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May 22, 2020
Facebook Augments Its Impressive Growth Trajectory
Image Shown: Shares of Facebook Inc have outperformed the S&P 500 index year-to-date, as of this writing on May 21, by a wide margin. Facebook is a top-weighted holding in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and shares have surged upwards of late, sparked in part by its strong first-quarter 2020 performance, relatively speaking, given the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. As of this writing on May 21, shares of FB are up ~14% year-to-date while the S&P 500 is down ~8% during the same period (this is before taking dividend considerations into account; however, that doesn’t change this picture by much). We continue to like Facebook as a top-weighted holding in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and please note that the top end of our fair value estimate range sits at $289 per share. Given the company’s strong fundamental and especially technical performance of late, there’s room for shares of FB to march significantly higher from current levels.
May 22, 2020
Earnings Roundup: EXPE and LB
Image Shown: Covering recent earnings reports from Expedia Group Inc and L Brands Inc. In this earnings roundup note, we cover travel company EXPE and specialty retailer LB to get an idea of how various industries are performing during the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic.
May 20, 2020
Retail Roundup: Home Depot and Walmart Report Earnings
Image Source: Home Depot Inc – June 2019 IR Presentation. Home improvement stores and retailers with large grocery/consumer staples offerings in the US held up relatively well during the COVID-19 pandemic. E-commerce sales enabled Home Depot and Walmart to continue chugging along as consumers opted for either home delivery or curbside pickup in order to stay away from large crowds. Going forward, consumer spending may come under pressure from elevated levels of unemployment, but for now, major fiscal stimulus measures appear to be helping offset the worst of that particularly in the US and other developed nations that embarked on meaningful fiscal stimulus programs (keeping in mind that the latest quarterly results from Home Depot and Walmart only cover part of the worst of the economic downturn due to COVID-19).
May 11, 2020
Facebook Is Roaring Higher!
Image Shown: Shares of Facebook (blue line) have roared higher since reaching their March 2020 lows, far outpacing the rebound in the S&P 500 (orange line). We continue to like shares of FB as a top-weighted holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Top-weighted Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio holding Facebook posted first quarter 2020 earnings on April 29 that saw its GAAP revenues jump 18% year-over-year to $17.3 billion while its GAAP diluted EPS grew by 101% year-over-year, hitting $1.71. Please note that Facebook’s bottom-line comparison was made easier due to the firm recording a $3.0 billion legal settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (‘FTC’) during the first quarter of 2019. While digital advertising spending levels are expected to get crushed in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic, Facebook communicated to investors that its long-term growth trajectory remained very promising during the firm’s latest quarterly conference call. In our view, digital advertising spending levels will quickly bounce back once economies around the world start to reopen in earnest, though we caution that efforts to reopen the economy and resume “normal” daily activities need to keep in mind the risk another wave of infections imposes.
May 6, 2020
Tyson Faces Operational Hurdles
Image Source: Tyson Foods Inc – Second Quarter of Fiscal 2020 Earnings IR Presentation. On May 4, the major meat and prepackaged food provider Tyson Foods reported second-quarter earnings for its fiscal 2020 (period ended March 28, 2020) that missed consensus estimates on both the top- and bottom-line, sending its shares sharply lower during the regular trading session that day. The ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) is hurting its production capabilities, in particular the operations of its meatpacking plants as numerous confirmed COVID-19 cases (that unfortunately includes fatalities) have emerged at those facilities and the facilities of its peers across the US, prompting many to close or scale back. For instance, Tyson was forced to temporarily close a large pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, starting in late-April as many workers were calling out sick.
May 4, 2020
Visa Reports That Global Spending Levels May Have Started to Stabilize in April
Image Source: DeclanTM. One of our favorite companies and a top-weighted holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Visa, reported second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2020 (period ended March 31, 2020) which beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. Going forward, while Visa’s very lucrative travel-related businesses (which includes payment processing and foreign currency transaction solutions) will take a hit from reduced travel worldwide due to the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic, management is focused on controlling expenses to offset exogenous headwinds. Specifically, management noted that Visa would pull back on “discretionary spending especially related to personnel, travel, professional services, and marketing” which we appreciate.
Apr 30, 2020
Alphabet Surges Higher
Image Shown: Shares of Alphabet Inc surged higher on April 29 after reporting a stellar earnings report, and we continue to like Alphabet Class C shares as a top-weighted holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. After the market close on April 28, Alphabet reported first-quarter earnings for 2020 that beat top-line consensus estimates and missed bottom-line consensus estimates, with sales supported by the strength of its digital advertising business and its growing Google Cloud business. Alphabet’s advertising revenue (comprised of revenue from its Google Search, YouTube, and Google Network Members' properties operations) was up 10% year-over-year to $33.8 billion while Google Cloud reported 52% revenue growth year-over-year, reaching $2.8 billion last quarter. All-in-all, Alphabet’s GAAP revenues climbed higher by 13% year-over-year in the first quarter, hitting $41.2 billion. Shares of Alphabet moved significantly higher on April 29 as the firm’s outlook was better than expected, aided by management communicating that Alphabet was prepared to utilize its fortress-like balance sheet to repurchase stock at a meaningful discount to their intrinsic value.
Apr 28, 2020
Good News for Facebook Ahead of Earnings Report
Image Shown: Facebook Inc’s top-line has experienced meaningful growth in recent years. Image Source: Facebook Inc – Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2019 Earnings IR Presentation. One of our favorite Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio holdings is Facebook, and we appreciate its pristine balance sheet (plenty of cash on hand and no debt on the books as of the end of 2019), promising growth trajectory (short-term headwinds aside, digital advertising is a secular growth market and likely to bounce back strongly once the pandemic subsides), and we would like to highlight that shares of FB trade at a meaningful discount to our fair value estimate (which sits at $234 per share) as of this writing. Recently, several things have happened that supports our thesis as to why Facebook is a stellar company which will cover in this note. The ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic will depress Facebook’s near-term performance, but the firm’s medium- and long-term outlook remains very promising.
Apr 21, 2020
Macy’s Will Find It Difficult to Unlock the (Fair) Value of Its Real Estate
Image Source: Valuentum. The embattled department store Macy’s suspended its dividend and drew down its revolving credit line on March 20 in order to shore up its financial position in the face of the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. All of Macy’s physical stores were temporarily closed on March 18, though some might shut down for good given the company’s financial woes. The fair value estimate of Macy’s is heavily dependent on factors well outside the control of management, and considering the US economy and global economy at-large are sliding toward a pandemic/leverage induced recession/depression, we aren’t optimistic on Macy’s ability to unlock the (fair) value of its real estate. Any real estate sales done in the foreseeable future will likely be at a discount to their fair value. As the firm continues to burn through cash--there’s a very high probability Macy’s will continue to generate negative free cash flows until the “cocooning” of households ends--the clock is working against Macy’s. We are staying away from the name.
Apr 17, 2020
JB Hunt Scales Back
Image Source: JB Hunt Transportation Services Inc – First Quarter 2020 Earnings IR Presentation. JB Hunt Transportation offers trucking freight and other logistics services to customers in North America, including intermodal services (which is the firm’s largest business segment by revenue). On April 14, the company reported first-quarter 2020 results, which showed its top-line beat consensus expectations while its bottom-line missed consensus expectations. Part of the reason why JB Hunt missed bottom-line expectations was due to incentive pay increases related to the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic and the need to compensate frontline workers for the risks they are taking (and we appreciate all the work frontline workers are doing during these challenging times). Shares of JBHT yield ~1.1% as of this writing.
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