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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

Jun 21, 2020
Warren: Four Ways to Play the Market at This Juncture
Image Source: Daniel Lobo. In this piece, we examine where the economy and stock markets have been recently, where we are now, and where we are going next. We also highlight four key ways to play this volatile market. We think this is a helpful way to think about overall portfolio construction, especially so that one does not overly expose themselves to a particular set of risks that could come to fruition—like an extended downturn in the economy or a rapid discovery of a vaccine for Covid-19 on the other hand.
Jun 16, 2020
Reiterating Our Bullish Long-Term View on Stocks
Image: The NASDAQ 100 Index remains resilient, bouncing off support, after breaking out to new highs recently. Some of our best ideas are included in the NASDAQ 100, and our favorite concentrations include exposure to big cap tech and large cap growth. We continue to be bullish on equities for the long run. In addition to unlimited quantitative easing and "whatever it takes, squared" Fed policy, today, June 16, the Trump administration announced that it is weighing a $1 trillion stimulus bill to help support the economy. While uncertainties remain regarding specifics of the bill (it might include state assistance, extension of unemployment benefits, etc.), the move is consistent with the outsize spending we expect to further bolster the bull case, "ICYMI -- Stay Optimistic. Stay Bullish. I Am." We continue to emphasize that, in light of unlimited QE and runaway fiscal stimulus, the longer-duration components of intrinsic values are expanding considerably, and as a result, fair values, themselves, are actually rising during this recession and pandemic [a good estimate of the value of the S&P 500 today may be between 3,530-3,920, as outlined in the following: "Scribbles and More Newsletter Portfolio Changes.]."
Jun 15, 2020
ICYMI: Survey Coming Later Today, More Market Volatility Expected
Image: The market's levels of volatility so far in 2020 have been among the greatest in history. Expectations for increased volatility in the marketplace as a result of the proliferation of price-agnostic trading (indexing and quantitative trading) is a key theme of Valuentum's text, Value Trap: Theory of Universal Valuation. We continue to emphasize the importance of due diligence, enterprise valuation, behavioral thinking, the information contained in prices, and stock selection across equity portfolios. Page 256. This week is setting up to be yet another volatile week of trading, but nothing too surprising. We've talked extensively about outsize levels of volatility in the book Value Trap, and many of our predictions regarding the magnitude of volatility have come to fruition, as described in this note here. But as we've also noted in Value Trap, we don't think increased volatility is a transient development. The Fed and Treasury have only further emboldened price-agnostic trading (indexing/quant) with recent bailout actions, and volatility and momentum funds, which exacerbate the swings, will only grow as a percentage of trading volumes. The magnitude of market volatility during the COVID-19 crisis has certainly been immense. During March for example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had 8 consecutive days with a 4% move in either direction (this is the first time in history this happened--not even during the tumultuous times of the Crash of 1929 or Black Monday of 1987 or the Great Financial Crisis did this happen). Intra-day volatility has also been considerable, and it has become commonplace for equity futures to swing wildly before market open. Now, more than ever, investors need a steady hand at the wheel.
Jun 12, 2020
*ALERT* Scribbles and More Newsletter Portfolio Changes
Image: Why are stock prices increasing while the near-term economy and near-term earnings outlook isn't as bright as before...How unlimited quantitative easing, runaway government spending, increased inflation expectations impact equity values...Why this year's earnings expectations or next year's earnings expectations don't matter much...Why Valuentum thinks equity values are rising today, even as the near-term outlook remains unclear. Scribbles on page 76 of Value Trap. "I know it sounds crazy to say so during a global pandemic and during a recession, but the right multiple and the right earnings to use to value this market is an 18-20x multiple on $196 earnings, putting a fair value range on the S&P 500 today of 3,530-3,920. The S&P 500 is trading at about 3,000 today." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
Jun 11, 2020
Valuentum Research Update
"Hope you all are doing great! I must say I couldn't be more pleased with the research we've been putting out, and thank you very much for your continued interest. In this piece, I wanted to get some of our latest work to you. First, please note that we've done a great job holding the line on many of our fair value estimates (ranges) on our website. Many stocks have been bouncing back, and we're glad we didn't rush through any updates. Updating fair value estimates (ranges) too frequently doesn't make much sense to us. We're after the right answer, not any answer." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
Jun 8, 2020
ICYMI -- Stay Optimistic. Stay Bullish. I Am.
Image: My great-grandfather (second from left) and his buddies in the 88th Division of the United States Army during World War I, at the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919. He would serve under Major General William Weigel, become proficient in the 37mm gun, and take part in the largest offensive in U.S. military history, the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. As a corporal, he would survive the Great War and the Spanish flu pandemic, returning to the U.S. in May 1919 from the port of Saint-Nazaire, France on his way to Omaha, Nebraska. First of all, I wanted to reiterate how bullish I am on equities for the long haul. There are no risk-less investments when it comes to the stock market, of course, but this "win-win" scenario we seem to find ourselves in today appears to be one-of-a-kind in history. Here's what it boils down to. If the U.S. economy re-opens and everything turns out to be "fine," or at least better-than-expected, it's hard not to be bullish on stocks. We can then possibly look to pre-COVID-19 earnings numbers for 2021 and 2022 with some adjustments here and there, and that means the bull market is on (and new heights may be in sight). On the other hand, if the U.S. economy re-opens and economic numbers don't live up to expectations, which could happen, there will likely be even more stimulus--but investors might be bullish in this scenario, too. For starters, there's been more money created during the past few weeks or so than during the entire year following Lehman Brothers' failure (there's even talk of more money creation with another round of stimulus). We cannot forget that, while stock values are calculated on the basis of future free cash flow expectations, they are priced nominally (not inflation-adjusted), and stock investing is one way to combat the risk of inflation as strong companies price goods ever higher to outpace rising costs to reap in ever-higher earnings. Even if this excess money in the economy is not translated into inflation in physical goods and services, however, it may translate into inflating equity prices specifically, as has arguably (or perhaps undeniably) been the case during the period of 2010-2019. But there's more to this line of thinking...
Jun 5, 2020
Dow Jones Surges Past 27,000; Bull Market Continues!
"What a bull market off the lows we are having. I don't think we're finished, as I have pounded the table time and time and time again about how bullish I am. In the words of Frank Sinatra, "The Best Is Yet to Come," and I truly believe that. Yesterday, I explained to readers why we're seeing this huge rally, "Stay Optimistic. Stay Bullish. I Am." If you understand the duration and composition of equity value (page 74-83 in Value Trap), you can start focusing on what drives share prices and returns. How else could a market rally this much with 13% unemployment, right? How wonderful it would be if everyone understood the duration of stock value composition! What would happen to ambiguous, backward-looking factor investing? Finance could then start talking about things that make sense again." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
May 26, 2020
American Express Carries Meaningful Credit Risk
Image Source: American Express Company – First Quarter of 2020 Earnings IR Presentation. At Valuentum, we are very bullish on the growth trajectory of high-quality payment processing, payment solutions, and financial technology firms. That’s why we include PayPal and Visa as top-weighted holdings in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. However, please note that what makes those firms appealing is the limited or lack of exposure to credit risk. Visa carries no credit risk and generates revenues through fees collected on transactions conducted with Visa-branded cards, and while PayPal possesses some credit risk, that risk is rather small relative to its overall business. Both firms enable investors to capitalize on the shift to a “cashless” society, a trend occurring both offline and online. Pivoting now to American Express, the focus of this piece, American Express carries a lot of credit risk. While, generally speaking, American Express tends to cater to relatively more affluent clientele than say, Discover Financial, that doesn’t mean American Express isn’t exposed in a very meaningful way to a sharp downturn in US and global economic activity. That downturn is a result of the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic and the negative dynamic effects the virus has had on economic activity across the globe.
May 20, 2020
ALERT: Important Recap of Valuentum's Research and Market Events
Image: Breaking out to new highs, Facebook is a top weighting in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio (which includes our favorite capital appreciation ideas in a portfolio setting). The social media giant is surging on news of a new Shops feature, something we've been expecting and raving about with respect to its potential for years--as we maintain our view that, anti-trust considerations aside, Facebook is poised to become the "new Internet." The high end of our fair value estimate range for Facebook is nearly $290, and we would not be surprised if the company eventually reaches those levels. Note: PayPal, another big weighting in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, has been a huge winner of late, too. The value of our research remains heavily tilted toward proficiency in enterprise valuation and technical/momentum indicators, portfolio construction, idea generation, individual stock selection, and assessing dividend health and resilience, among other things. ALERT: Important Recap of Valuentum's Research and Market Events: Unequivocally Bullish, S&P Target Range Was Withdrawn Last Month, Continued Focus on Individual Stock Selection with "Moaty" Operations, Huge Net Cash Positions, Strong Expected Future Free Cash Flows, Established Recurring Business Models, and Otherwise Attractive Economic Castles. Big Cap Tech and Large Cap "Growth" Remain Our Favorite Allocations.
May 7, 2020
Best Idea PayPal Soars on Very Promising Outlook
Image Shown: Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio idea PayPal is surging after a strong outlook that speaks to underlying strength of the “new” consumer in a post COVID-19 world. On May 6, one of our favorite companies PayPal reported first quarter 2020 earnings. While PayPal missed consensus estimates on both the top- and bottom-line, investors looked towards the future and shares of PYPL rose sharply after the report on May 7. We continue to like PayPal as a near top-weighted holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Please note we increased the weighting of PYPL shares in that newsletter portfolio back on January 13, 2020 (link here) and further increased PayPal’s weighting in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio after going “fully invested” in April 29, 2020 (link here). The top end of our fair value estimate range sits at $150 per share, and in our view, shares of PYPL have room to run further from current levels as of this writing (even after their strong performance of late). PayPal is very well-positioned to ride out the storm created by the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic as the world continues to transition towards an era heavily reliant on digital payments.


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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.