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Latest Valuentum Commentary
May 13, 2020
Unicredit Is Best Worth Avoiding
Image Source: Unicredit 1Q2020 Earnings Presentation. The combination of revenue pressure from lower rates, a difficult operating environment, weakening efficiency metrics, one-off losses, and arguable low provisions for credit losses make for an ugly picture emerging at Unicredit at this time. We’re paying close attention to the key banking players in Europe to assess the likelihood of a global financial contagion that may accompany the global pandemic that has become COVID-19.
Apr 30, 2020
Deutsche Bank Suffering From Lack of Earnings Power
Image Source: Deutsche Bank 1Q2020 Earnings Presentation. On April 29, Deutsche Bank reported another measly quarter in a long string of them. While Deutsche Bank is well-capitalized with a Common Equity Tier I ratio of 12.8% and its Investment Banking segment grew earnings nicely this quarter during rapid client trading and bond origination activity as the markets melted down in March, it suffers from a lack of earnings power at this stage. We blame this on the bank itself, but also on the overcapacity in European banking in general, which pressures margins across the entire industry.
Mar 9, 2020
Oil Markets Get Decimated
Image Shown: Oil prices have been decimated year-to-date. The outlook for independent upstream names has become dire. In an industry that’s generated little to no free cash flow since 2010, and instead has relied heavily on capital markets to stay afloat; for all the hype surrounding surging US production of raw energy resources there hasn’t been much shareholder value creation to show for it. Consumers and certain US states have been big winners, sure, but equity holders and now potentially credit holders have largely taken it on the chin. We will continue following the space for our members going forward, and please note there’s a very good reason we removed the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF from our newsletter portfolios back in August 2019 (link here), the outlook for the energy space (particularly oil & gas) was lackluster at the time and has since become dire.
Mar 9, 2020
Oil Prices Collapse, Reiterating 2,350-2,750 S&P 500 Target Range; Credit Crunch Looming?
From Value Trap: “The banking sector was not the only sector that faced considerable selling pressure during the Financial Crisis of the late 2000s, of course. Other companies that required funding to maintain their business operations faced severe liquidity risk, or a situation where refinancing, or rolling over debt, might be difficult to do on fair terms, making such financing prohibitive in some cases. Those that faced outsize debt maturities during the most severe months of the credit crunch faced a real threat of Chapter 11 restructuring had the lending environment completely seized. In thinking about share prices as a range of probable fair value outcomes, equity prices tend to face pressure as downside probabilities such as a liquidity event are baked into the market price and at a higher probability. Because debtholders are higher up on the capital structure than equity holders, shareholders can sometimes get nothing in the event of a bankruptcy filing. Entities that are extremely capital-market dependent, or those that require ongoing access to new capital to fund operations, often face the greatest risk of the worst equity price declines during deteriorating credit market conditions.” Value Trap: Theory of Universal Valuation, published 2018
Mar 5, 2020
2,350-2,750 on the S&P? Could the Coronavirus Catalyze a Financial Crisis?
Image: We think a rather modest sell-off in the market to the target range of 2,350-2,750 on the S&P 500 is rather reasonable in the wake of one of the biggest economic shocks since the Global Financial Crisis. The chart above shows how far markets have advanced since 2011, and an adjustment lower to the target range of 2,350-2,750 is rather modest in such a context and would only bring markets to late 2018 levels (note red box as the target range). The range reflects ~16x S&P 500 12-month forward earnings estimates, as of February 14, adjusted down 10% due to COVID-19. When companies like Visa talk about a couple percentage points taken off of growth rates, one knows that the decrease in spending is very real, and we’ve yet to see the brunt of the impact yet. We have written extensively about our valuation expectations and target on the S&P 500 in the past, so please don’t mistake this reference as the extent of our thinking. We do not think a sell-off on the S&P 500 to the range is 2350-2750 is too far-fetched, as it really only gets the broader markets back to late 2018 levels (a mere year ago or so), and reflects a reasonable 16x forward expected earnings, as of February 14, hair cut by 10% as a result of the impact of COVID-19. The Fed put may not matter much anymore in the wake of this “biological” crisis, and increased fiscal spending may not be enough to offset what could be sustained weakness across the global economy.
Mar 3, 2020
Covering Oil Markets Ahead of the Upcoming OPEC/OPEC+ Meetings
Image Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation – 2019 IR Presentation. On March 5, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (‘OPEC’) is holding an “extraordinary” meeting in Vienna, Austria, which will be followed up by a ministerial meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC members the next day. The group had already agreed to cut oil supplies by an additional 0.5 million barrels of per day (‘bpd’) back in December 2019 through an agreement that would last through March 2020 (that was on top of an existing deal to keep 1.2 million bpd off of the market which runs through the end of March 2020 as well). As part of that deal, Saudi Arabia offered to “voluntarily” reduce supplies by an additional 0.4 million bpd; however, that hasn’t been enough to prop up oil prices (even though ~1.7-2.1 million bpd of oil supplies are effectively removing removed from the market at 100% compliance). As of this writing, the internationally-oriented May 2020 Brent contracts are trading near $52 per barrel, down from the high $60s level seen at the end of 2019. The US-oriented WTI contracts haven’t fared any better, and April 2020 deliveries are trading near $47 per barrel as of this writing.
Dec 16, 2019
ICYMI: Interview with Valuentum’s Callum Turcan
Callum Turcan helps head up Valuentum’s research product and is co-editor of the company’s newsletters. We sat down with Callum to get his thoughts on new developments in the market and economy. Let’s kick things off with his thoughts on Brexit.
Oct 14, 2019
Economic Commentary: Robots, Value Trap, and Politics on the Markets
Valuentum sat down for the latest installment of its periodic economic commentary, and the team tackled a wide array of topics, from robots on Wall Street, to President of Investment Research Brian Nelson’s new book Value Trap, to political influence on the markets and boyond. Let’s set the stage with a prompt from a recent Bloomberg article, “The Master of Robots…Coming for Wall Street...
Oct 4, 2019
Economic Commentary: Apple $225+, Brokers Tumble, Auto Sales Look Tired
Image: Shares of TD Ameritrade Holdings have been punished as online trading commissions go to zero. "Though all signs point to increased volatility, we maintain our view that we’re well-positioned in the newsletter portfolios, and the ideas highlighted in the Exclusive publication consider the backdrop economic conditions we closely monitor." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
Sep 30, 2019
Economic Commentary: US-Listed Chinese Names, 60-40 Stock-Bond Allocation and More
Image shown for informational/illustration purposes only. There’s an interesting saying that I came across recently...that hits at the most important component of any fiduciary approach: capital preservation. The saying was “Friends don’t let friends buy and hold.” We’ve always employed the Valuentum strategy, which we believe is much more promising that a traditional buy and hold strategy. – Brian Nelson, CFA
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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.