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Latest Valuentum Commentary
May 20, 2020
ALERT: Important Recap of Valuentum's Research and Market Events
Image: Breaking out to new highs, Facebook is a top weighting in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio (which includes our favorite capital appreciation ideas in a portfolio setting). The social media giant is surging on news of a new Shops feature, something we've been expecting and raving about with respect to its potential for years--as we maintain our view that, anti-trust considerations aside, Facebook is poised to become the "new Internet." The high end of our fair value estimate range for Facebook is nearly $290, and we would not be surprised if the company eventually reaches those levels. Note: PayPal, another big weighting in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, has been a huge winner of late, too. The value of our research remains heavily tilted toward proficiency in enterprise valuation and technical/momentum indicators, portfolio construction, idea generation, individual stock selection, and assessing dividend health and resilience, among other things. ALERT: Important Recap of Valuentum's Research and Market Events: Unequivocally Bullish, S&P Target Range Was Withdrawn Last Month, Continued Focus on Individual Stock Selection with "Moaty" Operations, Huge Net Cash Positions, Strong Expected Future Free Cash Flows, Established Recurring Business Models, and Otherwise Attractive Economic Castles. Big Cap Tech and Large Cap "Growth" Remain Our Favorite Allocations.
May 20, 2020
Retail Roundup: Home Depot and Walmart Report Earnings
Image Source: Home Depot Inc – June 2019 IR Presentation. Home improvement stores and retailers with large grocery/consumer staples offerings in the US held up relatively well during the COVID-19 pandemic. E-commerce sales enabled Home Depot and Walmart to continue chugging along as consumers opted for either home delivery or curbside pickup in order to stay away from large crowds. Going forward, consumer spending may come under pressure from elevated levels of unemployment, but for now, major fiscal stimulus measures appear to be helping offset the worst of that particularly in the US and other developed nations that embarked on meaningful fiscal stimulus programs (keeping in mind that the latest quarterly results from Home Depot and Walmart only cover part of the worst of the economic downturn due to COVID-19).
May 16, 2020
Stay Optimistic. Stay Bullish. I Am.
Image: My great-grandfather (second from left) and his buddies in the 88th Division of the United States Army during World War I, at the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919. He would serve under Major General William Weigel, become proficient in the 37mm gun, and take part in the largest offensive in U.S. military history, the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. As a corporal, he would survive the Great War and the Spanish flu pandemic, returning to the U.S. in May 1919 from the port of Saint-Nazaire, France on his way to Omaha, Nebraska. First of all, I wanted to reiterate how bullish I am on equities for the long haul. There are no risk-less investments when it comes to the stock market, of course, but this "win-win" scenario we seem to find ourselves in today appears to be one-of-a-kind in history. Here's what it boils down to. If the U.S. economy re-opens and everything turns out to be "fine," or at least better-than-expected, it's hard not to be bullish on stocks. We can then possibly look to pre-COVID-19 earnings numbers for 2021 and 2022 with some adjustments here and there, and that means the bull market is on (and new heights may be in sight). On the other hand, if the U.S. economy re-opens and economic numbers don't live up to expectations, which could happen, there will likely be even more stimulus--but investors might be bullish in this scenario, too. For starters, there's been more money created during the past few weeks or so than during the entire year following Lehman Brothers' failure (there's even talk of more money creation with another round of stimulus). We cannot forget that, while stock values are calculated on the basis of future free cash flow expectations, they are priced nominally (not inflation-adjusted), and stock investing is one way to combat the risk of inflation as strong companies price goods ever higher to outpace rising costs to reap in ever-higher earnings. Even if this excess money in the economy is not translated into inflation in physical goods and services, however, it may translate into inflating equity prices specifically, as has arguably (or perhaps undeniably) been the case during the period of 2010-2019. But there's more to this line of thinking...
May 7, 2020
BNP Paribas’ Shares Could Have Upside Potential
Image Source: BNP Paribas 1Q2010 Earnings Presentation. BNP Paribas’ shares are trading at a fraction of tangible book. If the bank can contain its cost of risk through this cycle and produce double-digit returns on tangible equity on the other side of this crisis, shareholders would do quite well in such a scenario. That said, we point out that Europe is overtraded when it comes to banking, which pressures earnings power at even the stronger banks like BNP Paribas. We’re paying close attention to the key banking players in Europe to assess the likelihood of a global financial contagion that may accompany the global pandemic that has become COVID-19.
May 4, 2020
Visa Reports That Global Spending Levels May Have Started to Stabilize in April
Image Source: DeclanTM. One of our favorite companies and a top-weighted holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Visa, reported second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2020 (period ended March 31, 2020) which beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. Going forward, while Visa’s very lucrative travel-related businesses (which includes payment processing and foreign currency transaction solutions) will take a hit from reduced travel worldwide due to the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic, management is focused on controlling expenses to offset exogenous headwinds. Specifically, management noted that Visa would pull back on “discretionary spending especially related to personnel, travel, professional services, and marketing” which we appreciate.
Apr 29, 2020
ALERT: Going to “Fully Invested” -- The Fed and Treasury Have Your Back
Image Source: BEA. Real GDP fell at an annual pace of 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We’re taking the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio to “fully invested,” scaling up our existing positions to reflect that status. We plan to consider put options to hedge against downside risk, if or when the time comes. Moral hazard continues to run rampant, and the Fed and Treasury may have no choice but to continue artificially propping up this market, even buying stocks through certain vehicles, if necessary. Having warned members about the impending “Great Crash of 2020” and identifying savvy opportunities near the bottom, we are now withdrawing our S&P 500 target range as we move now to focus more on individual ideas through this turbulence. We expect to continue to identify opportunities for relative outperformance. 2019 was one of the best years in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio yet. In the Exclusive, we just registered our 25th consecutive monthly short idea in a row that has worked out. The markets may go much lower from here before we go higher again, but the Fed and Treasury won’t let this market go down in the longer run, in our view--even as we navigate a Depression-type economic environment in the near term. Stay the course.
Apr 25, 2020
Emergency Update on COVID-19
President of Investment Research at Valuentum, Brian Nelson provides an emergency update on COVID-19. He talks about how policymakers have dropped the ball thus far, and why investors should not let their guards down, despite what has been a nice bounce from the March 23 bottom.
Apr 22, 2020
What To Do Now?
Let's get President of Investment Research Brian Nelson's thoughts...
Apr 21, 2020
Macy’s Will Find It Difficult to Unlock the (Fair) Value of Its Real Estate
Image Source: Valuentum. The embattled department store Macy’s suspended its dividend and drew down its revolving credit line on March 20 in order to shore up its financial position in the face of the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. All of Macy’s physical stores were temporarily closed on March 18, though some might shut down for good given the company’s financial woes. The fair value estimate of Macy’s is heavily dependent on factors well outside the control of management, and considering the US economy and global economy at-large are sliding toward a pandemic/leverage induced recession/depression, we aren’t optimistic on Macy’s ability to unlock the (fair) value of its real estate. Any real estate sales done in the foreseeable future will likely be at a discount to their fair value. As the firm continues to burn through cash--there’s a very high probability Macy’s will continue to generate negative free cash flows until the “cocooning” of households ends--the clock is working against Macy’s. We are staying away from the name.
Apr 19, 2020
ICYMI -- Video: Will Hasty Policy Facilitate the Next Leg Down, or Do We Have It Coming Anyway?
President of Investment Research and award-winning author of Value Trap: Theory of Universal Valuation Brian Nelson explains how US policymakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and how the market may be factoring in too high of a probability of a return to normalcy before 2021. This and more in the latest video report.
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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.