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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Dec 31, 2020
2020 Won’t Soon Be Forgotten
2020 won’t soon be forgotten. The tumultuous year brought with it the greatest shock to the U.S. economy in modern history, ushering in the largest-ever decline in U.S. real annualized gross domestic product of 31.4% in the second quarter of the year (surpassing the prior record of a 28.6% collapse in the second quarter of 1921). Strict lockdowns to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 created the biggest global health emergency in a century, driving a self-inflicted economic collapse worse than the Great Recession, the Great Depression, and any other recession before it (the Depression of 1873-1879, the Panic of 1893, etc.). Millions were put out of work. During the month of April alone, the economy lost a record 20.8 million jobs, with some estimating that the “real” unemployment rate during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis reached nearly 23%. The official 14.7% unemployment rate in April would obliterate prior post-World War II era records, and while it fell short of the peak Great Depression unemployment rate estimated at 24.9%, the pain of many families and households was no less severe as they battled both a financial and health crisis that materialized in a matter of weeks, with little lead time to prepare for what was to come. Pantry stuffing and panic buying of consumer goods became a sign of the times, and a great debate about the efficacy of wearing masks raged across mediums.
Dec 24, 2020
Our Reports on Stocks in the Industrial Leaders Industry
Our reports on stocks in the Industrial Leaders industry can be found in this article. Reports include: MMM, DHR, GE, HON, BA, GD, LMT, NOC, RTX, WM, RSG, CAT, CNHI, DE, CNI, CSX, UNP, FDX, UPS, FAST, APH, GLW, TEL, ETN, DOV, ITW, SWK, EMR, ROP, PNR, PH, AOS, EXPD, GWW.
Nov 25, 2020
Thinking Slow: 3 Research Blind Spots That Changed the Investment World
Image Source: EpicTop10.com. We have to be on high alert about how our minds work. PBS is premiering a four-part series examining about how easily our minds are being hacked, and why it is so important to "think slow." Tune in (5). When it comes to the active versus passive debate, does the analysis suffer from parameter risk? With respect to empirical, evidence-based analysis, does the analysis have the entire construct wrong? When it comes to short-cut multiples, are we falling into the behavioral trap of thinking on autopilot?
Nov 19, 2020
Boeing’s Financials Are Absolutely Frightening
The reality is that Boeing’s financials are still pretty scary. During the first nine months of 2020, the company burned through an incredible $15.4 billion in free cash flow, even as it cut capital spending by a few hundred million. As of the end of the third quarter of 2020, its total consolidated debt now stands at $61 billion, with total cash and marketable securities of $27.1 billion. This compares to total consolidated debt of $24.7 billion and total cash and marketable securities of $10.9 billion, as of the end of the third quarter of 2019. The grounding of the 737 MAX and the outbreak of COVID-19 have combined to be an absolute wrecking ball to Boeing’s financials, and it may take a very, very long time before things start looking better on the books. S&P, Moody’s and Fitch still give the company investment-grade credit ratings (BBB-/Baa2/BBB-), but we’re not sure the aerospace giant deserves them. Here’s what Fitch noted October 2020: “…many of the company's quantitative rating factors will be inconsistent with the 'BBB' category for three years (2019-2021) and into 2022.” It’s probably fair to say that Boeing’s debt should be rated junk, but that would cause some severe reverberations in the credit markets, in our view.
Nov 4, 2020
We Expect to Raise Our Fair Value Estimate of Honeywell
Image: Honeywell’s Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Release Slide Deck. We may have been a bit too conservative with our latest fair value estimate change of Honeywell in light of our expectations of the impact of COVID-19 on its business. Heading into the COVID-19 crash, our fair value estimate for Honeywell had been north of $150, and we expect to revise it modestly higher than that mark upon the next update of our valuation model. In light of COVID-19, we plan to apply a wider fair value estimate range, too, and that should put shares as fairly valued. Honeywell is our favorite industrial idea, but it remains on the bench in favor of better-positioned net-cash-rich powerhouses currently in the newsletter portfolios.
Nov 2, 2020
ICYMI -- Dividend Growth Strategies Struggle
Image: A large cap growth ETF (orange) has significantly outperformed an ETF tied to a dividend growth strategy, the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), which mirrors the total return performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. To no surprise to many members, several dividend growth strategies have faced tremendous pressure during 2020. The Journal recently wrote a piece on the topic, but from our perspective, the problem with many dividend growth strategies is that they tend to be balance-sheet agnostic and pay little attention to traditional free cash flow expectations, focusing only on the yield itself, sometimes dismissing future fundamentals in favor of historical growth trends and the inferior EPS-based dividend payout ratio. In many dividend-targeted ETFs, for example, it may not matter to the index creator whether a firm has $10 billion in net debt or $10 billion in net cash; as long as management has a track record of raising the dividend in the past, it is included. To us, however, there is a world of difference between a company that has a huge net cash position and a huge net debt position. The more excess cash on the balance sheet a dividend payer has, for example, the more secure its payout. In some cases, entities held in high-yielding ETFs don't even cover their dividends or distributions with traditional free cash flow generation, despite having ominous net debt loads. A look at the high-yielding ALPS Alerian MLP ETF, for example, shows a number of entities that are buried under a mountain of debt and are generating meager free cash flow relative to expected distributions. The lofty yield on that ETF should therefore be viewed with a very cautious eye. If the yield weren't at risk for a big cut, the market would bid up the stock, and down the yield would go. In no way should you believe that you can sleep well at night holding stocks yielding north of 10% when the current 10-year Treasury is well below 1%. The market is just not that inefficient. A dividend growth strategy can never be a passive one either. Only through constant attention to the balance sheet (net cash) and future free cash flow expectations can investors truly sleep well at night. At Valuentum, we do the balance sheet and cash flow work and summarize it succinctly in a key ratio called the Dividend Cushion ratio.
Oct 21, 2020
Lockheed Martin Beats Expectations and Raises Guidance Yet Again
Image Shown: Lockheed Martin continued to grow its revenues and segment operating profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Image Source: Lockheed Martin Corporation – Third Quarter of Fiscal 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. On October 20, Lockheed Martin Corp reported third quarter earnings for fiscal 2020 (period ended September 27, 2020) that beat consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. Lockheed Martin’s GAAP sales rose by 9% year-over-year, hitting $16.5 billion, in part due to the company increasing its F-35 aircraft deliveries to 31 in the fiscal third quarter from 28 in the same quarter last fiscal year. Additionally, all four of Lockheed Martin’s core business segments (‘Aeronautics,’ ‘Missiles and Fire Control,’ ‘Rotary and Mission Systems’ and ‘Space’) reported year-over-year sales growth. Lockheed Martin’s diluted EPS from continuing operations rose by over 10% year-over-year last fiscal quarter, though its GAAP diluted EPS was held down (still grew by 7% year-over-year) by a loss from its discounted operations relating to the resolution of a tax dispute stemming from a 2016 divestment.
Oct 2, 2020
ICYMI: How Big Is Your "Too Hard" Bucket?
Image Source: Christian Schnettelker. In investing, it's okay to admit that there are some things that investors can't know. It's not a poor reflection of one's analytical ability or a possible shortcoming of one's experience, but rather quite the contrary: Understanding and accepting that some things are "unknowable" is a sign of the quality of one's judgment. Quite simply, certain critical components of the equity evaluation process are more "unknowable" than others. The intelligent investor recognizes the variance (fair value estimate ranges) and the magnitude of the "unknowable" between companies and generally tries to identify entities that have the least "unknowable" characteristics as possible or situations where the "unknowable" might actually be weighted in their favor (an asymmetric fair value distribution).
Sep 8, 2020
The Most Important Thing: You
Research publisher Valuentum will continue to offer members great ideas, fantastic commentary, and wonderful newsletters and reports, but Pigeon Oak's mission will be to offer clients peace of mind with advice tailored to their goals and risk tolerances. Pigeon Oak will also offer several strategies for financial advisors and institutions. Please stay tuned in the coming months for more information on how I can meet your financial needs at Pigeon Oak Capital Management, LLC.
Sep 3, 2020
3 Lessons in Portfolio Management Over 10 Years
Image Source: http://www.epictop10.com/. "When I left as director in the equity and credit department at Morningstar in 2011, I thought I knew a whole heck of a lot about investing. I felt like I was one in the top 5-10 in the world as it relates to the category of practical knowledge of enterprise valuation (maybe include Koller at McKinsey, Mauboussin at Counterpoint, and Damadoran at Stern on this list). After all, I oversaw the valuation infrastructure of a department that used the process extensively, and the firm was among just a few that used enterprise valuation systematically. Then, at Valuentum, our small team would go on to build/update 20,000+ more enterprise valuation models. There can always be someone else out there, of course, but I don't think anybody has worked within the DCF model as much as I have across so many different companies. That said, through the past near-10 years managing Valuentum's simulated newsletter portfolios, I've also learned a number of things to become an even better portfolio manager." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
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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.