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Latest Valuentum Commentary

May 13, 2019
When We Get It "Wrong" -- How To Think About Our Methodology In Action
Let's talk about the newsletter portfolios, some areas where we've made mistakes, and how some members use our services.
Nov 28, 2018
Cardinal Health Battling Bottom-Line Headwinds
Image Source: Global Panorama. Healthcare product distributor and Dividend Aristocrat Cardinal Health has had its share price performance in 2018 dampened by a number of factors, including generic drug price deflation weighing on its ‘Pharmaceutical’ segment, struggles in its ‘Medical’ segment, and the potential for disruption within its industry.
Sep 27, 2018
HCA Healthcare - Building Out a Healthcare Network
Image Source: HCA second-quarter 2018 Investor Update. We are becoming increasingly intrigued by the consolidation occurring in the hospital sector as HCA Healthcare is well on its way to developing a dominant position in some of the more populated states in the US.
Jun 28, 2018
Amazon: The Destroyer of Other Companies’ Profits
Image Source: Victor. Amazon is stepping into the pharmacy business with the purchase of online pharmacy start-up PillPack. The market is implying the move will prove to be more than just a headache for those operating in the drug store/pharmacy and drug-distributor complex. Whether the impact will be significantly material in the coming years remains to be seen, but it’s a big directional negative for impacted parties.
May 25, 2018
CVS Health Story Unchanged; Still Okay with Its Removal
Image Source: Mike Mozart. CVS Health continues to face long-term threats to its business, and relatively weak near-term performance expectations have done little to inspire confidence. The company’s long-term debt load has exploded as it prepares to acquire Aetna, and we don’t expect the company to bounce back onto our radar given the materially increased financial leverage amidst other challenges.
Apr 5, 2018
Walgreens Boots Alliance Remains at the Crossroads of a Rapidly-Evolving Healthcare Landscape
Image Source: Walgreens 2Q 2018 Earnings Release. The evolving healthcare landscape has been dealing with the threat of a disruptive new competitor entering the market and considerable political risk. Though the need for healthcare remains impervious to economic forces, a clear deflationary trend has descended on the industry that has affected many of the well-entrenched participants. Let’s examine Walgreens Boots Alliance for clues that a shift in sentiment may have occurred in this well known, yet beleaguered sector.
Mar 15, 2018
Cigna, Express, and the Unwinding of the PBM Market
Image Source: Cigna. Given its track record of creative destruction, when Amazon plans to enter a particular line of business, it presents an ominous threat to incumbents. What is often overlooked, too, is that Amazon is more than willing to try new verticals—if they prove promising, additional assets will be devoted to the new line of business, often with fawning media coverage. If Amazon is unsuccessful in its endeavor, however, then it seems as though it will “fail fast” and shut down the project and move on. We found the recent announcement of a joint venture to tackle the healthcare industry as particularly noteworthy.
Feb 15, 2018
Cisco Rallies Big Time!
Image shown: Performance of the S&P 500 (SPY) since August 2017. As US equities continue their newly-found volatility, let’s take a look at some recent earnings reports and other developments around the markets. Cisco, the workhorse of both simulated newsletter portfolios, put up a fantastic report and upped its dividend. Berkshire continues to love Apple, and we maintain the view that the 10-year Treasury rate may be the greatest determinant of how well stocks perform in the coming decades. Airlines, garbage stocks, the “gas tax,” and more.
Feb 8, 2018
Rising Risk Free Rates Threatening Market, Removing CVS and Hanesbrands
The most important variable to keep your eye on, the 10-year Treasury, is rising, and the long-term implications on equity values could be considerable. We don’t think the moves thus far have been too disruptive, but continued concerns over US tax receipts and infrastructure/defense spending could send sovereign yields roaring higher. As fourth-quarter earnings season marches on, let’s take a look at some meaningful recent quarterly reports. We’re also shedding two companies from the simulated newsletter portfolios.
Dec 12, 2017
CVS Health at the Crossroads, Too Much Debt
Image Source: CVS Health. We have been disappointed with the lack progress displayed by CVS Health thus far in 2017. We knew the business was entering into an earnings trough as a result of key contract losses, but recent events have unfolded that, in our view, have lessened the attractiveness of its business model, to a meaningful degree. Let’s talk more about what’s happening at CVS Health, the changing PBM market, Amazon’s threat, and too much leverage. We’re not overreacting, but we’re not happy either.

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