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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Apr 28, 2022
Shares of Best Idea Meta Platforms Leap Higher After Stellar Earnings Report!
Image Shown: Shares of best idea Meta Platforms Inc surged higher by ~18% in afterhours trading on April 27 after its first quarter 2022 earnings report indicated that investor fears over its core business were overblown as its daily active user base posted solid growth in March 2022. The company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, Meta Platforms reported first quarter 2022 earnings on April 27 that missed consensus top-line estimates but smashed past consensus bottom-line estimates. Shares of FB surged higher in the wake of its latest earnings report as the company’s family daily active people (‘DAP’) stood at 2.87 billion in March 2022, up 6% year-over-year, while its Facebook daily active users (‘DAU’) stood at 1.96 billion in March 2022, up 4% year-over-year. Rising competition from relative newcomers like TikTok in the social media space is not chipping away at Meta Platforms’ core business as investors had expected. The launch of Facebook Reels, which is similar to TikTok, has proven to be quite popular. We include Meta Platforms as a top-weighted idea in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and continue to be enormous fans of Meta Platforms. Shares of FB have tanked in recent months, though we have stuck with our thesis through thick and thin. Meta Platforms may finally regain its upward momentum in the wake of its stellar first quarter earnings update. The selloff seen in shares of FB and US equity markets more broadly over the past several months is way overdone and driven more so by panic selling than anything else, in our view. Our fair value estimate, under what we deem reasonable valuation assumptions, stands at $367 per share of FB, which is well above where Meta Platforms’ stock is trading at as of this writing.
Apr 14, 2022
Weekly: We're Bullish on This Self-Inflicted Market Sell-Off; Plus Meta (Facebook), PayPal, Consumer Staples, and HPQ
We have a lot to cover in this week's Valuentum Weekly, but one thing is clear: We remain bullish on stocks for the long run.
Apr 10, 2022
Cash-Based Sources of Intrinsic Value for Meta Platforms and PayPal Remain Strong
Image Shown: Shares of Meta Platforms Inc (blue line) and PayPal Holdings Inc (orange line) have staged a nice comeback during the past month, as of the start of April 2022. Rising interest rates and the impact that has had on the market's discount rate implicitly used within the enterprise cash flow pricing process has pressured the value of equities with long free-cash-flow growth tails--stocks that are expected to grow at a meaningful premium over global economic growth over the coming decades. The rapid increase in the 10-year Treasury rate, no doubt, has had a profound impact on the equity values of long-duration cash-flow companies such as those held in the ultra-speculative ARK Innovation ETF, for example. However, established big cap tech firms and many fintech entities shouldn't necessarily be as impacted by rising interest rates as those of many currently money-losing speculative innovation names that won't generate meaningful levels of free cash flow for 5 to 10 years, maybe longer. For example, shares of companies such as Apple Inc. or Microsoft Corp. should only have but a muted impact from rising rates; these companies have huge net cash positions and are already generating strong free cash flow. It can even be argued that higher inflation/rates will afford Apple and Microsoft pricing power to raise product and software prices. While we might expect the ARK Innovation ETF to be down nearly 40% year-to-date and more than half during the past 52 weeks, we don't think it makes a lot of sense for some of the strongest, large cap growth names to be off ~12%, on average, year-to-date. We think the market, in many instances and especially within the area of technology, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc, formerly Facebook, and PayPal Holdings Inc are two such names that the market has been beating down too much, in our view. Though some weakness in Meta Platform's and PayPal's shares can be expected in the current market environment, year-to-date declines of 30%+ and 40%+, respectively, are a bit much. That said, during the past few months, we have reduced our fair value estimates for both Meta Platforms and PayPal for good reasons. For starters, Meta Platforms is investing heavily in the metaverse, a digital universe, and is scaling up its data center capacity to support its efforts on this front (which is driving its capital expenditure and operating cost expectations up sharply in the medium-term). Meta Platforms is not expected to make a meaningful amount or any money on these investments for some time. PayPal is facing headwinds from hefty customer acquisition costs to grow its active user base amid rising competitive threats. We also think that we may have been too aggressive within our valuation model when we built in too much earnings leverage during the next five years at PayPal. Said another way, the fintech company’s mid-cycle operating margin is not what we once though it was--as PayPal will find it difficult to meaningfully expand its margins in the current environment. However, putting it all together, these pressures and others have all been reflected in our current fair value estimates (and fair value estimate ranges) for Meta Platforms, which sits at $367 per share, and PayPal, which sits at $152 per share. Both companies are included as ideas in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, and we are beginning to see signs of a rebound underway. For long-term investors, we think Meta Platforms is a no-brainer at current prices, though we may be a bit more cautious on PayPal, which is now more of a "show-me" story, given recent hiccups. All this having been said, let's dig in to why we still like Meta Platforms and PayPal.
Mar 14, 2022
Valuentum Weekly: Yields on New Series I Savings Bonds Have Soared!
The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures are all indicated up Sunday night (March 13), but that may not mean much when trading kicks off tomorrow. The start to 2022 has been one of the worst stretches during the past decade, but broader market indexes still aren't down much, even after factoring in several expected rate hikes by the Fed and economic sanctions on Russia due to the war in Ukraine. According to data from Seeking Alpha, the S&P 500 (SPY), Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA), and Nasdaq (QQQ) are off ~12%, ~10%, and ~19% so far this year, respectively. However, this weakness compares to (and is inclusive of) incredible 5-year price-only returns on the SPY, DIA, and QQQ of ~77%, ~58%, ~146%, respectively, so it's hard for stock investors to be disappointed in much of anything, even if all they were able to do was match the returns of the S&P 500 the past 5 years. Many, however, unfortunately, diluted those 5-year returns with hefty bond and international exposure and sometimes large AUM fees, so the weakness in 2022 is probably more painful for some than perhaps it should be. In any case, we remain bullish on stocks for the long run, with a heavy bent toward large cap growth and big cap tech with tactical overweight "positions" in big cap energy.
Mar 7, 2022
Valuentum Weekly: Outsized Energy Exposure Continues to Buoy Newsletter Portfolios
Image: Light crude oil futures once traded for roughly -$40 (negative $40) during the COVID-19 crisis, but have now rocketed to more than $120 in recent trading. Image Source: TradingView. The S&P 500, as measured by the SPY, is down 9% year-to-date, a modest pullback, in our view, particularly in light of the fantastic performance the past few years. Though not necessarily welcome, a down year every now and then for the broader market indexes and a modest bear market can only be expected, at times. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, as measured by the DIA, is down more than 7% year-to-date (not too bad), while the Nasdaq--as measured by the QQQ--and 'disruptive innovation' stocks--as measured by the Ark Innovation ETF--have fallen more than 15% and 36%, respectively, so far this year (data from Seeking Alpha). We like how the simulated newsletter portfolios are positioned. Energy resource prices continue to surge (with WTI crude oil prices skyrocketing north of $120 per barrel at last check), and they are bringing energy equities higher along with them. The simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, simulated Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, and simulated High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio are all materially overweight energy equities relative to the energy sector’s weighting in the S&P 500, and we expect to maintain such high tactical "exposure." Both the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF and the Vanguard Energy ETF soared to 13-year highs last week. Our favorite energy ideas are the largest two energy majors, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, and both have hefty 'weightings' in each of the three aforementioned simulated newsletter portfolios. Russian equities, as measured by the RSX, are down nearly 80% so far this year, and we're pleased to say that we've largely avoided the fall out. We continue to like the broader areas of U.S.-heavy, large cap growth and big cap tech when it comes to long-term secular exposure, and we continue to like energy as a tactical overweight for the foreseeable future across the simulated newsletter portfolios, as much as we did even prior to the huge advance in energy resource prices and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Feb 6, 2022
Weekly: Why We Missed Big on T and FB; Overpriced Staples, Our Call To Action; and More!
In this Valuentum Weekly, in video form, President of Investment Research Brian Nelson, CFA, explains why Valuentum missed big on T and FB, how volatility on names with huge market caps is spiking recklessly, and why the call to action in the book Value Trap remains as relevant as ever given current incentives.
Feb 4, 2022
Undervalued PINS, SNAP Rallying; FB Incredibly Mispriced, and Refreshed Consumer Discretionary Reports
Image: Valuentum's Periodic Screener, February 4. Two of the most undervalued stocks in our coverage Pinterest, Inc. and Snap Inc. are indicated to rally hard February 4 after issuing positive earnings reports, providing further evidence of the importance of the discounted cash flow process and the magnet that intrinsic value estimates are to stock prices.
Feb 3, 2022
Preliminary Updated Summary Valuations for Meta Platforms and PayPal Holdings
The refreshed stock reports for Meta and PayPal will be available this weekend.
Feb 3, 2022
The Facebook (Meta Platforms) Thesis Just Got Even More Complicated
Image: Facebook’s free cash flow generation remains robust. Image Source: Meta Earnings Presentation Q4 2021. The company formerly known as Facebook, Meta Platforms is facing a long list of headwinds from moderating revenue growth, tightening margins, slowing free cash flow expansion due to rising capital spending, and tail risks of the regulatory and antitrust variety. We expect a downward revision to our fair value estimate of Meta upon the next update to factor in these dynamics, but we still believe shares are undervalued.
Jan 26, 2022
Capital Spending a Key Headwind to Broader Markets in 2022
One of the biggest themes in 2022 is the amount of money companies will spend in capex (“capital expenditures”). A key reduction to net cash flow from operations to arrive at traditional free cash flow is capital expenditures, and we’re seeing some of the largest companies spend aggressively to the detriment of internal free cash flow generation. Though such spending may be necessary, in most cases, to enhance long-term revenue and earnings growth, the higher spending this year is a notable trend that we think may be posing a headwind to the broader equity markets so far in 2022.
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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.