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Latest Valuentum Commentary
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!
Feb 1, 2021
It May Be Too Little Too Late
With the ability to stop it before it started now behind us, in my view, enterprise valuation and a focus on net cash and future expected free cash flow within companies with strong competitive advantages that are tied to secular growth trends is still the best way to combat this type of environment. But investors need to keep their guard up. We could be headed for some crazy market action in the coming months.
Jan 21, 2021
ICYMI: Valuentum's Brian Nelson on the Latest Howard Marks' Memo: "Something of Value"
Valuentum's President of Investment Research Brian Michael Nelson, CFA, explains why there are not really value and growth stocks, why most of the research in quantitative finance is spurious and needs to be redefined on a forward-looking basis, and why enterprise valuation (not the efficient markets hypothesis) should be the organizing principle of finance. Nelson explains his views about valuation, what it means to be a value investor, and investing in the context of Oaktree Capital Howard Marks' latest memo, "Something of Value," January 11, 2021.
Dec 13, 2020
7 Hidden Dividend Aristocrats in Industrials
In the world of dividend growth investing, when a company hits the mark of raising its dividend for more than 25 consecutive years, it garners the coveted title of a Dividend Aristocrat. The accomplishment is so rare that only 65 companies in the S&P 500 have achieved this commendable feat--just 13%. Our strategic focus in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio is to identify companies with attractive valuations, respectable dividend yields and strong expected dividend growth prospects for the next 25 years. This perspective is embedded within the construct of our proprietary and forward-looking Dividend Cushion ratio that can be found in each company’s Dividend Report. In this article, however, let’s cover seven hidden and relatively overlooked Dividend Aristocrats from our Industrials coverage that have promising prospects to continue raising their dividends for many more years to come (three on the list have already raised their dividends for more than 60 consecutive years). The valuations of these seven companies may be a little stretched for our taste (at the time of this writing), but we think these stocks are worth keeping on your radar given their resilient business models, shareholder-friendly management teams, notable competitive advantages, and praiseworthy status as Dividend Aristocrats. Each of the companies’ 16-page Stock Report and Dividend Report can be downloaded following their respective profiles.
Dec 1, 2020
Walking Through the Calculation of the Dividend Cushion Ratio
Image shown: An image found on page 2 of Valuentum's Dividend Report on Kimberly-Clark. The 'Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction,' shown in the image, reveals the numerator and denominator of the Dividend Cushion ratio. At the core, the larger the numerator (or the healthier a company's balance sheet and future free cash flow generation) relative to the denominator (or a company's future expected cash dividend obligations), the more durable the dividend. In the context of the Dividend Cushion ratio, KimberlyClark's numerator is larger than its denominator suggesting strong dividend coverage in the future. The 'Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction' image puts sources of free cash flow in the context of financial obligations next to expected cash dividend payments over the next 5 years on a side-by-side comparison. Because the Dividend Cushion ratio and many of its components are forward-looking, our dividend evaluation may change upon subsequent updates as future forecasts are altered to reflect new information.We believe the Dividend Cushion ratio is one of the most helpful tools an income or dividend growth investor can use in conjunction with qualitative dividend analysis. The ratio is one-of-a-kind in that it is both free-cash-flow based, considers balance sheet health, and is forward looking. Since its development in 2012, we estimate its efficacy at ~90% in helping to forewarn readers of impending dividend cuts. For companies where Valuentum reports are available, the Dividend Cushion ratio can be found in a stock's Dividend Report or in the table on the company's stock landing page. We use Kimberly-Clark as an example of how we calculate the Dividend Cushion ratio and how useful it is for investors of all types.
Nov 16, 2020
Value Is Not Static and the Qualitative Overlay Is Vital to Our Process
With prudence and care, the Valuentum Buying Index process and its components are carried out. Our analyst team spends most of its time thinking about the intrinsic value of companies within the context of a discounted cash-flow model and evaluating the risk profile of a company's revenue model. We have checks and balances, too. First, we use a fair value range in our valuation approach as we embrace the very important concept that value is a range and not a point estimate. A relative value overlay as the second pillar helps to add conviction in the discounted cash-flow process, while a technical and momentum overlay seeks to provide confirmation in all of the valuation work. There's a lot happening behind the scenes even before a VBI rating is published, but it will always be just one factor to consider. Within any process, of course, we value the human, qualitative overlay, which captures a wealth of experience and common sense. We strive to surface our best ideas for members.
Nov 2, 2020
ICYMI -- Dividend Growth Strategies Struggle
Image: A large cap growth ETF (orange) has significantly outperformed an ETF tied to a dividend growth strategy, the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), which mirrors the total return performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. To no surprise to many members, several dividend growth strategies have faced tremendous pressure during 2020. The Journal recently wrote a piece on the topic, but from our perspective, the problem with many dividend growth strategies is that they tend to be balance-sheet agnostic and pay little attention to traditional free cash flow expectations, focusing only on the yield itself, sometimes dismissing future fundamentals in favor of historical growth trends and the inferior EPS-based dividend payout ratio. In many dividend-targeted ETFs, for example, it may not matter to the index creator whether a firm has $10 billion in net debt or $10 billion in net cash; as long as management has a track record of raising the dividend in the past, it is included. To us, however, there is a world of difference between a company that has a huge net cash position and a huge net debt position. The more excess cash on the balance sheet a dividend payer has, for example, the more secure its payout. In some cases, entities held in high-yielding ETFs don't even cover their dividends or distributions with traditional free cash flow generation, despite having ominous net debt loads. A look at the high-yielding ALPS Alerian MLP ETF, for example, shows a number of entities that are buried under a mountain of debt and are generating meager free cash flow relative to expected distributions. The lofty yield on that ETF should therefore be viewed with a very cautious eye. If the yield weren't at risk for a big cut, the market would bid up the stock, and down the yield would go. In no way should you believe that you can sleep well at night holding stocks yielding north of 10% when the current 10-year Treasury is well below 1%. The market is just not that inefficient. A dividend growth strategy can never be a passive one either. Only through constant attention to the balance sheet (net cash) and future free cash flow expectations can investors truly sleep well at night. At Valuentum, we do the balance sheet and cash flow work and summarize it succinctly in a key ratio called the Dividend Cushion ratio.
Sep 18, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week September 18
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Sep 4, 2020
3 Substantial Benefits of Dividend Growth Investing
Image Source: www.epictop10.com. There are three primary benefits of a well-executed dividend growth strategy, one that is carried out with prudence and care and one that pays careful attention to the intrinsic value of the stock and its critical cash-based components. Albert Einstein is reported to have called compound interest the "eighth wonder of the world," but dividend growth investing has the potential to offer long-term investors so much more! Let's explain.
Sep 3, 2020
How Some Members Use Valuentum’s Investment Services
We serve a wide variety of investors, including dividend growth investors, value investors, and pure Valuentum investors, among others. Many different types of investors and professionals use our research and financial analysis in a whole host of applications from individual stock-selection to the evaluation of closed-end funds to an overlay in a money-management setting and beyond. The Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio seeks to find stocks that have good value and good momentum characteristics and typically targets capital appreciation potential over a longer-term horizon. The Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio seeks to find underpriced dividend growth gems that generate strong levels of free cash flow and have pristine, fortress balance sheets, translating into excellent Valuentum Dividend Cushion ratios. The High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio seeks to find some of the highest-yielding stocks supported by strong credit profiles and solid business models, but not always robust traditional free cash flow. Ideas in this newsletter offer higher-yielding opportunities, but also much higher capital and income risk. We also offer a full suite of products to financial advisers (gold level) that range from a more extensive Excel-based screening tool (the DataScreener) to 'Ideas' and 'Dividend' publications that are released on a quarterly basis. Our research product includes hundreds of stock reports, fair values, fair value ranges, associated commentary, and hundreds of dividend reports with Valuentum Dividend Cushion ratios and expected dividend growth rates. Silver and gold-level members can add the Valuentum Exclusive or additional options commentary/ideas to their plans. The Exclusive publication is a part of the institutional (platinum) level membership.
Latest Press Releases
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.