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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 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 4, 2020
Visa Reports Earnings and Mildly Adjusts Guidance
Image Shown: Shares of top weighted holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio Visa Inc continues to outperform the S&P 500. On January 30, Visa reported earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 (period ended December 31, 2019). While shares sold off on the news, V has since recovered some lost ground and it’s important to keep in mind Visa is up ~42% over the past year as of this writing while the S&P 500 (SPY) was up just ~19% during this period. We continue to like Visa as a top weighted holding in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and given the combination of the firm’s strong long-term technical and fundamental performance (on a historical basis) along with its bright outlook going forward, shares of V could test the upper end of our fair value estimate range which sits at $228 per share.
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 17, 2020
Citigroup Succeeding at Cross-Selling
Image Source: Citigroup Earnings Presentation. Citigroup is finally out-earning our estimate of its cost of capital with a return on tangible common equity (ROTCE) of 12.4% in the quarter, and the shares have rallied substantially more recently as a result. Management lowered expectations for the degree of return on tangible equity improvement going into 2020, but continued improvements would be welcome, nonetheless.
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.
Nov 25, 2019
Primer on the Banking Sector: Where Are We in the Cycle?
Image Source: GotCredit. We’ll talk about how banks make money, and the three most important costs of running a bank. The Great Financial Crisis revealed the tremendous risks of banking equities, and we’ll walk through these in depth. We’ll discuss how to conceptualize where we are in the banking cycle, and how that helps inform our valuation process for banks, which is different than traditional operating entities. The stress tests have helped many of the big banks from pursuing hazardous endeavors during the past decade, and we’ll go into how to think about the yield curve in the context of banks. Investors should expect ongoing digitization of banks and increased M&A as the competitive environment only intensifies. Three of our favorite banks are JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and US Bancorp, and we’ll be looking to consider adding any of these to the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio or Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio at the right price.
Nov 25, 2019
Our Report on the Banks & Money Centers Industry
Image Source: Insomnia Cured Here. Our report on the Banks & Money Centers industry can be found in this article. Fair values estimates and Valuentum Buying Index ratings for AXP, BAC, BK, BBT, C, DFS, FITB, GS, HSBC, JPM, KEY, MS, NTRS, PNC, RF, STI, TCF, USB, and WFC are included.
Oct 17, 2019
Citigroup Lags Peers in Key Metrics
Image Source: Matt Buck. Citigroup remains well capitalized with a 11.6% Common Equity Tier 1 Capital Ratio, but there isn’t room to lever up. Management has recently expressed less optimism about reaching its previously stated goal of reaching a 13.5% ROTCE in 2020, and the market consensus has them coming up short of the same goal. Operating leverage has helped the bank improve this metric by several percentage points in the past few years, but it appears that the cost-cutting road is getting increasingly difficult. Now more revenue dependent in improving its return metric, this leaves the bank also counting on the 11-year economic upcycle to continue. It is therefore unsurprising that this bank trades right near its tangible book value of $69.03 per share. Our fair value estimate remains $71 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.