Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Latest Valuentum Commentary
May 8, 2020
ICYMI: Never Been More Bullish Even as Buffett Dumps Airlines
Image Source: IATA. Data Source: McKinsey & Company (IATA). Airlines haven’t been able to earn their estimated cost of capital for as long as we can remember. There have been hundreds of airline bankruptcies since deregulation in 1978. The news may be scary in coming months, and market volatility may elevate again, but we’ve never been more bullish on the longer run. The biggest advantage of an individual investor is something called time horizon arbitrage. As many professionals continue to fear a break below the March 23 lows, we’re focused on how this market absorbs the tremendous and unprecedented stimulus in the coming months and what that means for nominal equity prices in the longer run. It may not happen this month or this year, but we expect lift off as investors race to preserve purchasing power! Our favorite ideas for a portfolio setting remain in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, and High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio. Our favorite brand new ideas, released each month, are included in the Exclusive publication.
May 6, 2020
Berkshire Hathaway Prepares Itself for COVID-19
Image Source: Berkshire Hathaway Inc – 2019 Annual Report. Berkshire Hathaway reported first-quarter 2020 earnings on May 2, which due to significant unrealized losses in its investment portfolio (a product of the market swoon in the early months of 2020) the firm swung to a large loss on a GAAP basis. As Berkshire Hathaway’s leadership team has often noted, the 2018 accounting rule change that forces companies to recognize unrealized gains and losses in the income statement can make GAAP net income and GAAP diluted EPS figures near meaningless without digging deeper into the firm’s financials.
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.
Mar 15, 2020
Fed Cuts 100 Basis Points, Launches More QE
“Now, stocks and other assets are being sold, some indiscriminately. It is truly becoming a stock pickers market as opposed to a quant-led and index-led market. It takes a different kind of bravery to buy on massive down days and one must have conviction in their research that the company will not go away if massive downside scenarios do in fact emerge.” – Matthew Warren. In this piece, we cover our assessment of what the global markets might be facing in a bull-case, base-case, and bear-case scenario. Our base case is a substantial recession in the US and a financial crisis of some unknown magnitude.
Mar 13, 2020
Dow Fell 9.99%, Worst Point Drop in History, More Nibbling?
Every stock in the S&P 500 fell during the trading session March 12, except one. The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced the biggest point drop in history, Europe was crushed, gold and crypto-currencies sold off, Treasuries and munis were weak, as correlations among almost all asset classes approached one, as they often do during economic crises. Thursday, the S&P 500 closed at 2,480, near the low end of our 2,350-2,750 target range, and given the massive historical decline March 12 (the biggest point drop in history), equities are now starting to reflect a more neutral risk-reward balance at current levels, though we note downside risks remain. It may be time to consider doing some more nibbling on some of your favorite ideas. Where should you look? Our favorite ideas are always included in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio and Exclusive publication. In particular, we think ideas that have strong net cash positions, strong economic returns ("castles"), solid moats around their operations (competitive advantages), and strong free cash flow generation are the places to look during crises.
Mar 5, 2020
Buffett Makes Another “Unforced Error” in Airlines
“Buffett said once that he had an 800 number that he would call anytime that he wanted to buy an airline stock again. Maybe that number has been disconnected after all these years, as Berkshire Hathaway is once again an owner of airline equities. Though the structural characteristics of an industry can and do change over time, I’m very skeptical the airline business has changed permanently for the better. Today’s airline business may be more oligopolistic in nature and much more profitable thanks to consolidation and the right-sizing of capacity, but it retains a notoriously cyclical passenger-demand profile, ties to the level and volatility of energy resource prices, considerable operating leverage, all the while barriers to entry remain low, exit barriers remain high, and fare pressure endures. The next downturn may not see as many bankruptcies as prior economic cycles due to lower unit-cost profiles, but it may turn out to only be modestly “less bad” for equity holders." – Value Trap, published December 2018
Feb 25, 2020
Berkshire Reports 2019 Earnings
Berkshire Hathaway reported fourth quarter and full-year results on Saturday February 22, and we appreciate the firm’s performance across most of its business lines, keeping in mind that losses at its insurance-underwriting business during the fourth quarter weakened its company-wide performance. That being said, the insurance business can be volatile at times, which is why we appreciate Berkshire’s large railroad, utility, consumer goods, and other business segments. On the topic of Berkshire’s insurance-related exposure to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic (which has since spread from China to the rest of the world, shutting down economies in South Korea, Italy, and elsewhere), insurance firms fundamentally altered the structure of their policies after the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (‘SARS’) outbreak to exclude epidemic coverage from most policies (save for insurance policies that explicitly cover those situations) according to the WSJ. Shares of Berkshire Class B stock are included in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio with a top-weighting, and over the past few months shares of BRK.B has begun converging towards our fair value estimate of $229 per share. Berkshire Class B shares could move towards the top end of our fair value range estimate of $275 per share, particularly if the company figures out where to invest its enormous cash pile.
Feb 19, 2020
Walmart Reports Fourth Quarter Results, Raises Dividend
Image Source: Valuentum. On February 18, global brick-and-mortar retail bellwether Walmart reported mixed fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results (ends January 31, 2020) that showed revenue advancing 2.1% and non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.38 missing the consensus forecast. We await the filing of the firm’s 10-K to roll our valuation model forward, but we do not expect to make any material changes to our fair value estimate at this time, which stands at $109 per share. The stock is trading hands at ~$118 per share at the moment.
Dec 19, 2019
2019: Another Market Beating Year for the Best Ideas Newsletter Portfolio!
We estimate thus far the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio return has beat the S&P 500 by 2.8 percentage points during 2019 (34.4% versus 31.6% for the S&P 500, as measured by the SPY). Our move to overweight Apple, Facebook, and Visa worked out wonderfully for members during 2019. We continue to overweight big winners, and we credit this to our team's conviction in our very best ideas. We also made quite the savvy move in rolling over a solid gain in Chipotle (60%+) into even more shares of Apple stock during the year. We're putting some of the best ideas right in front of our membership in full transparency. Berkshire Hathaway's overweighting added some stability to the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, but it was a large drag on returns during the year. This is okay - we like the diversification benefits. 2019 was a very, very difficult year to beat the market, but by our estimates, the Best Ideas Newsletter did so, and by a fair margin, particularly for a large cap orientation. Note this kind of outperformance is unique as many money managers continue to trail their benchmarks during 2019. We credit the outperformance to our team's work ethic and the Valuentum methodology. We are disappointed with the current state of active management, and we are working to develop solutions for our membership. We expect to roll out an important survey in the coming months. We continue to encourage members to add the Exclusive to their membership, if they haven't considered this fantastic publication just yet. More on the Exclusive >> The Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio is part of a regular premium membership to Valuentum. More here >>
Nov 19, 2019
Berkshire Hathaway Invests in RH, a Quality Company in Our View
Image Shown: RH now counts Berkshire Hathaway Inc as a shareholder, which saw shares of RH initially spike up on the news. Having reviewed RH’s business model, capital allocation priorities, and financial position, it’s clear why Berkshire Hathaway would like the business. Strong free cash flows, rising margins, and a management team that’s very capable of adapting to shifting macro forces makes RH a quality company. We continue to like Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway as a top holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, and while its investment in RH is modest compared to a company as big as Berkshire Hathaway, this investment is a sound one in our view. Members interested in reading more about Berkshire Hathaway should check out our third quarter earnings review here---->>>>
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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.