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Latest Valuentum Commentary

May 23, 2023
Call Me Unconcerned
Image: Large cap growth has dominated returns the past five years. The Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio continues to have significant exposure to this area. We’re taking it slow this time of year. With the area of large cap growth nearly doubling since the beginning of 2018, trouncing the return of the broader market, dividend growth strategies, the area of small cap value and general REIT indices, it’s just hard to find much wrong with staying pat. The proliferation of artificial intelligence will likely propel big cap tech and large cap growth to new highs, while small cap value may continue to be weighed down by the banks--and dividend-oriented strategies may face continued pressure from rising interest rates and tired real estate markets. Things were a bit murky during 2022, but thanks for keeping the faith.
May 22, 2023
Nice! -- NASDAQ-100 Follows Through on Breakout
Image: NASDAQ-100 breaks through August 2022 resistance.
Apr 19, 2023
1Q 2023 Earnings Coming in Better Than Feared Thus Far
Image: We view valuation as a range of probable fair value outcomes. Our updated fair value estimate for Booking Holding stands north of $3,000, while shares are trading at less than $2,700. First-quarter 2023 earnings season has been coming in better than feared, in our view, and bank earnings have not spooked the market as many may have thought they would. But again, any banking crisis takes far more than just a month or two to work through the system, and in the event another shoe drops – whether in Europe or in U.S. commercial real estate or U.S. housing – things could get ugly for the banking sector. We continue to prefer equities over bonds, and as was shown once again during SVB Financial meltdown, the Fed was there once again to bail out the “market” and prevent contagion at any cost. With roughly 10% of the S&P 500 reporting first-quarter 2023 earnings so far, many companies have been beating consensus estimates.
Mar 14, 2023
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. On the other hand, enterprise valuation, or the process required to answer the 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 that may have high P/E ratios while baiting us into value traps with low P/E ratios.
Feb 22, 2023
Follow Up on Intel’s Dividend Cut: We Will Strive to Do a Better Job Communicating
As noted in our brief note on Intel this morning, “Intel Cuts Dividend, As Expected,” we have now refreshed the company’s reports on the website, with updated Dividend Safety and Dividend Growth Potential ratings, both as VERY POOR. After factoring in Intel’s updated outlook to our valuation model from its fourth-quarter release, our updated fair value estimate is now $25 per share (was $27 per share) and our updated Dividend Cushion ratio is -1.7 (negative 1.7), was 0.4. This includes the dividend cut.
Feb 22, 2023
Intel Cuts Dividend, As Expected
Image Source: Aaron Fulkerson. The Dividend Cushion ratio caught another dividend cut. This time it was Intel’s. With a Dividend Cushion ratio of 0.4, Intel announced February 22 that it has slashed its dividend by nearly two thirds, to $0.125 on a quarterly basis, down from its prior quarterly dividend of $0.365. The company’s estimated forward yield now stands at ~1.9%, and we can’t say that the dividend cut was unexpected given its massive net debt position and significantly weakened free cash flow generation--the two most important components behind an assessment of its cash-based intrinsic value and dividend health.
Jan 28, 2023
We Don’t Think Intel Will Spoil the Tech Rally
Image Shown: The Invesco QQQ ETF has broken through its technical downtrend, and we don’t think Intel’s poor outlook will derail this tech rally. Image Source: TradingView. Intel no longer is the bellwether it once was. Its market capitalization has dwindled significantly in recent years and now stands at ~116.5 billion, lower than Advanced Micro Devices' market capitalization of ~$121.6 billion, Texas Instruments' market capitalization of ~$158.8 billion, and Nvidia’s market capitalization of ~$501 billion. Taiwan Semiconductor has a market capitalization of ~$431 billion, while ASML Holding has a market capitalization of ~$268 billion. Intel no longer is what it once was, and as such, we don’t think its poor and borderline shocking outlook will derail a tech rally that could have significant legs. We still like these markets, and we don’t think Intel will spoil the party.
Jan 26, 2023
Market-Cap Weighted S&P 500 Breaks Out; Have We Already Seen the Bottom?
Image: The market-cap weighted S&P 500 (SPY) has broken through its downtrend. The markets could be headed meaningfully higher. Image Source: TradingView. The market-cap weighted S&P 500 has broken out of the technical downtrend that defined 2022 following the equal-weight breakout that preceded it. The pace of inflation looks like it peaked in June 2022, and while myriad risks to both the economy and stock market remain, fourth-quarter 2022 earnings season is shaping up better than feared. We maintain our view that the markets remain at critical technical levels, and we continue to monitor earnings season and technical developments closely.
Jan 12, 2023
Taiwan Semiconductor’s Shares May Have Bottomed
Image: We’re liking the technical bottom forming in Taiwan Semiconductor’s shares. Image Source: TradingView. Everyone has their eyes on Taiwan Semiconductor these days. The firm is the center of attention with respect to Sino-American relations, and the risk that China may invade Taiwan has added a degree of uncertainty to shares that is almost impossible to quantify within general valuation frameworks. Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, the world’s largest pure-play semiconductor foundry is a key bellwether for an area within technology that has faced considerable pressure during the past year. However, from our perspective, shares of Taiwan Semiconductor look to have carved out what we believe to be a technical bottom, and the high end of our fair value estimate range of $90 speaks to more upside potential.
Nov 13, 2022
ASML Launches Big Buyback; Lithography Systems Well Positioned for Demand Growth
Image: ASML has been one of the most successful semiconductor companies thanks in part to the firm’s advanced lithography systems that continue to meet customer demands for size and cost efficiencies. Image Source: ASML. We think ASML Holding is in a sweet spot in the semiconductor space as its lithography systems position the industry well along the path of Moore’s Law. Strong past investments have given it a leadership position, and we expect ASML to capture a significant amount of its addressable market from smartphones to personal computing and beyond, all the while it pays a dividend and buys back stock along the way. A continued focus on research & development and capital spending, while maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet should be expected. The firm’s recent Investor Day was a positive catalyst for shares and eased the worst of the concerns regarding the intermediate-term impact of Sino-American tensions on the semiconductor space. We continue to like shares of ASML Holding.

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