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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Jan 8, 2020
Resetting Your Mental Model
Image Source: affen ajlfe. Having the right mental model and using the right information can be the reason why you win or lose in investing.
Jan 8, 2020
Update: US and Iran Now De-escalating Tensions
On January 7, Iran retaliated against the US for the killing of Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani (leader of a group that the US has deemed a terror threat under the Trump administration) less than a week earlier by firing missiles from Iranian soil at bases in Iraq that contain US, Iraqi, and coalition troops. The Iranian government aggressively publicized the attack by providing Iranian media outlets with footage of missiles leaving Iran that were targeted towards Iraq. Fortunately, no US, Iraqi, or coalition casualties were reported. We are very thankful that nobody was hurt as a result of the Iranian missile strike.
Jan 7, 2020
Middle East Tensions on the Rise
Early Friday (Arabian Standard Time) on January 3 (the strike was carried out late Thursday evening Eastern Standard Time), under the orders of President Trump, the US took out major general Qasem Soleimani who was the leader of Iran’s Quds military group within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (‘IRGC’). Please note the US designated the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in April 2019, and that the justification for the strike was due to there being an immediate threat to US lives (namely soldiers and contractors stationed in the Middle East), according to the Pentagon. It’s important to note that the strike occurred on Iraqi soil. The Quds force is known to be Iran’s extraterritorial military outfit, an elite group thought to be deeply involved in ongoing wars in Syria (undergoing a civil war), Yemen (undergoing a civil war), and Iraq (ostensibly fighting the remnants of the ISIS terror group). Qasem Soleimani was in Iraq when the US took him out with an airstrike, along with others such as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization Units (‘PMF’) which is an umbrella group for various militias active in Iraq that have extensive ties with Iran. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was thought to be an adviser of Qasem Soleimani.
Jan 4, 2020
Valuentum Exclusive Success Rates Trump Even the Best Quant Hedge Funds
Image: President of Investment Research Brian Nelson, CFA. A new book, “The Man Who Solved the Market,” hit bookshelves last year, and thus far it has been a hit. The text goes into the story of quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies and its hedge fund, the Medallion Fund, which has put up mammoth returns since inception.
Dec 20, 2019
Devon Energy Completes High-Grading Process, Free Cash Flows Remain Elusive
Image Shown: An overview of Devon Energy Corporation’s remaining asset base, which consists of upstream oil and gas operations spread across four major unconventional plays in the US. Image Source: Devon Energy Corporation – December 2019 IR Presentation. Times are tough in the oil & gas patch, especially for upstream producers of raw energy resources like Devon Energy Corp. Not only are global oil prices low, which drags down natural gas liquids pricing for products like propane and butane, but North American natural gas supplies are trading at rock-bottom prices as well. Devon Energy has attempted to cope by divesting less economical assets and shifting all of its focus towards its best well locations, a process known as high-grading. Due to the recent strength in WTI, shares of DVN have started to march towards the upper end of our fair value range estimate and currently yield 1.4% as of this writing. Devon Energy is placing a great focus on developing “liquids-rich” plays, which refers to developing well locations with high crude oil and natural gas liquids production mixes.
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 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.
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.
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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.