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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Jan 5, 2023
The Fed ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’ Until Labor Market Feels More Pain
Image: Prices for private label brands at Aldi are considerably lower than those of branded products. The consumer staples sector, however, remains fully-priced with a 21+ forward earnings multiple, and many constituents hold large net debt positions. We believe the sticking point for the Fed is not groceries or gasoline prices, but rather the labor markets, which remain very strong, despite layoffs. Image Source: Valuentum. We maintain our view that markets will remain challenged for at least the first quarter of 2023, and we expect the S&P 500 to bottom around 3,400 based purely on a technical evaluation of the ongoing downtrend. The labor market remains too strong for the Fed to stop rate hikes, as the primary concern for the Fed is not what inflation will do this year, but rather whether it will spike again in 2024. To truly stomp out inflation, the Fed needs to witness further weakening in the labor markets, as consumers have found ways to trade down to offset grocery inflation and as gas prices at the pump ease. We’re never happy to hear of layoffs, but an unemployment rate of 4.5%-5% may be the range required for the Fed to stop hiking, in our view. The last thing the Fed wants is to stop hiking too early, only for inflation to come roaring back in the quarters that follow the pause. The Fed is not thinking about year-over-year inflation numbers for 2023, in our view, but rather policies that will ensure that inflation rates of the past 12-18 months do not return in 2024-2025. They are playing the long-term game.
Dec 14, 2022
Union Pacific Outperforming North American Rail Traffic Trends But Facing Inefficiencies and Inflation Hurdles
Image Source: Union Pacific. The rail industry may have avoided a labor strike, but North American rail traffic remains under pressure, while many operators are struggling with inflationary pressures and operational inefficiencies. Union Pacific remains our favorite way to play the rails, but 2022 has been a difficult year for the firm, with free cash flow coming under pressure as capital investments have soared so far in 2022. Union Pacific garners an ‘A’ rating by Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, so we’re not too worried about its large net debt position. Shares yield ~2.4% at the time of this writing, but we’re not pulling the trigger.
Oct 12, 2022
Serious Question: What Are You Looking At?
Image: Stocks with the largest 52-week losses, according to YahooFinance. We've handled the worst performers of 2022 quite handily, and the simulated newsletter portfolios are showcasing the importance of our methodology and processes. We expect things to get worse in the economy before they get better, but we maintain our view that there may be nothing better out there than a subscription to Valuentum to navigate these tumultuous times.
Dec 19, 2021
FedEx Beats Estimates, Raises Guidance
Image Source: FedEx Corporation – Second Quarter of Fiscal 2022 Earnings Infographic. On December 16, the logistics giant FedEx Corp reported second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2022 (period ended November 30, 2021) that beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. The firm also moderately raised its earnings guidance for fiscal 2022 in conjunction with its earnings update after previously reducing its full fiscal year guidance when reporting its fiscal first quarter earnings update. FedEx noted in its fiscal second quarter earnings press release that “higher revenue per shipment at all transportation segments” positively benefited its operating income performance and helped offset headwinds from labor shortages and related supply chain constraints. The company also recently announced a new $5.0 billion share buyback program that includes a $1.5 billion accelerated share repurchase program component.
Nov 26, 2021
ICYMI: Time to Consider Buying Chinese Equities? Not Exactly.
Image Shown: Shares of Alibaba Group have plummeted over the past year in the wake of Beijing’s crackdown on China’s domestic tech and fintech titans. Is it finally time to start loading up on Chinese equities? We don't think so.
Nov 3, 2021
Large Cap Growth Has More Room To Run
“The stylistic area of large cap growth has been one of our favorite areas because of the strong net cash rich, free cash flow generating, secular growth powerhouses that make up much of the space. The image is a rundown of the key Valuentum statistics for the top 15 holdings of the Schwab U.S. Large Cap Growth ETF (SCHG). We believe where large cap growth goes, so does the broader market, considering the hefty weightings of some of these stocks in other broad-based indices. Based on the high end of our fair value estimate range for this group of bellwethers, the broader U.S. markets still have room to run, to the tune of 7%+, despite the many highs already reached during 2021. Though traditional valuation multiples may seem stretched by most measures, many market bellwethers have huge net cash positions and tremendous free cash flow growth potential. We expect the equity markets to continue to be led by large cap growth.” – Brian Nelson, CFA
Sep 7, 2021
Update on Best Idea Alphabet’s Self-Driving Taxi Upside
Image Shown: Shares of Alphabet Inc Class C have boomed higher year-to-date as of early-September 2021. We see ample room for additional upside. We are huge fans of Alphabet and include Alphabet Class C shares (ticker: GOOG) as a top-weighted holding in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Our fair value estimate for Alphabet Class C shares sits at $3,500 per share, well above where GOOG is trading at as of this writing. Should Waymo, the company's self-driving unit, one day get commercialized, that upside is purely incremental to our fair value estimate, highlighting why we are such huge fans of the digital advertising behemoth.
Feb 8, 2021
Stock Market Outlook for 2021
2020 was one from the history books and a year that will live on in infamy. That said, we are excited for the future as global health authorities are steadily putting an end to the public health crisis created by COVID-19, aided by the quick discovery of safe and viable vaccines. Tech, fintech, and payment processing firms were all big winners in 2020, and we expect that to continue being the case in 2021. Digital advertising, cloud-computing, and e-commerce activities are set to continue dominating their respective fields. Cybersecurity demand is moving higher and the constant threats posed by both governments (usually nations that are hostile to Western interests) and non-state actors highlights how crucial these services are. Retailers with omni-channel selling capabilities are well-positioned to ride the global economic recovery upwards. Green energy firms will continue to grow at a brisk pace in 2021, though the oil & gas industry appears ready for a comeback. The adoption of 5G wireless technologies and smartphones will create immense growth opportunities for smartphone makers, semiconductor players and telecommunications giants. Video streaming services have become ubiquitous over the past decade with room to continue growing as households “cut the cord” and instead opt for several video streaming packages. We’re not too big of fans of old industrial names given their capital-intensive nature relative to capital-light technology or fintech, but there are select names that have appeal. Cryptocurrencies have taken the market by storm as we turn the calendar into 2021, but the traditional banking system remains healthy enough to withstand another shock should it be on the horizon. Our fair value estimate of the S&P 500 remains $3,530-$3,920, but we may still be on a roller coaster ride for the year. Here’s to a great 2021!
Jan 12, 2021
New Issue Airbnb's Shares Pricing In Strong Recovery and Then Some
Image Shown: Airbnb is losing money hand over fist while as it grows into its substantial market opportunity. Source: S-1. Rental platform Airbnb has been a part of the latest series of IPOs that have soared out of the gates recently. Shares went public at $68 per share December 10, and now the equity is trading at more than $148 per share at the time of this writing. For those that don't know the story of Airbnb (AirBed & Breakfast), the concept started in 2007 when, after discovering that every hotel was sold out during an international design conference in San Francisco, the founders started renting airbeds in their apartment to conference attendees. Thirteen years have now passed, and Airbnb has over 4 million hosts that offer places to stay from private rooms, cabins, and farms to the most luxurious accommodations (even castles and private islands). Its hosts that range from schoolteachers to artists and beyond across ~100,000 cities have been wildly successful, raking in over $110 billion in income since Airbnb's inception while serving over 825 million guests. Much like Uber and Lyft have done with ridesharing and people in other's cars, Airbnb, to a very large extent, with all of its success to date, has provided a solution to make strangers feel comfortable staying in each other's homes.
Jan 5, 2021
The Electric Vehicle (EV) Market Is Hot and Getting Hotter
Image Shown: A look at Tesla Inc’s new Gigafactory factory (Model Y body shop) in Shanghai, China. Image Source: Tesla Inc – Third Quarter of 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. The electric vehicle (‘EV’) market is hot and getting hotter. Aided by a combination of supportive government policies such as subsides for EVs (purchase tax credits, manufacturing tax credits), plans to ban the sale of automobiles powered by internal combustion engines (‘ICE’) in the coming years, and shifting consumer preferences (households preferring to appear “green”), the long-term outlook for EV sales is quite bright. Tesla is the posterchild of the EV boom given its first-mover advantage, though competitive headwinds are rising. Legacy auto manufacturers are looking to bulk up their EV offerings while new market entrants such as Lordstown Motors and privately-held Rivian, are set to further disrupt the industry. Ford Motor invested in Rivian back in 2019 to bulk up its presence in the EV market. By the middle of 2021, Rivian aims to begin deliveries of its EV pickup truck in the US, the R1T. Lordstown Motors also aims to bring an EV pickup truck to market, named the Endurance, with deliveries set to begin in early-2021. However, as global EV sales appear set to grow immensely, there is room for a number of winners in this space. Back in July 2020, privately-held Deloitte estimated that global EV sales will grow from an estimated 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million in 2025 and then to 31.1 million by 2030, good for annual compound growth of about 29% in the coming decade, according to the research firm. EV sales in China are expected to represent about half of global EV sales in 2030, according to Deloitte, followed by the European market representing just over one quarter of global EV sales in 2030.
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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.