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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

Aug 14, 2020
Unicredit Struggles to Demonstrate Earnings Power
Image Shown: Summary of Unicredit’s 2Q2020 Results: Image Source: Unicredit 2Q2020 Earnings Presentation. When one looks at individual bank interests and also the national champion nature of many banks that are closely tied to their home countries, it becomes difficult to picture how the overtraded European banking landscape will resolve itself. One scenario is perhaps by smaller banks coming together, though that might not really move the needle that much. We generally dislike the banking industry due to the arbitrary nature of its cash flows, weak economic returns, and highly-regulated nature, and we think Unicredit may be one to avoid, in particular.
Aug 14, 2020
BNP Paribas is One of the Stronger Banks in an Overtraded European Landscape
Image Shown: BNP Paribas’s second quarter results held up better than many global bank peers. Image Source: BNP Paribas 2Q2020 Earnings Presentation. While some of the stronger global banks like BNP Paribas are showing that they can take the economic fallout from COVID-19 on the chin while maintaining some degree of earnings power and protecting strong capital levels, other banks with lesser earnings power and balance sheets are falling prey to this cycle with losses and lower capital levels. From our perspective, it is simply easier to find non-bank operating companies with strong moats, sound balance sheets, and visible free cash flow growth into the future. Be careful investing in banks!
Aug 11, 2020
Santander Working Its Way Through the Pandemic
Image Shown: Santander’s underlying attributable profit is down 53% in the first half of this year compared to last year. Image Source: Santander 2Q2020 Earnings Presentation. The underlying first-half results from Banco Santander are quite reasonable. We are impressed by how well the South American, Corporate & Investment Banking, and Wealth Management & Insurance segments are holding up in such a tough environment. In its large European operations, pressures that come from the whole continent being overbanked were evident, however.
Aug 6, 2020
Deutsche Bank is Muddling Along, Aiming for Self Help
Image Shown: Deutsche Posted Meager Second Quarter Results. Image Source: Deutsche Bank 2Q2020 Earnings Presentation. While Deutsche Bank is working on a five pillar self-help plan with the goal of an 8% return on tangible equity by 2022, and seems to be making some progress on these fronts, the fact that the end goal is so timid shows just how overbanked the German and greater European markets are. The CEO is calling for consolidation in the medium term, but it cannot come fast enough, especially for those banks with very little in the way of earnings power, which must deal with a pandemic and the broad effect on the economy and the client base in the meantime.
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
Lloyds Banking Group Navigates Competitive Markets
Image Source: Lloyds. The UK banking market is highly competitive with too many players, and we think this is the cause for the low returns on capital across the cycle. We’re paying close attention to the key banking players in Europe, including Lloyds Banking Group, to assess the likelihood of a global financial contagion that may accompany the global pandemic that has become COVID-19.
Apr 30, 2020
Deutsche Bank Suffering From Lack of Earnings Power
Image Source: Deutsche Bank 1Q2020 Earnings Presentation. On April 29, Deutsche Bank reported another measly quarter in a long string of them. While Deutsche Bank is well-capitalized with a Common Equity Tier I ratio of 12.8% and its Investment Banking segment grew earnings nicely this quarter during rapid client trading and bond origination activity as the markets melted down in March, it suffers from a lack of earnings power at this stage. We blame this on the bank itself, but also on the overcapacity in European banking in general, which pressures margins across the entire industry.
Apr 29, 2020
Santander Remains Well-Capitalized
Image Source: Santander S.A. 1Q2020 Earnings Presentation. Europe is overbanked with too much capacity, which means little or no earnings power for many of the players involved, including Santander Europe. 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.
Mar 9, 2020
Oil Prices Collapse, Reiterating 2,350-2,750 S&P 500 Target Range; Credit Crunch Looming?
From Value Trap: “The banking sector was not the only sector that faced considerable selling pressure during the Financial Crisis of the late 2000s, of course. Other companies that required funding to maintain their business operations faced severe liquidity risk, or a situation where refinancing, or rolling over debt, might be difficult to do on fair terms, making such financing prohibitive in some cases. Those that faced outsize debt maturities during the most severe months of the credit crunch faced a real threat of Chapter 11 restructuring had the lending environment completely seized. In thinking about share prices as a range of probable fair value outcomes, equity prices tend to face pressure as downside probabilities such as a liquidity event are baked into the market price and at a higher probability. Because debtholders are higher up on the capital structure than equity holders, shareholders can sometimes get nothing in the event of a bankruptcy filing. Entities that are extremely capital-market dependent, or those that require ongoing access to new capital to fund operations, often face the greatest risk of the worst equity price declines during deteriorating credit market conditions.” Value Trap: Theory of Universal Valuation, published 2018
Mar 5, 2020
2,350-2,750 on the S&P? Could the Coronavirus Catalyze a Financial Crisis?
Image: We think a rather modest sell-off in the market to the target range of 2,350-2,750 on the S&P 500 is rather reasonable in the wake of one of the biggest economic shocks since the Global Financial Crisis. The chart above shows how far markets have advanced since 2011, and an adjustment lower to the target range of 2,350-2,750 is rather modest in such a context and would only bring markets to late 2018 levels (note red box as the target range). The range reflects ~16x S&P 500 12-month forward earnings estimates, as of February 14, adjusted down 10% due to COVID-19. When companies like Visa talk about a couple percentage points taken off of growth rates, one knows that the decrease in spending is very real, and we’ve yet to see the brunt of the impact yet. We have written extensively about our valuation expectations and target on the S&P 500 in the past, so please don’t mistake this reference as the extent of our thinking. We do not think a sell-off on the S&P 500 to the range is 2350-2750 is too far-fetched, as it really only gets the broader markets back to late 2018 levels (a mere year ago or so), and reflects a reasonable 16x forward expected earnings, as of February 14, hair cut by 10% as a result of the impact of COVID-19. The Fed put may not matter much anymore in the wake of this “biological” crisis, and increased fiscal spending may not be enough to offset what could be sustained weakness across the global economy.


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