Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Latest Valuentum Commentary
Aug 10, 2022
Best Idea Berkshire Hathaway Continues to Impress
Image Shown: Berkshire Hathaway Inc is a stellar cash flow generator in almost any operating environment. Image Source: Berkshire Hathaway Inc – 10-Q SEC filing covering the Second Quarter of 2022. Berkshire Hathaway Inc reported second quarter 2022 earnings that saw its ‘operating earnings’ metric surge higher versus the year-ago level. This metric removes realized and unrealized gains/losses in its large equity portfolio from the picture to provide investors with a better understanding of the company’s underlying performance. Due to the downturn in equity markets seen during the first half of this year, Berkshire Hathaway’s GAAP net income swung to a large net loss last quarter. We include shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class B (ticker: BRK.B) in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, and our fair value estimate sits at $320 per share with room for upside.
Jul 11, 2022
Valuentum's Unmatched Product Suite
We continue to be huge believers in the concept of enterprise valuation, which emphasizes the key cash-based sources of intrinsic value--net cash on the balance sheet and strong and growing future expected free cash flows. Meta Platforms, Inc. and Alphabet Inc. remain two of the most underpriced ideas on the market today, and we remain huge fans of their tremendous long-term investment prospects.
Jul 4, 2022
Nelson: I Have Been Wrong About the Prospect of Near-Term Inflationary-Driven Earnings Tailwinds
"Though I have been clearly wrong on my near-term thesis for inflation-driven earnings expansion, we still did great sorting through investment idea considerations. Through late June, for example, the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio has generated 4-5 percentage points of alpha relative to the S&P 500, as measured by the SPY. The simulated Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio is down only modestly this year, also performing better than traditional benchmarks. The simulated High Yield Dividend Newsletter is generating “alpha” against comparable benchmarks, and the Exclusive publication continues to deliver, with both capital appreciation ideas and short idea considerations generating fantastic success rates. ESG and options-idea generation have also been great. With all this being said, in the long run, I believe nominal earnings will expand rapidly from 2021 levels, which is why I remain bullish on stocks. I believe markets tend to overestimate earnings in the near term and underestimate them in the long run. The intelligent investor knows, too, that the most money is made during recessions and bear markets, where steady reinvestment and dollar cost averaging help to better position portfolios for higher returns over the longer run. The newsletter portfolios are well-positioned for continued “outperformance,” in our view, and while we may make a few tweaks to them, we’re not making any material changes at this time."
Mar 17, 2022
Berkshire Hathaway Is Firing on All Cylinders; Shares Surging
Image Shown: Shares of best idea Berkshire Hathaway Class B (ticker: BRK.B) have surged higher over the past year with room to run. Those of you that have been long-time members of Valuentum (thank you by the way!) know that we are huge fans of Warren Buffett. We include Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A) (BRK.B), specifically its Class B shares (ticker: BRK.B), as an idea in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Recently, Buffett (CEO and Chairman of Berkshire) released his latest annual letter to shareholders, which included plenty of important information regarding the conglomerate’s financial performance and investing practices at-large. One of the things that stuck out in Buffett’s latest annual letter to shareholders, a topic that he has brought up often in the past, is his belief in betting on America. In the letter, Buffett notes that “our country would have done splendidly in the years since 1965 without Berkshire. Absent our American home, however, Berkshire would never have come close to becoming what it is today.” For reference, Buffett took control of Berkshire back in 1965. We are also big believers that the number one place for investors to be invested is in U.S. equities. Specifically, large cap U.S. tech stocks with “moaty” business models, fortress-like balance sheets, incredible free cash flow generating abilities, and growth outlooks underpinned by secular tailwinds represent some of our favorite ideas alongside U.S. energy giants (a shorter term tactical play in the face of the ongoing inflationary environment) and high-quality U.S.-focused firms like Berkshire. We appreciate Buffett’s longstanding commitment to utilizing discounted free cash flow analysis to locate and invest in undervalued enterprises based in the U.S.
Feb 14, 2022
Credit Suisse Is a Case Study in Poor Governance and Why ESG Investing Matters
Image Shown: Shares of Credit Suisse Group AG have performed poorly in recent years as a revolving door of leaders combined with several major scandals have led to billions in losses and prompted Swiss regulators to launch investigations into the bank. The company has a plan in place to turn things around, though it will take years for these efforts to be fully reflected in its financial performance. Credit Suisse recently issued lackluster guidance for 2022 that weakened investor confidence in its turnaround story. We think Credit Suisse is a good case study in poor corporate governance.A revolving door of leadership does not speak favorably towards Credit Suisse’s outlook, though the company is working hard to put its past behind it. The Swiss bank has been unable to steady the ship so far after several serious scandals cost the firm billions and prompted Swiss regulators to take a closer look at Credit Suisse. When it comes to effective governance, Credit Suisse has been lacking and that has cost investors dearly. We hope Credit Suisse can right the ship under its new management team and is able to achieve its longer term goals (such as boosting its RoTE north of 10.0% by 2024 while improving its cost structure). However, we see no reason in taking the chance and view CS more as a study on why good corporate governance matters. Our two favorite banks are Bank of America Corporation and JPMorgan Chase & Co, both of which have solid leadership teams. Berkshire Hathaway Inc, specifically Class B shares (ticker: BRK.B) and the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund ETF are both included as ideas in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. As opposed to one individual bank, we like the diversified exposure to the U.S. banking and financial services space the XLF ETF provides. Additionally, we are huge fans of Berkshire Hathaway and recently increased the company’s fair value estimate.
Jan 23, 2022
RH’s Financials, Long-Term Potential Great But Housing Market and Deteriorating Wealth Effect Pose Risks
Image Shown: Shares of RH have exploded higher since the news broke that Berkshire Hathaway Inc had taken a stake in the firm’s equity back in 2019, though shares of RH have shifted lower in recent months. RH is an innovative home furnishing company that pairs its products with interior/exterior design services to offer a comprehensive package. The company primarily targets affluent households in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. RH has tremendous pricing power and its margins have increased significantly in recent fiscal years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its net revenues are trending higher as well. The firm is expanding into the high-end hospitality industry and has several projects that are set to come online in 2022 and beyond. RH is a stellar free cash flow generator with a manageable net debt load. Though the company has been executing nicely of late, as witnessed by its stellar financial performance and recent guidance increases, shares of RH have sold off in recent months. In our view, the recent selloff is a function of broad based market weakness, but it also may be due to investors growing more concerned about the impact higher interest rates and a deteriorating wealth effect may have on housing and home furnishing demand and on its push into the hospitality space, respectively. We continue to view RH’s long-term capital appreciation upside potential favorably, however.
Jan 22, 2022
Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
Image: Erica Nicol. Junk tech should continue to collapse, but the stylistic area of large cap growth and big cap tech should remain resilient. Moderately elevated levels of inflation coupled with interest rates hovering at all-time lows isn’t a terrible combination. In fact, it’s not bad at all. The markets are digesting the huge gains of the past few years so far in 2022, and the excesses in ARKK funds, crypto, SPACs, and meme stocks are being rid from the system. Our best ideas are “outperforming” the very benchmarks that are outperforming everyone else. The BIN portfolio is down 6.4% and the DGN portfolio is down 3.2% year to date. The SPY is down 7.8%, while the average investor may be doing much worse. Our timing to exit some very speculative ideas in the Exclusive publication has been impeccable. Beware of “best-fitted” backtest data regarding sequence of return risks. Research is to help you navigate the future, not the past. We remain bullish on stocks for the long haul and grow more and more excited as our simulated newsletter portfolios continue to hold up very well. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Stick with the largest, strongest growth names. We still like large cap growth and big cap tech, though we are tactical overweight in the largest energy stocks (e.g. XOM, CVX, XLE). The latest short idea in the Exclusive publication has collapsed aggressively since highlight January 9, and we remain encouraged by the resilience of ideas in the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio and ESG Newsletter portfolio. Our options idea generation remains ongoing.
Jan 13, 2022
Governance: The G in ESG Investing
Image: The Valuentum Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scoring System shows how “Governance” considerations are analyzed. No discussion of ESG investing would be complete without addressing the role of corporate governance (“stewardship”) in equity investing. As with the other aspects of ESG investing, corporate governance covers a lot of ground. It can include pretty much anything related to how a company is run, including leadership, executive compensation, audits and accounting, and shareholder rights. These areas are just the tip of the iceberg, however. A company with good corporate governance is one that is run well with the proper incentives and with all stakeholders in mind, from employees to suppliers to customers to shareholders and beyond. Good corporate governance practices decrease the risk to investors as it cuts through conflicts of interest, misuse of resources, and a general lack of concern for all stakeholders. A company that fails at implementing good corporate governance is at increased risk of litigation or scandal, which could wreck the share price. With the turn of the century, the dot com bust probably exposed most prominently the need for good corporate governance practices. Fraud was rampant. Whether it was the former CEO of Tyco International receiving millions in unauthorized bonuses, the actions of those at the top of Enron that created one of the biggest frauds in corporate history, the scandal at accounting and auditing firm Arthur Andersen, the demise of MCI/Worldcom, or the questionable practices that led to the Global Analyst Research Settlement, Wall Street had lost its way. In fact, a big reason why our firm Valuentum was founded is based on ensuring that investors get a fair shake and that someone is keeping a watchful eye not only on companies, but also on the sell-side stock analyst research that may still be full of conflicts of interest. As a result of the Global Analyst Research Settlement, all the big investment banks from Goldman Sachs to J.P. Morgan to Morgan Stanley to UBS Group and beyond had to pay stiff fines for producing conflicted, if not fraudulent research. In this note, we talk about the considerations that go into the G in ESG investing.
Jan 11, 2022
Raising Our Fair Value Estimate on Berkshire Hathaway, Our Thoughts on the Insurance Industry
Image Source: AIG. Shares of the SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE) have trailed the performance of the S&P 500 (SPY) during the past 15 years. Our favorite insurer remains Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), and we recently raised our fair value estimate of its B shares to $320, as of the latest update (effective January 12, 2022). The high end of our fair value estimate range for Berkshire Hathaway is $384 per share. Berkshire Hathaway is included in the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio as of this writing. American International Group (AIG) serves as an important cautionary tale of what could happen to an insurer that doesn't manage its risks effectively, and we wouldn't expect to add any pure-play insurer to the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio.
Dec 26, 2021
VIDEO/TRANSCRIPT: 2021 Valuentum Exclusive Call: Inflation Is Good
Valuentum's President Brian Michael Nelson, CFA, explains why investors should not fear inflation, why government agencies such as the Fed and Treasury are prioritizing something other than price discovery, why the 10-year Treasury rate is a must-watch metric, and why Valuentum prefers the moaty constituents in large cap growth due to their net cash rich balance sheets, tremendous free cash flow generating potential, and secular growth tailwinds.
Latest Press Releases
The High Yield Dividend Newsletter, Best Ideas Newsletter, Dividend Growth Newsletter, Nelson Exclusive publication, and any reports, articles and content found on this website are for information purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The sources of the data used on this website are believed by Valuentum to be reliable, but the data’s accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Valuentum is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of its newsletters, reports, commentary, or publications and accepts no liability for how readers may choose to utilize the content. Valuentum is not a money manager, is not a registered investment advisor and does not offer brokerage or investment banking services. Valuentum, its employees, and affiliates may have long, short or derivative positions in the stock or stocks mentioned on this site.