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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Dec 12, 2019
Analyzing Chevron and Important Updates in the Global Energy Industry
Image Source: Chevron Corporation – November 2019 IR Presentation. In this note, let’s cover the current state of raw energy resource prices in North America and around the world. We’ll analyze Chevron’s 2020 capital investment and exploration budget, in particular, and the global energy industry at-large. Shares of CVX appear generously valued, as of this writing, given the numerous headwinds facing the energy industry going forward.
Dec 2, 2019
Apache Comes Up Empty in Suriname, Shares Plummet
Image Source: Apache Corporation – November 2019 IR Presentation. On December 2, Apache Corp announced that its first exploration well off the coast of Suriname (a small nation in northern South America) was a dud. The Maka Central-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 6,200 meters (~20,300 feet) in Block 58 and drilling activities commenced in late-September. While the well was testing two Upper Cretaceous plays, neither play appeared to have commercial level of hydrocarbons (more information will be provided by management on this issue in the near future) so Apache opted to drill down to a total depth of 6,900 meters (~22,600 feet) to test a third Cretaceous play. This news sent shares of APA down by double-digits on December 2 as of this writing for reasons we’ll cover in this article. While shares of APA yield ~5.2% as of this writing, that payout isn’t sustainable in our view.
Nov 18, 2019
Big Energy Earnings Roundup
Image Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation – Third Quarter 2019 Earnings Presentation. As long as raw energy resource prices remain lackluster, the upstream divisions of the major energy giants will continue to generate far less cash flows than they did during the boom period (2010-2014). For Chevron, Shell, Total, and Exxon Mobil, their downstream operations offer a degree of stability but their large net debt positions and hefty capital expenditure budgets will continue to pressure their financials for some time. While Conoco doesn’t possess downstream operations anymore after the split with Phillips 66 in 2012, management’s focus on net debt reduction and free cash flows post-2014 puts COP in a better position than most of these bigger integrated peers (particularly CVX, RDS and XOM). That being said, we don’t include Conoco in any of our newsletter portfolios in part due to its lack of a “natural hedge” (downstream operations) and its direct exposure to raw energy resource prices. BP plc continues to represent one of our favorite plays in the energy space and shares of BP are included in our simulated High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio. We like BP’s cash flow profile, its stellar operational execution of late (upstream projects are consistently getting turned online under-budget and ahead of schedule), and its impressive downstream asset base. Members interested in reading more about why we like BP should check out this piece here, and if you may wish to add the High Yield Dividend Newsletter to your membership, please click here. Shares of BP yield 6.3% as of this writing and our fair value estimate of $45 per share of BP is comfortably above where shares are currently trading at.
Nov 13, 2019
Chesapeake Energy’s Pain Indicates Nothing “Safe” About Energy MLP Distributions
Image Source: Valuentum slide deck, December 2015. Valuentum released its bearish case on MLPs in June 2015. Summary There is nothing "safe" in the stock market, and given the track record of the distributions of pipeline MLPs, there is nothing "safe" about pipeline MLP distributions. The MLP business model continues to be phased out, a trend that we anticipated when we made our bearish call on the group in June 2015. Chesapeake Energy's pain is a yet another reminder of the pipeline MLP group's exposure to energy resource pricing through the health (or rather ill-health) of its customer base. We continue to encourage pipeline operators to disclose free cash flow (cash flow from operations less all gross capital spending) prominently in press releases, alongside other industry-specific metrics. Investors of Chesapeake could get completely wiped out in a Chesapeake bankruptcy, and this could have implications across the pipeline MLP arena.
Nov 11, 2019
High Yield Dividend Newsletter Portfolio Holding BP Sees Cash Flow Profile Improvements Ahead
Image Source: BP plc – Third quarter 2019 earnings infographic. If you may wish to add the High Yield Dividend Newsletter to your membership, please click here.We continue to like BP as a holding in the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio. Rising upstream production levels, a quality downstream footprint, and reduced Gulf of Mexico oil spill-related payments will go a long way in enhancing BP’s cash flow position. Raw energy resource prices remained subdued around the globe, but that isn’t stopping BP from fully covering its organic capital expenditures and dividend payments with underlying cash flows. We would like to see BP’s gearing ratios move lower, which is the stated goal.
Nov 5, 2019
High Yield Dividend Newsletter Portfolio Holding Magellan Midstream Keeps Growing
Image Shown: Magellan Midstream is focusing heavily on growing its fee-based operations, with an eye towards expanding its refined products pipeline segment. Image Source: Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. – August 2019 IR Presentation. If you may wish to add the High Yield Dividend Newsletter to your membership, please click here.We continue to like Magellan Midstream as a holding in our High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio. The company’s investment grade credit ratings (BBB+/Baa1 as of August 2019) and preference to fund its growth trajectory with debt instead of equity (equity issuances have been very muted since 2010) allows for steady sustainable increases in the company’s per unit distribution. Magellan Midstream retains access to capital markets at attractive rates and will likely take advantage of the subdued interest rate environment by refinancing portions of its existing debt load at lower rates when able. Magellan Midstream’s quarterly distribution per unit has grown by almost three-fold since the start of 2010, and there’s room for additional payout increases over the coming years.
Nov 1, 2019
Image Source: Tim Vrtiska. As I think back over the many years we've managed the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience to be able to help so many dividend growth investors, not only in finding big winners, but also in avoiding big losers. If you recall, many dividend growth investors were swept away by the MLP craze years ago, and we saved our membership, perhaps in impeccable fashion. Who remembers? From "getting out" of General Electric near $30 per share, to warning about ConocoPhillips' and Kinder Morgan's dividend cuts far in advance years ago, we've been focused intensely on gaining your trust each and every day. Of course we've had some huge winners, too, some of them no longer in the newsletter portfolio such as Hasbro, Procter & Gamble, Medtronic, names we may add back into the future at the "right price," near the low end of our fair value estimate range on the "way up." How can we forget some of the big winners still in the newsletter portfolios! Big tech has been on fire of late with Intel and Microsoft approaching new all-time highs. You may recall these two companies were among the first stocks to ever register a 9 or 10 on the Valuentum Buying Index in 2011/2012, and their respective Dividend Cushion ratios have been fantastic for years, accompanied by strong dividend growth. How can we forget about Apple? What a call that one has turned out to be -- shares of the iPhone maker closed at ~$256 today! Microsoft is now a mid-$140 stock! A number of years ago, we traveled the country sharing our thoughts on Microsoft, pounding the table on its undervaluation and strong dividend growth prospects, saying it epitomized what Valuentum looks for in dividend growth ideas at the time. This presentation from our September 2015 trip to the Silicon Valley AAII was one of my favorites. Download that presentation to learn how we looked at Microsoft through the lens of the Dividend Cushion ratio, "Value-Focused, Momentum-Based Dividend Growth Investing (pdf)." Please go ahead. The Dividend Cushion ratio is worth the price of any membership. I'm so very proud of the Valuentum team, its methodologies, Value Trap, and what we've been able to do for investors all these years, especially dividend growth investors. I'm so grateful for you. You found us, tuned out the noise, and hopefully have made so much money these many years. Without tearing up on any further nostalgia, download the November edition of the Dividend Growth Newsletter in this article. You've earned it. I hope you enjoy this edition greatly, and thank you so much! -- Brian Nelson, CFA
Oct 12, 2019
ICYMI: Interview with Valuentum's President Brian M. Nelson, CFA
Catch up with Valuentum's President Brian M. Nelson, CFA in a recent interview with dividend growth investor Arne Magnus Lorentzen Ulland of the blog stockles.
Sep 16, 2019
Saudi Arabia Attacked, Oil Prices Shoot Higher
Disaster struck this weekend when several drones took out the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the massive onshore Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with WTI and Brent both surging on the news once trading resumed at the start of the week. We will be monitoring this situation very closely going forward. The pace at which Saudi Arabia can bring capacity back online will have an outsize impact on global oil markets going forward, as the world no longer has any spare capacity to turn to during times like these (when supply is severely curtailed). Geopolitical tensions are clearly growing and that could spill over into a war directly between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but for now there’s no signs of troops mobilizing for such an endeavor.
Sep 10, 2019
Efficacy of the Dividend Cushion Ratio
The Dividend Cushion ratio is one of the most powerful financial 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 and forward looking. Since its creation in 2012, the Dividend Cushion ratio has forewarned readers of approximately 50 dividend cuts. We estimate its efficacy at ~90%.
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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.