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Is Fidelity Low-Priced Stock (FLPSX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Mid Cap Value category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Fidelity Low-Priced Stock (FLPSX - Free Report) . FLPSX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FLPSX is one of many Mid Cap Value mutual funds to choose from. Mid Cap Value funds usually invest in companies with a stock market valuation between $2 billion and $10 billion; these medium-sized firms possess strong value and income opportunities for investors.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FLPSX. The Fidelity Low-Priced Stock made its debut in December of 1989 and FLPSX has managed to accumulate roughly $29.53 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. FLPSX has a 5-year annualized total return of 11.09% and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 8.26%, 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, FLPSX's standard deviation comes in at 8.83%, compared to the category average of 10.12%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 9.01% compared to the category average of 9.97%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, FLPSX lost 48.88% and outperformed its peer group by 2.55%. This could mean that the fund is a better choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. FLPSX has a 5-year beta of 0.84, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. With a negative alpha of -0.04, 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, FLPSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.67% compared to the category average of 1.19%. So, FLPSX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Low-Priced Stock has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Low-Priced Stock looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on FLPSXin the Mid Cap Value category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well 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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