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Latest Valuentum Commentary

Nov 18, 2020
Kohl’s Dead Cat Bounce May Still Have Legs
Image: Kohl's is breaking out of a month-long base on better-than-expected financial health and expectations that it will reinstate its dividend next year. The department store industry may be as poor as the airline business these days, but Kohl’s is managing to navigate the pandemic fairly well, even as it fights an uphill battle against e-commerce proliferation. The company’s annualized cash flow from operations, for example, is trending sufficiently above what we would consider normalized annual capital expenditures (~$700-$750 million). This suggests Kohl’s can be meaningfully free cash flow positive, even under a scenario where it can invest heavily in its business during “normal” times. Management even plans to start paying a dividend again during the first half of next year, and if existing trends hold and the holiday season is a success, a reinstated payout appears achievable, in our view. That said, however, in light of the poor backdrop of the department store business model and the preponderance of historical bankruptcies across the industry, we don’t view Kohl’s as a long-term investment idea by any stretch. Still, the stock’s technical breakout coupled with a better-than-expected financial position means its “dead cat bounce” could still have legs.
Apr 21, 2020
Macy’s Will Find It Difficult to Unlock the (Fair) Value of Its Real Estate
Image Source: Valuentum. The embattled department store Macy’s suspended its dividend and drew down its revolving credit line on March 20 in order to shore up its financial position in the face of the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic. All of Macy’s physical stores were temporarily closed on March 18, though some might shut down for good given the company’s financial woes. The fair value estimate of Macy’s is heavily dependent on factors well outside the control of management, and considering the US economy and global economy at-large are sliding toward a pandemic/leverage induced recession/depression, we aren’t optimistic on Macy’s ability to unlock the (fair) value of its real estate. Any real estate sales done in the foreseeable future will likely be at a discount to their fair value. As the firm continues to burn through cash--there’s a very high probability Macy’s will continue to generate negative free cash flows until the “cocooning” of households ends--the clock is working against Macy’s. We are staying away from the name.
Jan 23, 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.
Aug 19, 2019
No Recession At Walmart; Estee Lauder Not Cheap
Image Source: Mike Mozart. Walmart’s results were quite reassuring regarding the health of the economy. There are also pockets of significant strength, with prestige beauty being catapulted by a “selfie generation.”
Jan 18, 2019
Our Reports on Stocks in the Multiline Retail Industry -- archive
Image Source: Troy Tolley. Several companies previously in this group have been reassigned to a new consolidated Multiline Retail industry.
Dec 31, 2018
Valuentum Stock Screeners
Brian Nelson provides members with an update on Valuentum's stock screeners and the significant number of forward-looking data we provide. This article was sent to members via email December 29.
Dec 20, 2018
Market Mayhem -- Alerts for Members
Dear members -- we released a number of emails today. Please read and let us know if you have any questions. We're here for you.
Nov 20, 2018
Retail Margins Weighed Down by Labor, Transportation Costs
Image Source: Mike Mozart. Selling pressure across retail came after several notable operators reported earnings November 20. Let’s take a look at what is driving investor reaction within the space.
Oct 15, 2018
In the News: Sears Adds to Retail Bankruptcies, Leading Defense Company Formed, and the Political Nature of Crude Oil Prices
Sears officially files for bankruptcy, a top-ten global defense company is formed, and political tensions with Saudi Arabia have the potential to send crude oil prices higher.
Oct 10, 2018
In the News: Sears Nears Bankruptcy, Luxury Apparel Weakens, Fastenal Reports, and Financial Tech Stocks Take Hit
In what was a long-time coming, Sears looks to finally be succumbing to the pressures of the brick-and-mortar retailing business. It won’t be the last big-name retailer to fail, and it certainly wasn’t the first. Luxury stocks are reeling as a result of worries in China. Financial tech stocks gave back a fraction of their huge gains more recently, as investors size up credit risk at this stage of the economic cycle. We continue to believe financial tech is the place to be, however, with PayPal and Visa as two of our top considerations.

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