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Latest Valuentum Commentary

May 25, 2023
Nvidia Rockets Higher to Propel Large Cap Growth
Image: Nvidia powers higher after releasing better-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2024 guidance. The company continues to be a driver behind the outperformance of large cap growth as a stylistic area. We haven’t seen a quarterly guidance beat like this since Synaptics put up a monster quarter when Apple started using its innovative click-wheel technology in the first-generation iPod, almost 20 years ago. Nvidia Corp.'s outlook for the second quarter of its fiscal 2024 was phenomenal thanks to tremendous interest in its chips that power artificial intelligence [AI]. We expect a material increase in our fair value estimate of Nvidia, but shares remain quite pricey, in our view. Revenue during Nvidia’s fiscal second quarter is expected to be ~$11 billion versus consensus that had been looking at ~$7 billion, implying a forward outlook more than 50% better than what the Street was looking for. Interestingly, Synaptics’ click-wheel technology started the wave of Apple products, which have been the go-to tech platform for years, and Nvidia may very well be the driving force behind AI proliferation, the next great technology platform.
Apr 11, 2023
Not Worried About Global PC Demand Weakness
Image Source: IDC. On April 9, International Data Corporation (IDC) issued preliminary findings for the first quarter of 2023 for global personal computer (PC) shipments in its Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The results were a bit surprising, with the firm noting that “weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate were all contributing factors for the precipitous drop in shipments of traditional PCs during the first quarter of 2023.” According to the IDC report, global PC shipments fell 29% to 56.9 million compared to the first quarter of 2022. Apple experienced the biggest year-over-year percentage decline, where shipments fell more than 40%. Dell Technologies, Lenovo and ASUS experienced declines greater than 30%, while HP Inc. and a basket of other PC makers witnessed declines in the mid-20% range. Channel inventory remains elevated, and investors should expect more discounting from the PC makers, as the industry continues to optimize the supply chain amid pre-COVID and post-COVID demand dynamics.
Mar 3, 2023
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week of March 3
Let's take a look at firms raising/lowering their dividends this week.
Jan 20, 2023
The Role of Luck in Investing and How To Think About It
Image:  For every Amazon that made it, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, from the dot-com era that didn't. Very few remember or, both of which went belly up during the dot-com meltdown. For every Tesla, there is a DeLorean Motor Co. We might have completely forgotten about DeLorean were it not for the blockbuster movie, Back To The Future, that immortalized its futuristic sports car. For every streaming enterprise like Netflix, there is a Napster that failed. Most of us probably don't even remember the original Napster, which encountered legal troubles before closing shop shortly after the dot-com bust. For every Alphabet, there's an AltaVista or Netscape. For every Apple, there is a Palm or Blackberry. Who remembers how popular the Palm Pilot and Blackberry were? How about the Motorola Razr? For every Facebook, there is a Myspace or Friendster. As investors, we underestimate the role of luck in a company's long-term success. In February 2000, a month before the dot-com market crash, a fledgling Amazon raised $672 million in convertible notes to European investors. If the company hadn't done so, there'd likely be no Amazon today, and one of the wealthiest men in the world, Jeff Bezos, might have just been a mere footnote in stock market history. Amazon would have been insolvent in 2001-2002 just like many of its other dot-com peers.
Dec 4, 2022
Apple iPhone Supply Disruptions Not Likely to Hurt Markets with Overall Holiday Sales Reportedly Strong
Image: Holiday sales are expected to expand ~2.5% in 2022 over very strong growth in 2021 and 2020. Image Source: Adobe. Apple's sales of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will come in lower than expected this holiday season due to labor unrest in Zhengzhou, but holiday sales for 2022 overall look fairly solid with Adobe Analytics estimating 2.5% growth over 2021, which, itself, was a fantastic year. A prior warning about holiday sales from Target Corp. appears to have been overblown given the sales strength witnessed during Black Friday and Cyber Monday across the retail landscape this year. It may be too early to say that the markets have definitely bottomed as economic data remains inconclusive, but holiday sales so far in 2022 and an overall resilient job market are giving investors something to cheer about in what has turned into an otherwise loathsome year.
May 27, 2022
Broadcom Buying VMware as “Empire Building” Streak Continues
Image Shown: Broadcom Inc is acquiring VMware Inc and the deal will significantly increase its enterprise software business. Image Source: Broadcom Inc and VMware Inc - May 2022 IR Presentation. Continuing with its acquisitive streak, the semiconductor and enterprise software giant Broadcom Inc announced on May 26 that it would acquire hybrid cloud services provider VMware Inc through a cash-and-stock deal that values VMware at ~$61 billion. Additionally, Broadcom will assume ~$8 billion in net debt from VMware. This follows in the footsteps of Broadcom’s $18.9 billion deal to acquire CA Technologies in 2018 and its $10.7 billion deal to acquire the enterprise security business of then-Symantec, now NortonLifeLock Inc, in 2019. Under the leadership of Hock Tan, Broadcom’s CEO since 2006, the company has built itself into a tech powerhouse through a series of acquisitions. In 2018, Broadcom formally ended its attempt to acquire Qualcomm Inc in the face of antitrust concerns and adjusted its strategy accordingly. By growing its enterprise software business, namely through acquisitions, Broadcom was largely able to avoid antitrust concerns. However, it remains to be seen if regulators will give their blessing to this pending acquisition.
May 19, 2022
Cisco Systems Reduces Guidance After Noisy Quarter, Remains Free Cash Flow Giant Backed By Pristine Balance Sheet
Image Source: Cisco Systems Inc – Third Quarter of Fiscal 2022 IR Earnings Presentation. On May 18, Cisco Systems reported third quarter earnings for fiscal 2022 (period ended April 30, 2022) that missed consensus top-line estimates but beat consensus bottom-line estimates (specifically for its non-GAAP performance). One of the biggest updates from this earnings report was that Cisco Systems reduced its full year guidance for fiscal 2022. The news initially sent shares of CSCO sharply lower, though Cisco Systems remains a free cash flow cow with a pristine balance sheet. It was an incredibly noisy earnings report for the firm for reasons we will cover in this article. We include Cisco Systems as an idea in both the Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolios and continue to like the name.
Feb 25, 2022
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week February 25
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Feb 17, 2022
Cisco Posts Great Earnings Update; Increases Dividend and Share Buyback Authority
Image Shown: Cisco Systems Inc is a very shareholder friendly company. Image Source: Cisco Systems Inc – Second Quarter of Fiscal 2022 IR Earnings Presentation. On February 16, Cisco Systems reported second quarter earnings for fiscal 2022 (period ended January 29, 2022) that smashed past both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. Shares of CSCO surged higher initially after its earnings were made public as the company offered up promising near term guidance, indicating that its positive momentum seen of late is expected to continue. We include shares of CSCO as an idea in both the Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolios. Cisco announced a 3% sequential increase in its quarterly dividend in conjunction with its latest earnings update, bringing it up to $0.38 per share or $1.52 per share on an annualized basis. The company also announced it had increased its share repurchasing capacity by $15 billion, bringing its total repurchasing capacity up to ~$18 billion. Shares of CSCO yield ~2.8% as of this writing at its new payout level, and we view its dividend strength as rock-solid due to its pristine balance sheet and stellar free cash flows. Our fair value estimate for Cisco sits at $62 per share with room for upside as the high end of our fair value estimate range sits at $74 per share. That is meaningfully above where shares of CSCO are trading at as of this writing (~$56 per share each), and we view the company’s capital appreciation upside potential quite favorably.
Nov 19, 2021
Cisco Systems Posts Solid Earnings Update; Supply Chain Hurdles Impacting Near Term Outlook
Image Source: Cisco Systems Inc – First Quarter of Fiscal 2022 IR Earnings Presentation. On November 17, Cisco Systems reported first quarter earnings for fiscal 2022 (period ended October 30, 2021) that missed consensus top-line estimates but beat consensus bottom-line estimates. Shares of CSCO fell initially after its latest earnings update was published due to its near-term guidance coming in a tad softer than expected, though we caution that this is primarily due to supply chain headwinds negatively impacting Cisco Systems and the networking hardware industry more broadly. As global health authorities work towards bringing the coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic to an end worldwide, the supply chain situation should improve going forward. We include Cisco Systems as an idea in both the Best Ideas Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolios. As of this writing, shares of CSCO yield ~2.6%.

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