Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Latest Valuentum Commentary
Apr 8, 2021
The Best Years Are Ahead
The wind is at our backs. The Federal Reserve, Treasury, and regulatory bodies of the U.S. may have no choice but to keep U.S. markets moving higher. The likelihood of the S&P 500 reaching 2,000 ever again seems remote, and I would not be surprised to see 5,000 on the S&P 500 before we see 2,500-3,000, if the latter may be in the cards. The S&P 500 is trading at ~4,100 at the time of this writing. The high end of our fair value range on the S&P 500 remains just shy of 4,000, but I foresee a massive shift in long-term capital out of traditional bonds into equities this decade (and markets to remain overpriced for some time). Bond yields are paltry and will likely stay that way for some time, requiring advisors to rethink their asset mixes. The stock market looks to be the place to be long term, as it has always been. With all the tools at the disposal of government officials, economic collapse (as in the Great Depression) may no longer be even a minor probability in the decades to come--unlike in the past with the capitalistic mindset that governed the Federal Reserve before the “Lehman collapse."
Feb 13, 2021
The Skill Paradox Is a Myth in Investing
Image: The game of baseball has changed during the past 100 years. While many point to a declining standard deviation and coefficient of variation in batting averages for evidence of a paradox of skill in baseball, it's more likely the game has changed. Players are hitting more homeruns, sacrificing batting average as a result. Source: Baseball Almanac. Michael Mauboussin, while highlighting in his own words in The Success Equation how stock portfolios have conformed over time due to a reduction of active share brought about by myriad influences in how active managers are "playing the game," completely misses using this explanation as the correct conclusion for the observation of declining standard deviations of excess returns. There is no paradox of skill in investing. Investors are conforming to the same playbook due to conflicting incentives (perhaps even driving active management skill levels collectively lower), and this is resulting in what we're seeing today. Unlike his work in evaluating baseball and basketball, Mauboussin seems to completely miss that active mutual funds and ETFs are also only 15% of the market. In the case of investing, analyzing the standard deviation of returns of 15% of the stock market, as in active funds and ETFs, tells us little about luck or skill. Warning about the use of small sample sizes early in the book, the combination of this errant conclusion has only padded the indexing propaganda making The Success Equation an absolute tragedy of a text, and I must say it hurts me a lot to say it (I know how much work goes into writing a book, and I generally enjoy Mauboussin's work).
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!
Jan 29, 2021
Repub from March 5, 2018: The Tragedy of Quantitative Finance
-- Okay – it’s not 2038, but just imagine if this could happen…
Jan 27, 2021
ALERT: Raising Cash in the Newsletter Portfolios
Our research has been absolutely fantastic for a long time, but 2020 may have been our best year yet. With the S&P 500 trading within our fair value estimate range of 3,530-3,920 (and the markets rolling over while showing signs of abnormal behavior), we're raising the cash position in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio to 10%-20%. For more conservative investors, the high end of this range may even be larger, especially considering the vast "gains" from the March 2020 bottom and the increased systemic risks arising from price-agnostic trading (read Value Trap). The individual holdings will be reduced in proportion to arrive at the new targeted cash weighting in the respective simulated newsletter portfolios. The High Yield Dividend Newsletter and Dividend Growth Newsletter are scheduled for release February 1. We'll have more to say soon.
Jan 27, 2021
Fourth Quarter Earnings Reports Coming In: INTC, GGG, KMB, STLD
Image Source: Kimberly Clark Corporation – Second Quarter of Fiscal 2021 Earnings IR Presentation. Fourth quarter 2020 earnings season is upon us. In this note, we walk through the reports of four companies issuing results: Intel, Graco, Kimberly Clark, and Steel Dynamics. Intel is making the right call by seeking to outsource some of its production needs given its inability to produce certain current- and next-generation chips. For companies operating in the industrial sector, it appears that after a challenging first half of 2020, things are now recovering in earnest. The industrial economy appears to have entered 2021 with momentum, keeping short-term headwinds in mind. Consumer staples entities experienced strong demand growth in 2020, though it appears that many companies operating in the space now expect their organic sales growth to moderate in 2021 as the uplift from “pantry stockpiling” fades.
Jan 26, 2021
Procter & Gamble Remains a Great Free Cash Flow Generator
Image Shown: Shares of Procter & Gamble Co have started to shift back down towards the top end of our fair value estimate which sits at $120 per share of PG. In our view, investors have begun to factor in expectations that the firm’s growth rate of late will be incredibly hard to sustain over the coming years. Procter & Gamble is a solid company with great free cash flow generating abilities, but the run up in its share price during the second half of the 2020 calendar year was a tad overdone, in our view. On January 20, Procter & Gamble reported solid earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2021 (period ended December 31, 2020) as its GAAP revenues grew by 8% year-over-year while its GAAP operating income climbed higher by 20%, aided by economies of scale and GAAP gross margin expansion. The company reported strong organic sales growth across all of its core product categories, with its ‘Fabric & Home Care’ and ‘Health Care’ products leading the way. Pricing strength combined with organic volume growth and a favorable product mix played a big role in boosting Procter & Gamble’s margins. It appears consumers are willing to pay up for its products, which tend to be the more expensive items in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and similar venues. Looking ahead, Procter & Gamble increased its guidance for fiscal 2021. P&G forecasts it will post annual sales growth (on both a net and organic basis) of 5%-6% and annual diluted EPS growth of 8%-10% this fiscal year, underpinned by its strong performance during the first half of fiscal 2021.
Dec 31, 2020
2020 Won’t Soon Be Forgotten
2020 won’t soon be forgotten. The tumultuous year brought with it the greatest shock to the U.S. economy in modern history, ushering in the largest-ever decline in U.S. real annualized gross domestic product of 31.4% in the second quarter of the year (surpassing the prior record of a 28.6% collapse in the second quarter of 1921). Strict lockdowns to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 created the biggest global health emergency in a century, driving a self-inflicted economic collapse worse than the Great Recession, the Great Depression, and any other recession before it (the Depression of 1873-1879, the Panic of 1893, etc.). Millions were put out of work. During the month of April alone, the economy lost a record 20.8 million jobs, with some estimating that the “real” unemployment rate during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis reached nearly 23%. The official 14.7% unemployment rate in April would obliterate prior post-World War II era records, and while it fell short of the peak Great Depression unemployment rate estimated at 24.9%, the pain of many families and households was no less severe as they battled both a financial and health crisis that materialized in a matter of weeks, with little lead time to prepare for what was to come. Pantry stuffing and panic buying of consumer goods became a sign of the times, and a great debate about the efficacy of wearing masks raged across mediums.
Dec 25, 2020
All I Want for Christmas Are Dividend Aristocrats
Image Source: 5 Furlongs. It may not be as catchy as Mariah Carey's Christmas hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You," but if you ask a dividend growth investor what they might want for Christmas as it relates to an investment, they might start singing about a long list of Dividend Aristocrats--a list of companies that have increased their dividends in each of the past 20-25+ years. Therefore, we wanted to do something special this Christmas for members. We've aggregated a list of every non-financial Dividend Aristocrat in our 16-page stock report coverage universe and made a list conveniently available, including some key data and links directly to their 16-page stock reports (pdf). To access the 16-page stock report of any company on this list, just click on its name, and you'll be prompted to download that particular company's 16-page stock report pdf file. Remember, we provide separate Dividend Reports for stocks, too. For example, the 16-page stock report pdf file that is linked to a company's name in this article is only a portion of the research, commentary, ratings and data on that particular company. Let's take Emerson Electric as an example. Not only does it have a 16-page Stock Report and additional Valuentum commentary via articles and notes, but it also has a Dividend Report. Both pdf reports can be downloaded on its stock web page (the pdf icons are to the right of the stock chart). We hope you enjoy the vast amount of research connected to the download links on this list. Each company's fair value estimate, Dividend Cushion ratio, Economic Castle rating and much more is backed by our three-stage discounted cash flow process with fully populated financial statements, available by request from Gold and Platinum members. Please download away! What's your favorite Dividend Aristocrat? Comments welcome.
Dec 1, 2020
Walking Through the Calculation of the Dividend Cushion Ratio
Image shown: An image found on page 2 of Valuentum's Dividend Report on Kimberly-Clark. The 'Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction,' shown in the image, reveals the numerator and denominator of the Dividend Cushion ratio. At the core, the larger the numerator (or the healthier a company's balance sheet and future free cash flow generation) relative to the denominator (or a company's future expected cash dividend obligations), the more durable the dividend. In the context of the Dividend Cushion ratio, KimberlyClark's numerator is larger than its denominator suggesting strong dividend coverage in the future. The 'Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction' image puts sources of free cash flow in the context of financial obligations next to expected cash dividend payments over the next 5 years on a side-by-side comparison. Because the Dividend Cushion ratio and many of its components are forward-looking, our dividend evaluation may change upon subsequent updates as future forecasts are altered to reflect new information.We believe the Dividend Cushion ratio is one of the most helpful 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, considers balance sheet health, and is forward looking. Since its development in 2012, we estimate its efficacy at ~90% in helping to forewarn readers of impending dividend cuts. For companies where Valuentum reports are available, the Dividend Cushion ratio can be found in a stock's Dividend Report or in the table on the company's stock landing page. We use Kimberly-Clark as an example of how we calculate the Dividend Cushion ratio and how useful it is for investors of all types.
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.