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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Nov 9, 2021
Best Idea Berkshire Hathaway Moving Higher!
Image Shown: Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B have been on a nice upward climb over the past year. On November 6, the industrial and insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A) (BRK.B) reported third-quarter 2021 earnings. We liked what we saw in its latest earnings update as most of its business segments reported strong results, save for some of its insurance businesses which took a hit from major weather events and headwinds resulting from more drivers being on the road. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class B (ticker: BRK.B) are included as an idea in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio.
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!
Feb 1, 2021
It May Be Too Little Too Late
With the ability to stop it before it started now behind us, in my view, enterprise valuation and a focus on net cash and future expected free cash flow within companies with strong competitive advantages that are tied to secular growth trends is still the best way to combat this type of environment. But investors need to keep their guard up. We could be headed for some crazy market action in the coming months.
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.
Jun 3, 2020
Our Thoughts on SelectQuote Going Public
Image Source: SelectQuote Inc – S-1 filing. On May 22, the digitally-oriented insurance comparison company SelectQuote went public, and shares of SLQT have performed quite well since then as of this writing, jumping meaningfully from the reference price of $20 per share. The company intends to use some of the proceeds for debt reduction, as it is obligated to allocate at least a quarter of the net proceeds (up to $150 million) of the IPO towards paying down its term loan due November 2024. What SelectQuote offers is an online way for consumers to compare prices and policies for various insurance plans including life, auto, home, and senior healthcare insurance products. SelectQuote does not underwrite the insurance policies but sells these products on behalf of its various partners and takes a commission for each sale. Thus, SelectQuote does not have any underwriting risk. SelectQuote has licensed insurance agents in all 50 states, and at the end of 2019, the firm had 1,850 “full-time equivalent employees” including 636 core agents and 392 flex agents.
May 6, 2020
Berkshire Hathaway Prepares Itself for COVID-19
Image Source: Berkshire Hathaway Inc – 2019 Annual Report. Berkshire Hathaway reported first-quarter 2020 earnings on May 2, which due to significant unrealized losses in its investment portfolio (a product of the market swoon in the early months of 2020) the firm swung to a large loss on a GAAP basis. As Berkshire Hathaway’s leadership team has often noted, the 2018 accounting rule change that forces companies to recognize unrealized gains and losses in the income statement can make GAAP net income and GAAP diluted EPS figures near meaningless without digging deeper into the firm’s financials.
Feb 25, 2020
Berkshire Reports 2019 Earnings
Berkshire Hathaway reported fourth quarter and full-year results on Saturday February 22, and we appreciate the firm’s performance across most of its business lines, keeping in mind that losses at its insurance-underwriting business during the fourth quarter weakened its company-wide performance. That being said, the insurance business can be volatile at times, which is why we appreciate Berkshire’s large railroad, utility, consumer goods, and other business segments. On the topic of Berkshire’s insurance-related exposure to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic (which has since spread from China to the rest of the world, shutting down economies in South Korea, Italy, and elsewhere), insurance firms fundamentally altered the structure of their policies after the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (‘SARS’) outbreak to exclude epidemic coverage from most policies (save for insurance policies that explicitly cover those situations) according to the WSJ. Shares of Berkshire Class B stock are included in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio with a top-weighting, and over the past few months shares of BRK.B has begun converging towards our fair value estimate of $229 per share. Berkshire Class B shares could move towards the top end of our fair value range estimate of $275 per share, particularly if the company figures out where to invest its enormous cash pile.
Feb 14, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week Ending February 14
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Feb 15, 2019
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week Ending February 15
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
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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.