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Q1 2023 Small Cap Value Commentary

Market Summary

The first quarter was a macroeconomic rollercoaster, as growth optimism escalated early in the quarter on strong economic data, but was halted by the banking crisis that occurred late in the quarter. The S&P 500 gained 7.5% during the quarter but lagged Large Cap Growth indexes, as the Russell 1000 Growth index returned 14.4%. In general, Growth indexes outperformed Value during the quarter, while Large Cap indexes outperformed Small Cap.

In mid-March, Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) imploded with spectacular speed, making it the largest lender to collapse since the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2009. The majority of the bank’s depositors were technology startups with accounts holding in excess of the $250,000 insured by the federal government. SIVB failed because it funded a portfolio of long-term bonds and loans with run-prone uninsured deposits and few fail safes. As interest rates rose sharply, the market value of SIVB’s assets fell below the value of deposits. When depositors requested their money back, the bank would have to sell at low prices. As soon as news of the issue broke, depositors ran to SIVB to be the first to get their money out.
In addition, Signature Bank of New York (SBNY) was shut down to prevent a spread of the banking crisis, as investors were concerned with the bank’s exposure to cryptocurrencies. As government officials and regulators witnessed bank stocks hemorrhaging in value, fear that depositors were losing faith in other banks emerged.

Several days later, in a coordinated action, the Treasury, the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stepped in to protect depositors at both companies and set up a facility that allows banks to tap emergency funds.

Performance Highlights

The Snow Small Cap Value strategy outperformed the benchmark by 93 basis points during the quarter, returning 0.27% gross of fees (0.09% net of fees), while the Russell 2000 Value index declined -0.66%. The strategy has now outperformed the benchmark by 936 basis points over the prior one-year period, returning -3.60% gross of fees (-4.27% net of fees), while the Russell 2000 Value declined -12.96%.

The Snow Small Cap Value strategy’s relative performance was led by sector positioning, with stock selection detracting from performance. Stock selection was particularly strong in Communications Services, while the sectors that detracted the most were Financials, Energy, and Health Care. From an allocation perspective, overweight positions in Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary were the largest contributors, while an underweight position in Industrials was the largest detractor.

Portfolio Attribution

Top 5 Performance Contributors

StockAvg Weight %Contribution %
Cinemark Holdings2.631.35
Super Micro Computer4.901.29
Lions Gate Entertainment2.101.26
Brinker International4.360.87
Bloomin’ Brands3.770.86

Cinemark Holdings (CNK)

CNK shares added to performance during the first quarter. The company is starting to report better operating results as the slate of new films, while still choppy, has begun to improve in terms of quantity and quality. CNK has sustained share growth relative to the North America box office and has managed costs well despite significant hourly wage pressures, positioning the company for earnings acceleration and improved cash flow generation as the box office recovers.

Super Micro Computer (SMCI)

Shares of SMCI appreciated during the quarter as the company’s earnings report showed strong top line growth, sustained margin performance and improved cash flow generation. The company continues to execute on growth initiatives and recently announced that a new manufacturing facility will be constructed to meet future demand, suggesting the company continues to gain share. SMCI has a net cash position, and shares trade for 12.5x forward estimates.

Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF/A)

LGF/A added to performance during the quarter following strong Q4 results, including a record revenue figure for their content library, which is licensed to other media outlets on a rolling basis. The company paid down debt, assuaging some balance sheet concerns, and has investors reevaluating the value proposition of potentially separating their streaming assets from their studio and content library business lines.

Top 5 Performance Detractors

StockAvg Weight %Contribution %
American Equity Investment Life4.10-0.76
AMN Healthcare Services3.06-0.72
Old National Bancorp3.22-0.67
Cross Country Healthcare2.74-0.66

BankUnited (BKU)

American Equity Investment Life (AEL)
Shares of our Financials holdings BKU and AEL underperformed during the quarter as sentiment for financial stocks deteriorated following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. We remain positive on the Financials sector, favoring banks and insurers with strong fundamentals, diversified business models, and ample liquidity.
AMN Healthcare Services (AMN)

Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN)

Healthcare staffing firms AMN and CCRN provide critical staffing services for healthcare organizations throughout the United States. Shares of AMN and CCRN underperformed in the quarter as bill rates and volumes for travel nurse staffing normalized in a post-pandemic environment. We expect an aging workforce, along with the normalization of healthcare utilization, will continue pressuring staffing levels. AMN and CCRN have clean balance sheets, diverse client bases, and trade at attractive valuations.

Old National Bancorp (ONB)

ONB detracted with other regional banks during the quarter surrounding broad investor concern due to the fallout from Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. We remain constructive on our investment in ONB, which operates in the greater Chicago region and boasts a high number of customers with smaller deposit amounts, which stands in contrast to the banks that ran into deposit funding problems.

Source: Bloomberg. Securities shown represent the highest contributors and detractors to the portfolio’s performance for the period and do not represent all holdings within the portfolio. There is no guarantee that such holdings currently or will remain in the portfolio. For a complete list of holdings and an explanation of the methodology employed to determine this information, please contact Easterly. This information is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any financial instrument nor does it constitute an offer or invitation to invest in any fund managed by Easterly and has not been prepared in connection with any such offer.

Trailing Performance

as of March 31, 2023

QTD1 Yr3 Yr5 Yr7 Yr10 YrSince Inception* *
Composite (Gross)0.27%-3.60%34.95%8.24%9.39%7.79%8.65%
Composite (Net)0.09%-4.27%34.03%7.49%8.64%7.04%7.90%
Russell 2000 Value-0.66%-12.96%21.01%4.54%7.86%7.21%5.69%

Calendar Year Performance

Composite (Gross)-6.68%28.44%24.16%19.39%-18.81%8.35%22.75%-15.99%4.92%44.53%
Composite (Net)-7.33%27.56%23.31%18.57%-19.39%7.60%21.91%-16.59%4.19%43.55%
Russell 2000 Value-14.48%28.27%4.63%22.39%-12.86%7.84%31.74%-7.47%4.22%34.52%

Source: SEI Global Services
* Returns for periods greater than a year are annualized. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
* * Inception: 10/31/06

Performance shown is the Easterly Investment Partners Small Cap Value composite in USD. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Gross performance results do not include advisory fees and other expenses an investor may incur, which when deducted will reduce returns. Changes in exchange rates may have adverse effects. Net performance results reflect the application of a model investment management fee that represents the highest fee that could be charged to any account in the composite applied to gross performance results. Actual fees may vary depending on, among other things, the applicable fee schedule and portfolio size. Investment management fees are available in the Firm’s Form ADV on “” Easterly Investment Partners LLC claims compliance with the GIPS® standards; this information is supplemental to the GIPS® report provided at the end of the presentation. Returns greater than one year are annualized.

Top 10 Holdings

Super Micro Computer4.54%
Brinker International4.44%
Bloomin’ Brands4.18%
ABM Industries4.06%
CNO Financial Group3.84%
Commercial Metals3.66%
AMN Healthcare Services3.60%
Cinemark Holdings3.56%
American Equity Investments3.52%

Excludes cash and cash equivalents.

References to securities, transactions or holdings should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell a particular security and there is no assurance that, as of the date of publication, the securities remain in the portfolio. Additionally, it is noted that the securities or transactions referenced do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended during the period referenced and there is no guarantee as to the future profitability of the securities identified and discussed herein. Top ten holdings information shown combines share listings from the same issuer, and related depositary receipts, into a singular holding to accurately present aggregate economic interest in the referenced company.

Total Effect Attribution vs Russell 2000 Value

Representative portfolio characteristics — Holdings, sector weightings, market capitalization and portfolio characteristics are subject to change at any time and are based on a representative portfolio, and may differ, sometimes significantly, from individual client portfolios. Top ten holdings information shown combines share listings from the same issuer, and related depositary receipts, into a singular holding to accurately present aggregate economic interest in the Representative portfolio characteristics — Holdings, sector weightings, market capitalization and portfolio characteristics are subject to change at any time and are based on a representative portfolio, and may differ, sometimes significantly, from individual client portfolios.


While these recent events set the table for another volatile quarter, they do not wildly shift our big picture views. We believe the recent closure of these institutions is not a systemic event, but rather, an idiosyncratic one, and we do not see any large established banks in a similar situation. However, the failures of SIVB and SBNY, as well as the forced merger of Credit Suisse (CS), have rattled financial markets and do increase the likelihood of a recession. Additionally, these events add to the case of selection and differentiation among banks. The Fed has a dual mandate of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices. While the battle against inflation is not over, the Fed must ensure that it maintains the safety and soundness of the banking system. All told, the stress in regional banks seems to have largely been contained thanks to the additional liquidity provided by the Fed and the quick action by the FDIC. We believe these events will lead to tighter lending standards for banks. At the same time, we expect regulators to initiate stringent changes to policy mandates, which will likely lead to a contraction in credit across all sectors and industries.

Looking forward, given the array of macroeconomic headwinds, the direction of equity prices will be more modest and driven by companies with favorable valuations and solid fundamentals.

The environment is complex due to dramatic changes in interest rates and inflation. That paired with sectors experiencing different parts of the economic cycle means that security selection is paramount. The consistent application of our investment approach benefits us over market cycles. We continue to hold companies with compelling business fundamentals, skilled management teams, recurring cash flows and the flexibility to adapt to an inflationary environment. We believe the strong cash flow generation and capital flexibility of our businesses will provide meaningful protection if market fundamentals deteriorate. As always, we welcome your comments and questions. Thank you for your commitment to Easterly Investment Partners.


Easterly Investment Partners (EIP) is a registered investment adviser. Registration of an Investment Advisor does not imply any level of skill or training. This composite has been assigned to Easterly Investment Partners (EIP) effective July 1, 2021. Performance presented prior to July 1, 2021, occurred while the Portfolio Manager(s) and the research team were affiliated with a prior firm (Snow Capital Management, L.P.). EIP claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). A fully compliant GIPS presentation along with a complete list and description of all composites is available by emailing The Small Cap composite include fully discretionary small cap value equity commission accounts. Prior to 10/01/13, the Small Cap composite required fully discretionary accounts contain at least a 75% small cap investment allocation for inclusion in the composite.

This composite dates back to October 31, 2006. This composite has no minimum requirement and for comparison purposes is measured against the Russell 2000 Value. The U.S. Dollar is the currency used to express performance. Leverage is not used in this composite. Investing involves risk; clients may experience a profit or a loss. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Performance is preliminary. Composite returns are shown gross of fees and do not reflect the deduction of advisory fees. Actual returns are shown gross of fees and do not reflect the deduction of advisory fees. Actual returns will be reduced by advisory fees and other expenses incurred in the management of the account. EIP’s advisory fees are outlined in our Form ADV Part 2A (Brochure), which is available at

The views expressed herein are solely the opinions of EIP. We make no representations as to their accuracy. This communication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to invest money nor a recommendation to buy or sell certain securities.

Russell 2000® Value Index

The Russell 2000 Value Index measures the performance of small-cap value segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 2000 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values. Indexes are unmanaged. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

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