Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Latest Valuentum Commentary
Feb 27, 2020
Has the Stock Market Crash Begun?
Image: CDC. Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-section through the viral genome, seen as black dots.According to the latest Situation Report from the CDC, dated February 25, there are now more new cases reported from countries outside of China than from China. Globally, there are currently 80,000+ confirmed cases in nearly 40 countries, with China, South Korea, Italy and Iran the major hotspots. Up until now, investors have been anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop (i.e. community spread in the United States), with the CDC even saying, “It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country (United States) will have severe illness.” Well, that “when” is now. The CDC just confirmed February 26, 2020, a possible instance of community spread of COVID-19 in the US.
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 24, 2020
ALERT: Adding Market Crash 'Protection,' Removing MSFT, BKNG
Image source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We're adding out-of-the-money put options to both the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio and Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. We're removing Microsoft from the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, and we're removing Booking Holdings from the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. We reiterate that, had the Dow Jones Industrial Average already swooned a couple thousand points on news of the COVID-19 outbreak, we might have considered some undervalued stocks with strong momentum potential "buying opportunities." However, to this point in time, the markets have largely ignored COVID-19, with major US indices still sitting near all-time highs. We could be in for a wild ride in the coming weeks and months, and an outright market crash is not out of question. For those looking for short-idea considerations, please consider the Exclusive publication here. We remain fully-invested in the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio given its yield and income focus.
Feb 22, 2020
Is a Stock Market Crash Coming? -- Coronavirus Update and P/E Ratios
Image Source: World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Situation Report -- 32. We don’t think this is the environment to put new capital to work, and we remain highly cautious of what COVID-19 means for global economic growth not just in the first quarter of 2020 but for the rest of this year (maybe longer). Right now, the US markets are not really factoring in anything related to COVID-19, and perhaps may be adjusting to China’s stimulus in artificially propping up the markets as if the outbreak is somehow a “positive thing.” With the S&P 500 trading at 19.0 forward earnings estimates--estimates that are likely too high given the evidence we are seeing with respect to a slowdown due to COVID-19--and corporate debt levels more elevated than ever before (note, a high net debt level should depress the P/E in enterprise valuation--US corporate debt has advanced 50% over the past decade, to $10 trillion), it is our contention that the current market reflects a “situation-equivalent” forward P/E (i.e. rightsizing for new net debt relative to the dot-com peak and adjusting for lower forward earnings expectations compared with current forecasts) perhaps greater than 24.4, which was recorded at the peak of the dot-com bubble. Though interest rates are lower than they were at the time of the dot-com crash, suggesting a modest reasonable bump to normalized forward P/E ratios of ~15 times to reflect “fair valuations,” we could seriously be in for fundamental-driven crash soon, as both the earnings multiple and earnings estimates contract aggressively. Hypothetically, a contraction to a 16x forward multiple on earnings estimates just 10% lower than currently forecast implies an S&P 500 of 2,566, or a swoon of about 20%-30% from current levels--and that would just get us down to 16x still-respectable forward numbers. How quantitative-driven price-agnostic trading may impact this scenario is not known either, and all of this could be setting up for a wild ride in the coming weeks and months. Fasten your seatbelts. We’ll have a few newsletter portfolio alerts coming Monday.
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.
Jan 23, 2020
Resetting Your Mental Model
Image Source: affen ajlfe. Having the right mental model and using the right information can be the reason why you win or lose in investing.
Jan 4, 2020
Valuentum Exclusive Success Rates Trump Even the Best Quant Hedge Funds
Image: President of Investment Research Brian Nelson, CFA. A new book, “The Man Who Solved the Market,” hit bookshelves last year, and thus far it has been a hit. The text goes into the story of quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies and its hedge fund, the Medallion Fund, which has put up mammoth returns since inception.
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---->>>>
Nov 5, 2019
Top Best Ideas Newsletter Portfolio Holding Berkshire Hathaway Reports Solid Third Quarter Performance
Image Shown: Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc moved higher on Monday November 4 after reporting a decent third quarter 2019 earnings report on Saturday November 2. Berkshire Hathaway reported solid third-quarter 2019 earnings on November 2, and we continue to like Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares as a top holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Our fair value estimate for BRK.B stands at $229 per share with room for upside, as the top end of our fair value estimate range sits at $275 per share.
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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.