000® Growth gained 1.42% and the Russell 3000® Growth gained 1.48% In the international equity markets, the MSCI ACWI (All Country World Index) Index (net) lost 0.96%.

Within the Fund

While stock exposure largely drove performance, on a sector level, healthcare was the largest detractor and information technology was the largest contributor to performance.

Mastercard Inc., a financial service company that facilitates electronic funds transfer, contributed to the Fund’s performance during the quarter. Mastercard reported a strong fourth quarter, with revenue up 18% year over year. The company also revised its three-year performance estimates higher. We believe the company’s operating margins should continue to expand in the near to mid-term. More broadly, there is an inexorable global payment trend away from paper currency and checks to electronic payments (specifically, credit and debit). We believe that Mastercard is well positioned to take advantage of this trend — the company’s revenues are based on transactions that are laid over an existing network with minimal incremental capital investment required, generally resulting in high incremental margins.

TripAdvisor Inc., a travel website that provides travel advice and planning features, was a contributor to performance during the quarter. The company reported positive earnings, significantly beating both revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) estimates. The company credits its recent success to the stabilization of its click-based ad auction and lower online acquisition costs. In addition, the company plans to repurchase $250 million worth of shares. Finally, the company added Jay Hoag — co-founder of venture capital firm TCV and Netflix board member — to its board in February, sparking hopes of potential strategic moves, including the possibility of a sale of the company. We believe TripAdvisor is an undervalued asset due to its ability to attract 415 million travelers and based on our view that the company is worth more than recognized at the current valuation.

Domino’s Pizza Inc., operates a network of company-owned and franchised stores located throughout the US and other countries. The stock remained strong through March after reporting solid financials in February. In addition, challenging news came out about some of its key competitors, including Papa John’s, which lost its contract with the National Football League (NFL). We believe Domino’s market-share gains should continue in a very fragmented pizza segment within the restaurant industry.

Dentsply Sirona Inc., a dental equipment maker and dental consumables producer, detracted from the Fund’s performance during the quarter. The company announced the appointment of Donald Casey as the new CEO, leading investors to speculate about whether or not Casey will follow through with the aggressive cost-savings plan proposed by interim CEO Mark Thierer. The company responded to the speculation, assuring investors that the cost-savings target would stay in place. Furthermore, the board has stated that it is excited about Casey’s experience and hopeful that he can help the company continue its global expansion and improve its distribution. Overall, we believe that the company carries high caliber products that will prevail despite the changing distribution relationships in the industry.

Biogen Inc., a biotechnology company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, was a detractor from performance during the quarter. The company added patients to a phase 3 trial of its primary drug to treat Alzheimer’s, increasing the sample size in order to generate further statistical significance. While the market reacted negatively, we do not believe that trial expansion is necessarily a negative indicator for the drug. The company’s decision to expand the sample size could have been made for various reasons, including potential positive news that patients receiving the drug improved even more than anticipated. We believe that the selloff related to this perceived but unconfirmed trial setback is overblown, and that Biogen’s existing product offerings, attractive and robust pipeline, and progress in the ever-growing field of neurodegenerative and cognitive impairment diseases, should continue to drive growth in the long term.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., a publisher and distributor of video games, was a detractor from the Fund’s performance during the quarter. The stock experienced some weakness as the company delayed the release of its new title Red Dead II. In addition, the previous quarter’s bookings came in 1% light versus consensus, a departure from the company’s recent history of significantly exceeding guidance. We acted on the stock’s temporary weakness and added to the position, as we believe product delays are relatively normal in the industry and do not necessarily correlate to the success or failure of a product release. Overall, the company’s growth has been fueled by the increasingly popular in-game purchases that players make to enhance their gaming experience, which allow for incremental monetization of new and existing titles.

Outlook

After significant positive absolute returns in the equity market over the past several years, some measures of volatility emerged during the first quarter of 2018. The volatility appeared to be both technical and fundamental, leaving investors struggling to accurately predict the pace of global economic recovery and assessing external factors that threaten economic fundamentals, such as central bank actions and fiscal policy debates around the globe. In any given period, including the first quarter, the markets oscillate quickly from sector rotations to stock differentiation and then back again. The result can sometimes be investor focus on equities as an asset class as opposed to a focus on company-specific fundamentals.

President Trump’s unconventional style as a head of state, along with current questions and investigations surrounding his administration, could hamper significant policy change. In the short term, we are mindful of the potential macroeconomic implications of Trump policy shifts (including economic growth and higher corporate and personal incomes from lower tax rates). More recently, President Trump’s comments and public positioning on global trade seems to have created more investor concerns about how a potential global trade war might affect the pace of economic growth. We believe it is too early to determine the long-term magnitude of such outcomes, and we will closely monitor President Trump’s tenure with a keen eye on the execution of significant policy shifts.

Nonetheless, regardless of policy outcomes, we remain consistent in our long-term investment philosophy: We want to own what we view as strong secular-growth companies with solid business models and competitive positions that we believe can grow market share and have the potential to deliver shareholder value in a variety of market environments.

Index definitions

The MSCI ACWI Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure equity market performance across developed and emerging markets worldwide. Index "net" return approximates the minimum possible dividend reinvestment, after deduction of withholding tax at the highest possible rate.

The Russell 2500 Growth Index measures the performance of the small- to mid-cap growth segment of the US equity universe. It includes those Russell 2500 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.

The Russell 3000 Growth Index measures the performance of the broad growth segment of the US equity universe. It includes those Russell 3000 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values.

Index performance returns do not reflect management fees, transaction costs, or expenses. Indices are unmanaged, and one cannot invest directly in an index.

[467678] 04/18

The views expressed represent the Manager’s assessment of the Fund and market environment as of the date indicated, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any security, and should not be relied on as research or investment advice.

Document must be used in its entirety.

Jackson Square Partners, LLC (JSP), a US registered investment advisor, is the sub-advisor to the Fund. As sub-advisor, JSP is responsible for day-to-day management of the Fund’s assets. Delaware Management Company (DMC), a series of Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust (MIMBT), has ultimate responsibility for all investment advisory services.

All third-party marks cited are the property of their respective owners.

Russell Investment Group is the source and owner of the trademarks, service marks, and copyrights related to the Russell Indexes. Russell® is a trademark of Russell Investment Group.

Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risk factors, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus and its summary prospectus, which may be obtained by clicking the prospectus link located in the right-hand sidebar or calling 800 523-1918. Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value

Fund Finder

Daily pricing (as of 08/17/2018)

Institutional ClassPriceNet change
NAV$28.19-0.06
Max offer price$28.19n/a

Total net assets (as of 07/31/2018)

$3.0 billion all share classes

Overall Morningstar RatingTM

 
Institutional Class shares (as of 07/31/2018)
RatingNo. of funds
Overall31265
3 Yrs21265
5 Yrs21137
10 Yrs3821
Morningstar categoryMorningstar Large Growth Category

(View Morningstar disclosure)

The Morningstar rating is based on risk-adjusted returns.

Morningstar ranking (as of 07/31/2018)

YTD ranking1011 / 1480
1 year1179 / 1449
3 years1155 / 1265
5 years822 / 1137
10 years303 / 821
Morningstar categoryMorningstar Large Growth Category

(View Morningstar disclosure)

The Morningstar ranking is based on historical total returns.

Lipper ranking (as of 07/31/2018)

YTD ranking596 / 705
1 year618 / 690
3 years575 / 596
5 years479 / 549
10 years171 / 405
Lipper classificationLipper Large-Cap Growth Funds Average

(View Lipper disclosure)

The Lipper ranking is based on historical total returns.

Benchmark, peer group

Russell 1000® Growth Index (view definition)

Morningstar Large Growth Category (view definition)

Lipper Large-Cap Growth Funds Average (view definition)

Additional information