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Latest Valuentum Commentary

Dec 4, 2022
Apple iPhone Supply Disruptions Not Likely to Hurt Markets with Overall Holiday Sales Reportedly Strong
Image: Holiday sales are expected to expand ~2.5% in 2022 over very strong growth in 2021 and 2020. Image Source: Adobe. Apple's sales of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will come in lower than expected this holiday season due to labor unrest in Zhengzhou, but holiday sales for 2022 overall look fairly solid with Adobe Analytics estimating 2.5% growth over 2021, which, itself, was a fantastic year. A prior warning about holiday sales from Target Corp. appears to have been overblown given the sales strength witnessed during Black Friday and Cyber Monday across the retail landscape this year. It may be too early to say that the markets have definitely bottomed as economic data remains inconclusive, but holiday sales so far in 2022 and an overall resilient job market are giving investors something to cheer about in what has turned into an otherwise loathsome year.
Nov 21, 2022
Target’s Holiday Outlook Sends Mixed Messages; Big Sales Data Week Ahead
Image Source: Valuentum. Both Walmart and Target indicated that discretionary spending may face some pressure heading into the holiday season. Strength in beauty, skin care, and cosmetics may not be enough to cushion the blow that home electronics, sporting goods retailers, and toy makers may face. Though incrementally more positive than we were a few months ago, we remain cautious/defensive on the markets. In light of the tremendous weakness share prices have faced so far this year, we think the market had been anticipating the current slowdown, as retailers continue to adjust to a more difficult economic environment. We continue to wait to see how Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers shake out to get an incrementally better read on how holiday numbers may pan out, which will have far-reaching implications across the retail and logistics landscapes.
Oct 12, 2022
Serious Question: What Are You Looking At?
Image: Stocks with the largest 52-week losses, according to YahooFinance. We've handled the worst performers of 2022 quite handily, and the simulated newsletter portfolios are showcasing the importance of our methodology and processes. We expect things to get worse in the economy before they get better, but we maintain our view that there may be nothing better out there than a subscription to Valuentum to navigate these tumultuous times.
Jul 29, 2022
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week of July 29
Let's take a look at firms raising/lowering their dividends this week.
Feb 11, 2022
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week February 11
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Jul 9, 2021
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week July 9
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
May 7, 2021
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week May 7
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Feb 12, 2021
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week February 12
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Jan 8, 2021
L Brands Continues to Bounce Back
Image Source: L Brands Inc – Third Quarter of Fiscal 2020 IR Earnings Presentation. L Brands is home to the Victoria’s Secret, PINK and Bath & Body Works retail brands (PINK is included within its Victoria’s Secret umbrella). The firm has ~2,700 company-operated stores in Canada, the Greater China region, and the US along with more than 700 franchised locations worldwide. Sometime in 2021, L Brands intends to separate Bath & Body Works from its other operations, a plan management reiterated during a virtual December 2020 investor presentation. Bath & Body Works has been growing at a brisk pace of late while Victoria’s Secret has been a drag on company-wide performance at L Brands. The company has a lot on its plate, as navigating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while pursuing a major corporate overhaul is no easy task, though the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines should help improve its outlook as the global economy slowly begins to recover from the public health crisis. Recent fiscal stimulus measures in the US and elsewhere further supports L Brands’ outlook, as well as that of other retailers. Dick's Sporting Goods and Home Depot remain our two favorite omni-channel retail ideas for dividend-growth oriented investors.
Jul 14, 2020
Levi Strauss Skips Dividend Payment
Image Shown: An overview of Levi Strauss & Co.’s historical financials and operational footprint. As you can see, most of Levi Strauss’ sales are conducted through its wholesale segment. The company’s own e-commerce sales channel has historically represented just a small part of Levi Strauss’ total net revenues. Image Source: Levi Strauss & Co. – December 2019 Investor Presentation. On June 7, Levi Strauss & Co. reported second-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings (period ended May 24, 2020) that missed consensus estimates on both the top- and bottom-line. The apparel retailer noted it would reduce its “non-retail, non-manufacturing workforce” headcount by 700 employees to save an annualized $0.1 billion on corporate overhead as the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic has devasted its financial performance. Levi Strauss touted its recent successes in the e-commerce arena but investors still sold off the name in the following days as the firm opted to skip an upcoming dividend payment (and likely due to growing fears over how a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the US and elsewhere would impact the company’s future financial performance).

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