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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Apr 8, 2021
The Best Years Are Ahead
The wind is at our backs. The Federal Reserve, Treasury, and regulatory bodies of the U.S. may have no choice but to keep U.S. markets moving higher. The likelihood of the S&P 500 reaching 2,000 ever again seems remote, and I would not be surprised to see 5,000 on the S&P 500 before we see 2,500-3,000, if the latter may be in the cards. The S&P 500 is trading at ~4,100 at the time of this writing. The high end of our fair value range on the S&P 500 remains just shy of 4,000, but I foresee a massive shift in long-term capital out of traditional bonds into equities this decade (and markets to remain overpriced for some time). Bond yields are paltry and will likely stay that way for some time, requiring advisors to rethink their asset mixes. The stock market looks to be the place to be long term, as it has always been. With all the tools at the disposal of government officials, economic collapse (as in the Great Depression) may no longer be even a minor probability in the decades to come--unlike in the past with the capitalistic mindset that governed the Federal Reserve before the “Lehman collapse."
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 27, 2021
ALERT: Raising Cash in the Newsletter Portfolios
Our research has been absolutely fantastic for a long time, but 2020 may have been our best year yet. With the S&P 500 trading within our fair value estimate range of 3,530-3,920 (and the markets rolling over while showing signs of abnormal behavior), we're raising the cash position in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio to 10%-20%. For more conservative investors, the high end of this range may even be larger, especially considering the vast "gains" from the March 2020 bottom and the increased systemic risks arising from price-agnostic trading (read Value Trap). The individual holdings will be reduced in proportion to arrive at the new targeted cash weighting in the respective simulated newsletter portfolios. The High Yield Dividend Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter are scheduled for release February 1. We'll have more to say soon.
Jan 27, 2021
Fourth Quarter Earnings Reports Coming In: INTC, GGG, KMB, STLD
Image Source: Kimberly Clark Corporation – Second Quarter of Fiscal 2021 Earnings IR Presentation. Fourth quarter 2020 earnings season is upon us. In this note, we walk through the reports of four companies issuing results: Intel, Graco, Kimberly Clark, and Steel Dynamics. Intel is making the right call by seeking to outsource some of its production needs given its inability to produce certain current- and next-generation chips. For companies operating in the industrial sector, it appears that after a challenging first half of 2020, things are now recovering in earnest. The industrial economy appears to have entered 2021 with momentum, keeping short-term headwinds in mind. Consumer staples entities experienced strong demand growth in 2020, though it appears that many companies operating in the space now expect their organic sales growth to moderate in 2021 as the uplift from “pantry stockpiling” fades.
Jan 24, 2021
Following Up on Leading Semiconductor Equipment Supplier ASML Holding N.V.
Image Source: ASML Holding NV – Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Earnings IR Presentation. Shares of Netherlands-based ASML Holding N.V., which supplies lithography systems and services to the semiconductor industry, have done incredibly well since we published our note, "ASML Holding Is an Impressive Enterprise with a Pristine Balance Sheet and Rock-Solid Growth Trajectory" article back on April 8, 2020. From April 8 to January 22, shares of ASML more than doubled. We strongly encourage members that have not done so to check out that article, as we laid out how ASML Holding’s lithography systems are an essential part of the semiconductor industry along with our reasoning behind why we view the company’s long-term outlook favorably. We continue to be fans of ASML Holding’s business model. As a leader in an industry supported by numerous secular growth tailwinds (secular trends, such as the rise of AI and cloud-computing, support the outlook for semiconductor demand which in turn supports the outlook for the cutting edge lithography systems used to make these semiconductors), ASML Holding is poised to continue to generate strong revenue growth while maintaining its pricing power.
Dec 31, 2020
2020 Won’t Soon Be Forgotten
2020 won’t soon be forgotten. The tumultuous year brought with it the greatest shock to the U.S. economy in modern history, ushering in the largest-ever decline in U.S. real annualized gross domestic product of 31.4% in the second quarter of the year (surpassing the prior record of a 28.6% collapse in the second quarter of 1921). Strict lockdowns to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 created the biggest global health emergency in a century, driving a self-inflicted economic collapse worse than the Great Recession, the Great Depression, and any other recession before it (the Depression of 1873-1879, the Panic of 1893, etc.). Millions were put out of work. During the month of April alone, the economy lost a record 20.8 million jobs, with some estimating that the “real” unemployment rate during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis reached nearly 23%. The official 14.7% unemployment rate in April would obliterate prior post-World War II era records, and while it fell short of the peak Great Depression unemployment rate estimated at 24.9%, the pain of many families and households was no less severe as they battled both a financial and health crisis that materialized in a matter of weeks, with little lead time to prepare for what was to come. Pantry stuffing and panic buying of consumer goods became a sign of the times, and a great debate about the efficacy of wearing masks raged across mediums.
Dec 28, 2020
Qualcomm’s Growth Trajectory Is Impressive and Supported by Numerous Secular Trends
Image Source: Qualcomm Inc – 2019 Analyst Day Presentation. Qualcomm offers dividend growth investors a way to play the rollout of 5G technologies and other nascent technologies worldwide, along with technologies that do not exist yet but could be made viable by the ongoing rollout of 5G wireless networks. We like Qualcomm’s business model, and we view the company as well-positioned to capitalize on numerous secular growth tailwinds. Beyond the recent launch of several 5G-capable smartphones by various companies, its automotive business offers Qualcomm ample upside potential. Additionally, we are intrigued by the opportunities created by the IoT trend and the firm’s AI-related investments. Concerns over competitive threats to Qualcomm’s modem business are not to be viewed lightly, though the company has many technical competitive advantages (know-how) derived from years of development and remains a leader in its field. As long as Qualcomm continues to innovate, made possible through its meaningful R&D investments, its product offerings and expansive IP portfolio should continue to remain in high demand. The company’s dividend growth trajectory is supported by its stellar cash flow profile and relatively strong balance sheet. Shares of QCOM yield ~1.8% as of this writing.
Dec 21, 2020
Our Reports on Stocks in the Technology Giants Industry
Our reports on stocks in the Technology Giants industry can be found in this article. Reports include FB, AAPL, GOOG, AMZN, MSFT, CSCO, V, MA, PYPL, INTC, ORCL, QCOM, TWTR, IBM, ADBE, NVDA, CRM, AMD, AVGO, BABA, BKNG, BIDU, TSM, FFIV, TXN, EBAY, ADP, PAYX, MU, KFY, MAN, KLAC, LRCX, AMAT, ADI.
Nov 25, 2020
Thinking Slow: 3 Research Blind Spots That Changed the Investment World
Image Source: EpicTop10.com. We have to be on high alert about how our minds work. PBS is premiering a four-part series examining about how easily our minds are being hacked, and why it is so important to "think slow." Tune in (5). When it comes to the active versus passive debate, does the analysis suffer from parameter risk? With respect to empirical, evidence-based analysis, does the analysis have the entire construct wrong? When it comes to short-cut multiples, are we falling into the behavioral trap of thinking on autopilot?
Nov 24, 2020
Brain Teaser - Reflexive versus Reflective
Image: Amy Leonard. Valuation multiples tend to trigger the reflexive side of our brain, and we process the multiples through anchoring, in most cases. On the other hand, enterprise valuation, or the process required to answer the second set of questions in this article correctly, shows that our reflexive process can be quite incorrect at times. In fact, cognitive biases such as anchoring can completely trip us up into missing out on truly undervalued companies while baiting us into value traps.
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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.