Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Latest Valuentum Commentary
Mar 17, 2022
Berkshire Hathaway Is Firing on All Cylinders; Shares Surging
Image Shown: Shares of best idea Berkshire Hathaway Class B (ticker: BRK.B) have surged higher over the past year with room to run. Those of you that have been long-time members of Valuentum (thank you by the way!) know that we are huge fans of Warren Buffett. We include Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A) (BRK.B), specifically its Class B shares (ticker: BRK.B), as an idea in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. Recently, Buffett (CEO and Chairman of Berkshire) released his latest annual letter to shareholders, which included plenty of important information regarding the conglomerate’s financial performance and investing practices at-large. One of the things that stuck out in Buffett’s latest annual letter to shareholders, a topic that he has brought up often in the past, is his belief in betting on America. In the letter, Buffett notes that “our country would have done splendidly in the years since 1965 without Berkshire. Absent our American home, however, Berkshire would never have come close to becoming what it is today.” For reference, Buffett took control of Berkshire back in 1965. We are also big believers that the number one place for investors to be invested is in U.S. equities. Specifically, large cap U.S. tech stocks with “moaty” business models, fortress-like balance sheets, incredible free cash flow generating abilities, and growth outlooks underpinned by secular tailwinds represent some of our favorite ideas alongside U.S. energy giants (a shorter term tactical play in the face of the ongoing inflationary environment) and high-quality U.S.-focused firms like Berkshire. We appreciate Buffett’s longstanding commitment to utilizing discounted free cash flow analysis to locate and invest in undervalued enterprises based in the U.S.
Feb 25, 2022
Update: Analyzing Valuentum’s Economic Castle Index: A Walk Forward Case Study
There are two things generally wrong with a pure economic moat assessment, or economic “moat factor.” First, it is much easier to assess outsize economic returns in the near-term than it is to assess outsize economic returns over the long haul. Quite simply, nobody can predict what will happen tomorrow, and they certainly don’t know what will happen 20 or 30 years from now. Second, a rational investor should generally prefer expected near-term outsize economic returns than expected long-term ones given the uncertainty of the latter--somewhat related to our first point, a bird in the hand (or large economic returns in the near term) is worth two in the bush (or large economic returns in the long run that may not materialize). The time value of money reinforces this notion. Near-term economic returns are generally worth more than long-term ones in real terms, even if they may be smaller nominally. This is where our Economic Castle rating comes in. The goal of the Economic Castle rating is to identify those companies that are likely to generate a lot (or not so much) shareholder value over the foreseeable future. Instead of pondering a guess as to how the landscape will look 20 or 30 years from now, something not even the Oracle of Omaha can do with any sort of certainty (e.g. IBM, KHC), the Economic Castle rating ranks companies based on near-term expected economic returns, or returns that are more likely to be realized as opposed to those that may be built on “castles in the air” over 20-30 time horizons. By evaluating companies on the basis of the spread between their forecasted future return on invested capital (‘ROIC’) excluding goodwill less their estimated weighted-average cost of capital (‘WACC’), we measure a company’s ability to generate an “economic profit” over the foreseeable future, which we define as the next five fiscal years. Companies that generate a forecasted spread of 50 percentage points or more are given a “Very Attractive” Economic Castle rating and firms that are forecasted to generate a spread of 150 percentage points or higher are considered “Highest-Rated”. Firms that carry an Unattractive Economic Castle rating are those that are forecasted to generate a forward ROIC (ex-goodwill) less estimated WACC spread that’s meaningfully below zero (firms near economic parity can receive a Neutral Economic Castle rating, assigned by the Valuentum team).
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.
Jan 22, 2022
Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
Image: Erica Nicol. Junk tech should continue to collapse, but the stylistic area of large cap growth and big cap tech should remain resilient. Moderately elevated levels of inflation coupled with interest rates hovering at all-time lows isn’t a terrible combination. In fact, it’s not bad at all. The markets are digesting the huge gains of the past few years so far in 2022, and the excesses in ARKK funds, crypto, SPACs, and meme stocks are being rid from the system. Our best ideas are “outperforming” the very benchmarks that are outperforming everyone else. The BIN portfolio is down 6.4% and the DGN portfolio is down 3.2% year to date. The SPY is down 7.8%, while the average investor may be doing much worse. Our timing to exit some very speculative ideas in the Exclusive publication has been impeccable. Beware of “best-fitted” backtest data regarding sequence of return risks. Research is to help you navigate the future, not the past. We remain bullish on stocks for the long haul and grow more and more excited as our simulated newsletter portfolios continue to hold up very well. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Stick with the largest, strongest growth names. We still like large cap growth and big cap tech, though we are tactical overweight in the largest energy stocks (e.g. XOM, CVX, XLE). The latest short idea in the Exclusive publication has collapsed aggressively since highlight January 9, and we remain encouraged by the resilience of ideas in the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio and ESG Newsletter portfolio. Our options idea generation remains ongoing.
Jan 17, 2022
The ARKK CRASHED But Large Cap Growth/Tech Is Still Cheap!
“The crash in speculative tech, namely the ARKK, is ongoing and expected to continue. On the other hand, blue chip technology, namely the area of large cap growth, is overflowing with moaty, net cash rich, free cash flow generating, secular growth powerhouses and continues to look attractive. On a weighted average basis, for example, the Schwab U.S. Large Cap Growth ETF (SCHG) has considerable room to run higher based on the high end of our fair value estimate range of its largest holdings. We think large cap growth will continue to deliver in the years ahead, and we like exposure to this area. ” – Brian Nelson, CFA
Jan 11, 2022
Raising Our Fair Value Estimate on Berkshire Hathaway, Our Thoughts on the Insurance Industry
Image Source: AIG. Shares of the SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE) have trailed the performance of the S&P 500 (SPY) during the past 15 years. Our favorite insurer remains Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), and we recently raised our fair value estimate of its B shares to $320, as of the latest update (effective January 12, 2022). The high end of our fair value estimate range for Berkshire Hathaway is $384 per share. Berkshire Hathaway is included in the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio as of this writing. American International Group (AIG) serves as an important cautionary tale of what could happen to an insurer that doesn't manage its risks effectively, and we wouldn't expect to add any pure-play insurer to the simulated Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio.
Dec 26, 2021
VIDEO/TRANSCRIPT: 2021 Valuentum Exclusive Call: Inflation Is Good
Valuentum's President Brian Michael Nelson, CFA, explains why investors should not fear inflation, why government agencies such as the Fed and Treasury are prioritizing something other than price discovery, why the 10-year Treasury rate is a must-watch metric, and why Valuentum prefers the moaty constituents in large cap growth due to their net cash rich balance sheets, tremendous free cash flow generating potential, and secular growth tailwinds.
Nov 12, 2021
Hard Work and the Trust That Binds
Image: Terry Johnson. It’s easy to forget how much we’ve been through the past two years. Often, we forget how helpful the warning that markets were going to crash was the weekend before they did on February 22, 2020, “Is a Stock Market Crash Coming? – Coronavirus Update and P/E Ratios,” how we thought dollar-cost-averaging made sense at the bottom in March 2020, and how we went “all-in” in April 29, 2020, “ALERT: Going to “Fully Invested” – The Fed and Treasury Have Your Back,” when we saw the writing was on the wall for this blow off top. If nothing else, these three moves alone during the past couple years have paid for a lifetime of subscriptions.
Nov 3, 2021
Large Cap Growth Has More Room To Run
“The stylistic area of large cap growth has been one of our favorite areas because of the strong net cash rich, free cash flow generating, secular growth powerhouses that make up much of the space. The image is a rundown of the key Valuentum statistics for the top 15 holdings of the Schwab U.S. Large Cap Growth ETF (SCHG). We believe where large cap growth goes, so does the broader market, considering the hefty weightings of some of these stocks in other broad-based indices. Based on the high end of our fair value estimate range for this group of bellwethers, the broader U.S. markets still have room to run, to the tune of 7%+, despite the many highs already reached during 2021. Though traditional valuation multiples may seem stretched by most measures, many market bellwethers have huge net cash positions and tremendous free cash flow growth potential. We expect the equity markets to continue to be led by large cap growth.” – Brian Nelson, CFA
Oct 20, 2021
Quants and High-Frequency Trading the Real Cause of the GameStop Frenzy?
Image: The cause of the GameStop trading frenzy remains largely unclassified as it appears to us that quant and high-frequency trading played a much bigger role in the market disruption than what is being reported. We think the SEC staff put out a fantastic “GameStop Report” with some excellent information. However, the report did not get to the crux of the matter, failing to disclose what actually caused the extreme market volatility in meme stocks, while glossing over the substantial increase in institutional accounts, likely belonging to quant/trend/momentum funds, that contributed to the trading frenzy this year. We think investors and market participants deserve to know more about what caused this threat to market integrity and structure as the continued proliferation of which may only grow larger and larger in the coming decades. If it was quant trading, then we encourage the SEC to take steps to ensure that such trading is curbed effectively as it is clear that such price-agnostic activity is not contributing to market efficiency.
Latest Press Releases
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.