Is ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor (BIPIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read

Having trouble finding a Sector - Health fund? Well, ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor (BIPIX) would not be a good potential starting point right now. BIPIX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Sector - Health funds is an area filled with options, such as BIPIX. Healthcare is one of the biggest sectors of the American economy, and Sector - Health mutual funds provide a great opportunity to invest in this industry. Here, funds can include everything from for-profit hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

History of Fund/Manager

ProFunds is responsible for BIPIX, and the company is based out of Columbus, OH. ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor debuted in June of 2000. Since then, BIPIX has accumulated assets of about $188.06 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Michael Neches who has been in charge of the fund since October of 2013.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 13.86%, 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 7.42%, 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. Over the past three years, BIPIX's standard deviation comes in at 31.02%, compared to the category average of 26.43%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 29.37% compared to the category average of 22.63%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 1.29, the fund is likely to be more volatile than the market average. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. BIPIX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -3.16, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, BIPIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.61% compared to the category average of 1.34%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, BIPIX is actually more expensive than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $15,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor ( BIPIX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor ( BIPIX ) looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Sector - Health, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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