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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Aug 19, 2022
Nelson: The 16 Most Important Steps To Understand The Stock Market
Image Source: Tim Green. We outline the '16 Most Important Steps to Understand the Stock Market.' We think it's important to take a read of these key stock market tenets when things are going great -- and perhaps even more important when things aren't going your way. This continues to be a working document.
Jun 29, 2022
We're Considering FedEx for the Dividend Growth Newsletter Portfolio
Image Source: Valuentum. During the past several weeks, we've grown increasingly concerned about the health of consumer-tied entities across the consumer staples and consumer discretionary spaces. Many consumer staples entities, while raising prices, aren't raising them fast enough to drive operating-income and bottom-line expansion, while many consumer discretionary companies may be facing higher freight and logistics costs and weaker performance in Greater China, as that exposed in Nike's most recently-reported quarter, where inventory advanced 23%. The tell-tale sign about the health of the consumer may be Amazon Prime Day, which is coming up on July 12-13, but based on many of the reports we've monitored this past earnings season, consumers may be willing to spend a bit more to help business revenue, but businesses are having a difficult time leveraging the price increases into operating income and earnings-per-share expansion. Perhaps we were somewhat in denial that pressure on S&P 500 earnings growth might materialize when Walmart and Target disappointed a number of weeks ago, but the Nike earnings report, released June 27, all but sealed the deal that the probability of a recession in the U.S. is material. When we look at Walmart and Target, the story was similar. Top-line growth ensued but consolidated gross margins faced pressure, and operating income tumbled. Full-year earnings per share at Walmart is now expected to be down about 1%, as the company's top-line growth just isn't enough to keep earnings moving in the right direction. For Target, the company originally guided its second-quarter operating income margin rate well below consensus estimates at the time, to 5.3%, due to pressure on gross margins from higher freight and transportation costs and measures to reduce inventory. However, just a few weeks later, Target reduced that second-quarter operating margin target again to just 2% as it is being forced to work through excess inventory with aggressive markdowns. What does all this mean for FedEx's trajectory? Well, it all depends. Clearly, consumer-tied businesses, whether consumer staples or discretionary, are facing tremendous cost pressures, but some of those cost pressures are freight and logistics expenses, which might play into the hands of FedEx and rival UPS. For example, for its fiscal 2023 (ends May 2023), FedEx issued guidance for diluted earnings per share to the range of $22.45-$24.45, which when issued June 24, was above the consensus estimate of $22.40 at the time. FedEx was able to drive its fiscal fourth-quarter 2022 operating income higher due to a "favorable net impact of fuel," but it did note that it experienced "lower shipment demand due to slower economic growth and supply chain disruptions." We think FedEx is better positioned to pass along costs than many of the retailers, and for that reason, we think it will hold up better should the U.S. enter a recession. The same rings true for rival UPS, which reported first-quarter 2022 results on April 26. In UPS' first quarter, consolidated revenues jumped 6.4% from the same period last year, while it grew consolidated operating profit 17.6% (12.1% on an adjusted basis). We think transportation stocks such as FedEx and UPS, which are able to pass along price increases in the form of surcharges for higher fuel costs are much better positioned than the broader retailer landscape, which may face continued earnings pressure as they deal with higher input costs and larger inventory balances. We value FedEx at $295 per share, well above where shares are trading at the moment (~$240), and while the company is not immune to recessionary characteristics, its flexible pricing surcharges mean it can handle cost adversity better than most S&P 500 entities, in our view. Shares of FedEx yield ~1.9% at the moment, and while the company's Dividend Cushion ratio could be stronger, we give it high marks for both dividend strength and dividend growth potential.
Mar 4, 2022
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week March 4
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Dec 19, 2021
FedEx Beats Estimates, Raises Guidance
Image Source: FedEx Corporation – Second Quarter of Fiscal 2022 Earnings Infographic. On December 16, the logistics giant FedEx Corp reported second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2022 (period ended November 30, 2021) that beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. The firm also moderately raised its earnings guidance for fiscal 2022 in conjunction with its earnings update after previously reducing its full fiscal year guidance when reporting its fiscal first quarter earnings update. FedEx noted in its fiscal second quarter earnings press release that “higher revenue per shipment at all transportation segments” positively benefited its operating income performance and helped offset headwinds from labor shortages and related supply chain constraints. The company also recently announced a new $5.0 billion share buyback program that includes a $1.5 billion accelerated share repurchase program component.
Jun 1, 2021
ICYMI -- Video: Exclusive 2020 -- Furthering the Financial Discipline
In this 40+ minute video jam-packed with must-watch content, Valuentum's President Brian Nelson talks about the Theory of Universal Valuation and how his work is furthering the financial discipline. Learn the pitfalls of factor investing and modern portfolio theory and how the efficient markets hypothesis holds little substance in the wake of COVID-19. He'll talk about what companies Valuentum likes and why, and which areas he's avoiding. This and more in Valuentum's 2020 Exclusive conference call.
Feb 8, 2021
Stock Market Outlook for 2021
2020 was one from the history books and a year that will live on in infamy. That said, we are excited for the future as global health authorities are steadily putting an end to the public health crisis created by COVID-19, aided by the quick discovery of safe and viable vaccines. Tech, fintech, and payment processing firms were all big winners in 2020, and we expect that to continue being the case in 2021. Digital advertising, cloud-computing, and e-commerce activities are set to continue dominating their respective fields. Cybersecurity demand is moving higher and the constant threats posed by both governments (usually nations that are hostile to Western interests) and non-state actors highlights how crucial these services are. Retailers with omni-channel selling capabilities are well-positioned to ride the global economic recovery upwards. Green energy firms will continue to grow at a brisk pace in 2021, though the oil & gas industry appears ready for a comeback. The adoption of 5G wireless technologies and smartphones will create immense growth opportunities for smartphone makers, semiconductor players and telecommunications giants. Video streaming services have become ubiquitous over the past decade with room to continue growing as households “cut the cord” and instead opt for several video streaming packages. We’re not too big of fans of old industrial names given their capital-intensive nature relative to capital-light technology or fintech, but there are select names that have appeal. Cryptocurrencies have taken the market by storm as we turn the calendar into 2021, but the traditional banking system remains healthy enough to withstand another shock should it be on the horizon. Our fair value estimate of the S&P 500 remains $3,530-$3,920, but we may still be on a roller coaster ride for the year. Here’s to a great 2021!
Jan 21, 2021
ICYMI: Valuentum's Brian Nelson on the Latest Howard Marks' Memo: "Something of Value"
Valuentum's President of Investment Research Brian Michael Nelson, CFA, explains why there are not really value and growth stocks, why most of the research in quantitative finance is spurious and needs to be redefined on a forward-looking basis, and why enterprise valuation (not the efficient markets hypothesis) should be the organizing principle of finance. Nelson explains his views about valuation, what it means to be a value investor, and investing in the context of Oaktree Capital Howard Marks' latest memo, "Something of Value," January 11, 2021.
Nov 16, 2020
Value Is Not Static and the Qualitative Overlay Is Vital to Our Process
With prudence and care, the Valuentum Buying Index process and its components are carried out. Our analyst team spends most of its time thinking about the intrinsic value of companies within the context of a discounted cash-flow model and evaluating the risk profile of a company's revenue model. We have checks and balances, too. First, we use a fair value range in our valuation approach as we embrace the very important concept that value is a range and not a point estimate. A relative value overlay as the second pillar helps to add conviction in the discounted cash-flow process, while a technical and momentum overlay seeks to provide confirmation in all of the valuation work. There's a lot happening behind the scenes even before a VBI rating is published, but it will always be just one factor to consider. Within any process, of course, we value the human, qualitative overlay, which captures a wealth of experience and common sense. We strive to surface our best ideas for members.
Oct 30, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week October 30
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Sep 3, 2020
Update: Frequently Asked Questions About Valuentum Securities, Inc.
Valuentum (val∙u∙n∙tum) [val-yoo-en-tuh-m] Securities Inc. is an independent investment research publisher, offering premium equity reports and dividend reports, as well as commentary across all sectors/companies, a Best Ideas Newsletter (spanning market caps, asset classes), a Dividend Growth Newsletter, modeling tools/products, and more. Independence and integrity remain our core, and we strive to be a champion of the investor. Valuentum is based in the Chicagoland area. Valuentum is not a money manager, broker, or financial advisor. Valuentum is a publisher of financial information. We address a number of questions from both subscribers and visitors to our site.
Latest Press Releases
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.