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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Jun 10, 2022
Taiwan Semi Firing on All Cylinders
Image Source: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – First Quarter of 2022 IR Earnings Presentation. We are huge fans of Taiwan Semi which offers investors a combination of capital appreciation and income growth upside. Shares of TSM yield ~2.1% as of this writing. Taiwan Semi is included as an idea in our ESG Newsletter portfoliio. The firm is incredibly shareholder friendly with good governance practices, focuses on sustainable manufacturing practices where feasible (placing a great emphasis on effective resource management, limiting pollution, and utilizing green energy), and has a management team that comes from diverse backgrounds (keeping in mind Taiwan Semi is headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan).
Apr 10, 2022
Cash-Based Sources of Intrinsic Value for Meta Platforms and PayPal Remain Strong
Image Shown: Shares of Meta Platforms Inc (blue line) and PayPal Holdings Inc (orange line) have staged a nice comeback during the past month, as of the start of April 2022. Rising interest rates and the impact that has had on the market's discount rate implicitly used within the enterprise cash flow pricing process has pressured the value of equities with long free-cash-flow growth tails--stocks that are expected to grow at a meaningful premium over global economic growth over the coming decades. The rapid increase in the 10-year Treasury rate, no doubt, has had a profound impact on the equity values of long-duration cash-flow companies such as those held in the ultra-speculative ARK Innovation ETF, for example. However, established big cap tech firms and many fintech entities shouldn't necessarily be as impacted by rising interest rates as those of many currently money-losing speculative innovation names that won't generate meaningful levels of free cash flow for 5 to 10 years, maybe longer. For example, shares of companies such as Apple Inc. or Microsoft Corp. should only have but a muted impact from rising rates; these companies have huge net cash positions and are already generating strong free cash flow. It can even be argued that higher inflation/rates will afford Apple and Microsoft pricing power to raise product and software prices. While we might expect the ARK Innovation ETF to be down nearly 40% year-to-date and more than half during the past 52 weeks, we don't think it makes a lot of sense for some of the strongest, large cap growth names to be off ~12%, on average, year-to-date. We think the market, in many instances and especially within the area of technology, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc, formerly Facebook, and PayPal Holdings Inc are two such names that the market has been beating down too much, in our view. Though some weakness in Meta Platform's and PayPal's shares can be expected in the current market environment, year-to-date declines of 30%+ and 40%+, respectively, are a bit much. That said, during the past few months, we have reduced our fair value estimates for both Meta Platforms and PayPal for good reasons. For starters, Meta Platforms is investing heavily in the metaverse, a digital universe, and is scaling up its data center capacity to support its efforts on this front (which is driving its capital expenditure and operating cost expectations up sharply in the medium-term). Meta Platforms is not expected to make a meaningful amount or any money on these investments for some time. PayPal is facing headwinds from hefty customer acquisition costs to grow its active user base amid rising competitive threats. We also think that we may have been too aggressive within our valuation model when we built in too much earnings leverage during the next five years at PayPal. Said another way, the fintech company’s mid-cycle operating margin is not what we once though it was--as PayPal will find it difficult to meaningfully expand its margins in the current environment. However, putting it all together, these pressures and others have all been reflected in our current fair value estimates (and fair value estimate ranges) for Meta Platforms, which sits at $367 per share, and PayPal, which sits at $152 per share. Both companies are included as ideas in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, and we are beginning to see signs of a rebound underway. For long-term investors, we think Meta Platforms is a no-brainer at current prices, though we may be a bit more cautious on PayPal, which is now more of a "show-me" story, given recent hiccups. All this having been said, let's dig in to why we still like Meta Platforms and PayPal.
Mar 14, 2022
Valuentum Weekly: Yields on New Series I Savings Bonds Have Soared!
The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures are all indicated up Sunday night (March 13), but that may not mean much when trading kicks off tomorrow. The start to 2022 has been one of the worst stretches during the past decade, but broader market indexes still aren't down much, even after factoring in several expected rate hikes by the Fed and economic sanctions on Russia due to the war in Ukraine. According to data from Seeking Alpha, the S&P 500 (SPY), Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA), and Nasdaq (QQQ) are off ~12%, ~10%, and ~19% so far this year, respectively. However, this weakness compares to (and is inclusive of) incredible 5-year price-only returns on the SPY, DIA, and QQQ of ~77%, ~58%, ~146%, respectively, so it's hard for stock investors to be disappointed in much of anything, even if all they were able to do was match the returns of the S&P 500 the past 5 years. Many, however, unfortunately, diluted those 5-year returns with hefty bond and international exposure and sometimes large AUM fees, so the weakness in 2022 is probably more painful for some than perhaps it should be. In any case, we remain bullish on stocks for the long run, with a heavy bent toward large cap growth and big cap tech with tactical overweight "positions" in big cap energy.
Jan 13, 2022
Governance: The G in ESG Investing
Image: The Valuentum Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scoring System shows how “Governance” considerations are analyzed. No discussion of ESG investing would be complete without addressing the role of corporate governance (“stewardship”) in equity investing. As with the other aspects of ESG investing, corporate governance covers a lot of ground. It can include pretty much anything related to how a company is run, including leadership, executive compensation, audits and accounting, and shareholder rights. These areas are just the tip of the iceberg, however. A company with good corporate governance is one that is run well with the proper incentives and with all stakeholders in mind, from employees to suppliers to customers to shareholders and beyond. Good corporate governance practices decrease the risk to investors as it cuts through conflicts of interest, misuse of resources, and a general lack of concern for all stakeholders. A company that fails at implementing good corporate governance is at increased risk of litigation or scandal, which could wreck the share price. With the turn of the century, the dot com bust probably exposed most prominently the need for good corporate governance practices. Fraud was rampant. Whether it was the former CEO of Tyco International receiving millions in unauthorized bonuses, the actions of those at the top of Enron that created one of the biggest frauds in corporate history, the scandal at accounting and auditing firm Arthur Andersen, the demise of MCI/Worldcom, or the questionable practices that led to the Global Analyst Research Settlement, Wall Street had lost its way. In fact, a big reason why our firm Valuentum was founded is based on ensuring that investors get a fair shake and that someone is keeping a watchful eye not only on companies, but also on the sell-side stock analyst research that may still be full of conflicts of interest. As a result of the Global Analyst Research Settlement, all the big investment banks from Goldman Sachs to J.P. Morgan to Morgan Stanley to UBS Group and beyond had to pay stiff fines for producing conflicted, if not fraudulent research. In this note, we talk about the considerations that go into the G in ESG investing.
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 16, 2021
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, SIMO.
Jul 26, 2021
Chinese Stocks Getting Hammered
Image shown: A confluence of factors are driving Chinese stocks lower, not the least of which is heightened regulatory concerns.Investing is really simple. You don’t need to find terribly underfollowed ideas to do well, just mispriced ones. For example, Alphabet is up over 80% the past 52 weeks, and the company has been a top weighting in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio for some time. Facebook has also been an outperformer. There’s no need to make things complicated. Focus on undervalued stocks on a DCF basis that have strong market support through relative strength or a solid technical breakout--and stay away from those net-debt heavy, low valuation multiple value traps!
Jun 1, 2021
ICYMI -- Video: Exclusive 2020 -- Furthering the Financial Discipline
In this 40+ minute video jam-packed with must-watch content, Valuentum's President Brian Nelson talks about the Theory of Universal Valuation and how his work is furthering the financial discipline. Learn the pitfalls of factor investing and modern portfolio theory and how the efficient markets hypothesis holds little substance in the wake of COVID-19. He'll talk about what companies Valuentum likes and why, and which areas he's avoiding. This and more in Valuentum's 2020 Exclusive conference call.
Apr 29, 2021
Best Idea Facebook Posts Blowout Earnings Report
Image Shown: Facebook Inc’s digital advertising business is a behemoth and enabled the firm to put up banner first quarter 2021 performance. We continue to be enormous fans of Facebook and include shares of FB as a top-weighted idea in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Image Source: Facebook Inc – First Quarter of 2021 IR Earnings Presentation. We continue to view Facebook as one of the most attractive capital appreciation opportunities out there as shares of FB, as of this writing, are trading at a steep discount to their intrinsic value on the basis of enterprise cash flow analysis. Our fair value estimate for Facebook sits at $413 per share with room for upside as the top end of our fair value estimate range sits at $516 per share. Facebook is included as a top-weighted idea in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and more recently, shares of FB have begun to converge towards our fair value estimate. Momentum continues to shift in the right direction after Facebook published its first quarter 2021 earnings report on April 28, which saw shares of FB jump higher after the report went public as the firm easily surpassed consensus top- and bottom-line estimates.
Oct 23, 2020
Our Thoughts on Intel’s Latest Earnings Report
Image Shown: An overview of Intel Corporation’s performance during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Image Source: Intel Corporation – Third Quarter of Fiscal 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. On October 22, Intel Corp reported third quarter fiscal 2020 earnings (period ended September 26, 2020) that largely matched consensus expectations. Intel boosted its full-year outlook for fiscal 2020 on a net basis (which included an increase in its expected free cash flows this fiscal year) during its latest earnings update, though management reduced its forecast for Intel’s expected operating margins versus previous expectations. We continue to like Intel’s ability to generate sizable free cash flows, though we are concerned with its rising net debt load of late.
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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.