Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund Reaches Three-Year Milestone

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New York, NY, Oct. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund (ATGAX) strategy, launched on October 15, 2010, has established a three year track record, and investment return data are now available to its investors and their financial advisors.

"We are aware that a longer-term investment track record is important to many advisors and investors; we are pleased that the strategy adopted by our equity fund three years ago has reached this important milestone, and pleased with the performance results," said Diana Herrmann, CEO of Aquila Investment Management LLC. "Over the last three years the Fund has pursued its objective of capital appreciation through a challenging economic environment and market shifts, charting a course that is generally unlike that of other equity funds. We are pleased to share these results and will continue to work closely with professional and individual investors to help them understand the Fund's strategy and how it may fit within their overall investment goals and portfolios," she added.

The Fund is sub-advised by Three Peaks Capital Management, LLC, led by the firm's founder, chief investment officer and co-portfolio manager Sandy Rufenacht. The firm conducts rigorous fundamental research on the entire capital structure of companies they invest in, with a particular focus on a universe of high-yield debt issuers in relatively stable industries. The investment team's experience, research, and strategy in the high-yield debt market are the foundation for the strategy of the Fund which invests in the equity of high-yield debt issuers. The fund had $69.3 million in assets under management as of September 30, 2013.

"We believe few funds take the approach to stock selection that we do," said Brent Olson, the Fund's co-portfolio manager. "We have a long history of conducting research in the high-yield corporate bond market, and investing in high-yield issuers when our research indicates they are successfully and prudently managing leverage and the corporate balance sheet. The characteristics we look for in high-yield debt issuers have helped us identify opportunities for improvement in the equity performance," he explained.

Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund performance results as of September 30, 2013, along with Lipper rankings, follow:

Performance as of September 30, 2013
Cumulative Return Average Annual Return
3rd Qtr 2013 YTD 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 10 Yr Since Inception Inception Date Max Sales Charge Total Operating Expenses Net Expense Ration
A Shares NAV 7.42% 25.75% 30.76% 19.11% 11.27% 7.07% 7.86% 7/25/1994 2.82% 1.55%
A Shares MOP 2.85% 20.39% 25.10% 17.39% 10.31% 6.61% 7.59% 7/25/1994 4.25% 2.82% 1.55%
Russell 3000 0.25% 16.42% 16.42% 11.20% 2.04% 7.68%
Lipper Ranking 138 of 839 40 of 786 401 of 739 489 of 574
Mid-Cap Core Funds
Lipper Percentile 16 5 54 85

On October 8, 2010, Fund shareholders approved changes in the name and investment strategy of the Fund. On October 15, 2010, the Fund began operations under the name Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund, with Three Peaks Capital Management, LLC as sub-adviser, and an investment strategy that differs meaningfully from the strategy pursued by the previous Fund. Performance prior to that date reflects the previous investment strategy of the Fund.

Performance data represents past performance, but does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate; shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost; current performance may be lower or higher than the data presented. Performance current to the most recent month-end is available at: 800-437-1020 or www.aquilafunds.com. For more information on this fund and the entire Aquila Group of Funds, please visit www.aquilafunds.com.

Before investing in the Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. Mutual fund investing involves risk and loss of principal is possible. Risks include, but are not limited to, potential loss of value, market risk, financial risk, interest rate and credit risk, and investments in highly-leveraged companies, lower quality debt securities, foreign markets and foreign currencies.

Class A shares have a maximum sales charge of 4.25%. Class A MOP returns reflect deduction of the maximum 4.25% sales charge; Class A NAV returns do not reflect deduction of the sales charge and would be lower if that charge were reflected. Other classes of shares are offered and their performance will vary due to differences in sales charges and fees. Management has contractually undertaken to cap Fund expenses (waive fees and/or reimburse Fund expenses) through April 30, 2014. Returns would have been less if full fees and expenses were applied.

The Russell 3000 Index measures the performance of the largest 3000 U.S. companies representing approximately 98% of the investable U.S. equity market. Performance of an index does not reflect management fees and expenses which are reflected in Fund performance. An investment cannot be made directly in an index.

Lipper, Inc., a mutual fund rating service, compiles performance data used to derive their own ranking data. Lipper rankings are based on total return calculations without an adjustment for sales charges. Rankings shown are as of September 30, 2013, and reflect the rank of the Fund among the total number of funds in the Lipper Mid-Cap Core category during each period.

ABOUT AQUILA

As investment managers for over a quarter century, we have always believed that investing successfully depends on knowing what you own and why you own it. We think this is particularly important in today's markets. The Aquila Group of Funds' seven single-state municipal bond funds, high yield bond and equity fund are managed to our high standard of quality. We combine a rigorous, hands-on investment approach with a strong commitment to service and approachability. As of September 30, we manage over $3.1 billion in assets.

Aquila Management Corporation, the Funds' founder and sponsor, is a family-owned, privately-held firm established in 1984 to serve the needs of investors and financial advisors.

Please see the Aquila Group of Funds Guiding Principles at www.aquilafunds.com.

CONTACT: Victoria Odinotska Tel. 703-534-3735 Kanter & Company Diana Herrmann Tel. 212-697-6666 Aquila Investment Management LLC

Source:Aquila Group of Funds