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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

Jan 15, 2021
Steris Ties the Knot with Cantel Medical
Image Shown: Cantel Medical Corp is getting bought out by Steris PLC through a cash-and-stock deal. The image up above highlights Cantel Medical’s promising long-term growth outlook, though its performance in 2020 was subdued due to headwinds created by the coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. In our view, Steris was attracted to Cantel Medical’s improving outlook (the latter started to stage an impressive rebound in the second half of calendar year 2020) and the ability for the combined firm to generate substantial synergies. Image Source: Cantel Medical Corp – December 2020 IR Presentation. On January 12, Steris PLC announced it had reached an agreement with Cantel Medical to buy the company through a cash-and-stock deal worth ~$3.6 billion (~$4.6 billion when including the assumption of debt and convertible notes) that valued CMD at $84.66 per share based on the closing price of STE on January 11. The deal includes $16.93 in cash and 0.33787 share of STE for each share of CMD. Steris is heavily focused on sterilization products for hospitals and laboratories (it also provides related services). The company intends to fund the cash component of its deal for Cantel Medical with new debt issuance and committed bridge financing, which will also be used to refinance most of Cantel Medical’s existing debt. Shares of Cantel Medical have advanced ~38% (as of the end of normal trading hours January 13) from when we first wrote about the idea back in early December 2020. Even before the acquisition was announced, investors started to warm back up to the company due to expectations that the headwinds that held the firm back last year would start to dissipate this year. In our view, Steris’ acquisition of Cantel Medical is highly complementary. It appears Steris was optimistic that Cantel Medical’s long-term growth outlook remained bright even though the firm had a rough 2020.
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 25, 2020
All I Want for Christmas Are Dividend Aristocrats
Image Source: 5 Furlongs. It may not be as catchy as Mariah Carey's Christmas hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You," but if you ask a dividend growth investor what they might want for Christmas as it relates to an investment, they might start singing about a long list of Dividend Aristocrats--a list of companies that have increased their dividends in each of the past 20-25+ years. Therefore, we wanted to do something special this Christmas for members. We've aggregated a list of every non-financial Dividend Aristocrat in our 16-page stock report coverage universe and made a list conveniently available, including some key data and links directly to their 16-page stock reports (pdf). To access the 16-page stock report of any company on this list, just click on its name, and you'll be prompted to download that particular company's 16-page stock report pdf file. Remember, we provide separate Dividend Reports for stocks, too. For example, the 16-page stock report pdf file that is linked to a company's name in this article is only a portion of the research, commentary, ratings and data on that particular company. Let's take Emerson Electric as an example. Not only does it have a 16-page Stock Report and additional Valuentum commentary via articles and notes, but it also has a Dividend Report. Both pdf reports can be downloaded on its stock web page (the pdf icons are to the right of the stock chart). We hope you enjoy the vast amount of research connected to the download links on this list. Each company's fair value estimate, Dividend Cushion ratio, Economic Castle rating and much more is backed by our three-stage discounted cash flow process with fully populated financial statements, available by request from Gold and Platinum members. Please download away! What's your favorite Dividend Aristocrat? Comments welcome.
Dec 1, 2020
Walking Through the Calculation of the Dividend Cushion Ratio
Image shown: An image found on page 2 of Valuentum's Dividend Report on Kimberly-Clark. The 'Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction,' shown in the image, reveals the numerator and denominator of the Dividend Cushion ratio. At the core, the larger the numerator (or the healthier a company's balance sheet and future free cash flow generation) relative to the denominator (or a company's future expected cash dividend obligations), the more durable the dividend. In the context of the Dividend Cushion ratio, KimberlyClark's numerator is larger than its denominator suggesting strong dividend coverage in the future. The 'Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction' image puts sources of free cash flow in the context of financial obligations next to expected cash dividend payments over the next 5 years on a side-by-side comparison. Because the Dividend Cushion ratio and many of its components are forward-looking, our dividend evaluation may change upon subsequent updates as future forecasts are altered to reflect new information.We believe the Dividend Cushion ratio is one of the most helpful tools an income or dividend growth investor can use in conjunction with qualitative dividend analysis. The ratio is one-of-a-kind in that it is both free-cash-flow based, considers balance sheet health, and is forward looking. Since its development in 2012, we estimate its efficacy at ~90% in helping to forewarn readers of impending dividend cuts. For companies where Valuentum reports are available, the Dividend Cushion ratio can be found in a stock's Dividend Report or in the table on the company's stock landing page. We use Kimberly-Clark as an example of how we calculate the Dividend Cushion ratio and how useful it is for investors of all types.
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 24, 2020
Your Role as a Choice Architect
Image: Impact Hub Global Network. Richard Thaler in his groundbreaking book Nudge, co-written with Cass Sunstein, talked about the role of the choice architect. A choice architect is basically someone or some organization that has the responsibility for organizing the context and content in which people make decisions. At Valuentum, we can never provide personalized buy/sell advice, but in providing publishing services, we've opted for the healthy option for members, and that sometimes means you won't find a large selection of dessert options. This isn't a shortcoming of our service (i.e. we know desserts are tempting), but rather a key positive attribute. As we've shown time and time again, you don't need to look far to beat the market return (or, by comparison, to have a healthy diet). If something is not on the menu at Valuentum, it means the chef has something better cooking in the kitchen. Here's to your long-term financial health!
Nov 11, 2020
Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Not a Catalyst for Portfolio Changes
Image: BioNTech. Next Generation Immunotherapy Presentation, October 2020. The world received great news this week that the days of this terrible COVID-19 pandemic may finally be numbered. On November 9, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that “their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated evidence of efficacy against COVID-19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.” Our thesis on the inevitable successful development of a vaccine for COVID-19 never centered on which pharma/biotech giant would be the first to develop one, but rather our thesis has always been focused on the large number of shots on goal (the large number of vaccine candidates in development, and the high probability that at least one would be effective). We’re sticking with some of the best companies out there in the newsletter portfolios, however, and we’re reiterating our fair value estimate range of 3,530-3,920 on the S&P 500 (established June 12), which we derive as 18-20x multiple on pre-pandemic 2021 earnings of $196. The S&P 500 stands within the range at ~3,560 today.
Nov 9, 2020
Our Reports on the Health Care Bellwethers Industry
Image Source: A 4. Our reports on the Health Care Bellwethers industry can be found in this article Reports include JNJ, WBA, CVS, ISRG, MDT, ZBH, BAX, BDX, BSX, MTD, SYK, BIIB, GILD, ABT, ABBV, LLY, AMGN, BMY, MRK, PFE, VRTX, ZTS, REGN, UNH.
Nov 4, 2020
Best Ideas Newsletter Portfolio Holdings Are Surging!
Image: The holdings in the Best Ideas Newsletter during the trading session November 4. We continue to pound the table on our best ideas. If you were like me, you stayed up as long as you could last night watching the U.S. election coverage before it became too difficult to keep your eyes open. When I went to sleep, it seemed as though Donald Trump would be re-elected. The only state that appeared to flip to the Democrats from the 2016 election was Arizona, meaning Trump would still retain greater than the 270 electoral votes required to gain re-election. Well, that was last night, and this is today. As more and more votes came in last night and into the morning, it became evident that the races in Wisconsin and Michigan were much tighter than the news coverage last night led to believe. In fact, with just a small percentage of the votes left outstanding to count in those states, Joe Biden appears to be running ahead of Donald Trump in those states, if only ever so slightly (~20,000-30,000 votes). Donald Trump’s huge gap in Pennsylvania--about 8.7 percentage points at the time of this writing--may also narrow when it is all said and done. The bottom line is that this election is just too early to call!
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.


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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.