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 23, 2020
US Fiscal Stimulus Update
Image Source: frankieleon. The US Congress is debating and working on a massive multi-trillion dollar fiscal stimulus package to mitigate the negative impact the ongoing novel coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic is having on the domestic economy and to provide for additional healthcare funds to cash-strapped entities to combat the virus.
Mar 23, 2020
Fed and Treasury Efforts Might Not Be Enough to Avoid Another Great Depression
Image: The Energy Select Sector SPDR and Financial Select Sector SPDR, two securities removed from both the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio in August 2019 have been ravaged during this market selloff. We maintain our view that the energy and banking sectors are worth avoiding during this market meltdown. The U.S. is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and we might get the next Great Depression regardless of what the Fed or Treasury does. The timeline for when these markets attempt to bounce back meaningfully from this disruption may not be based on whether COVID-19 cases roll over, but rather when consumers start coming out to spend in droves again, and that may not happen until we have a vaccine broadly available. We're maintaining our fair value range on the S&P 500 of 2,350-2,750, with expectations of panic/forced selling down to 2,000 on the broad market index (it closed at 2,304.92 on Friday, March 20). We believe that savvy investors have been nibbling at this market during the past couple weeks and may have achieved up to 50%-75% of their equity allocation in a well-diversified portfolio via dollar-cost averaging strategies, with expectations of further market declines. Our best ideas remain in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio and Exclusive publication. Expect more gut-wrenching volatility.
Mar 21, 2020
Top Ten Dividend Growth Stocks to Consider Amid COVID-19
Image Shown: A look at some of the top dividend growth stocks to consider, companies with strong Dividend Cushion ratios and nice payout growth trajectories, in light of ongoing turbulence in equity markets. The 'Multiplier' column multiplies a company's dividend yield by its Dividend Cushion ratio. The novel coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global economies, credit and equity markets, and the livelihoods of many. We sincerely hope everyone stays safe during this pandemic. US equities have sold off aggressively during the past month, with the S&P 500 down ~25% year-to-date as of this writing, punishing the names of several top quality dividend growth opportunities that we will highlight in this note today.
Mar 20, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week Ending March 20
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Mar 18, 2020
US Considering $1 Trillion (Or More) Fiscal Stimulus Program
Image Source: Frank Boston. A lot has changed in a short period of time since we published our first note covering the potential for a major US fiscal stimulus program back on March 10. Due to the sheer amount of pummeling the stock and credit markets have taken over the past few weeks, along with consumer, business, and investor confidence at-large (we’ll get a better read on that over time), it seems that both Democrats and Republicans are now more open to a major fiscal stimulus program than before. The ‘Survey of Consumers’ conducted by the University of Michigan notes the ‘Index of Consumer Sentiment’ fell from 101.0 in February 2020 down to 95.9 in March 2020, and there’s room for that index to fall a lot further. Please note the next data release date is March 27. In all likelihood, this is all due to the negative impacts posed by the ongoing novel coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic to both the health of individuals (particularly the older demographics and those with preexisting conditions) and the health of the overall economy (due to the “cocooning” of households and consumers). We sincerely hope everyone, their loved ones, and their families stay safe out there as we get through this pandemic as a nation and as a global community.
Mar 17, 2020
Dollar General Holding Up Relatively Well in the Face of COVID-19
Image Shown: Shares of Dollar General Corporation, a holding in our Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, have aggressively outperformed the S&P 500 Index over the past year as of the end of the normal trading session on March 12. Retail firms, particularly companies that sell consumer staples products, have held up relatively well during the ongoing rout in global equities (including in the US). The novel coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic is the "black swan" event that could potentially tip the global economy towards recession, in our view, but please note this pandemic was the straw that broke the camel’s back, not the single source of this potential downside (rising non-financial corporate debt levels, slowing industrial activity, large national budget deficits and enormous public debt loads worldwide, rising geopolitical tensions and the impact trade wars have on global supply chains, and the lack of “dry powder” at major central banks are several reasons why the global economy has asymmetrical downside risk when it comes to growth). Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio holding Dollar General Corp is a prime example of a retail firm holding its own against major exogenous headwinds. As of the end of the normal trading session on March 12, shares of DG are up 18.7% while the S&P 500 index is down 11.1%. Dollar General reported earnings for the fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2019 (period ended January 31, 2020) that beat on both the top- and bottom-line, and its same-store sales performance also beat expectations. Let's dig into the specifics in this note.
Mar 17, 2020
Buybacks and Wealth Destruction
From Value Trap: "According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, S&P 500 stock buybacks alone totaled $519.4 billion in 2017, $536.4 billion in 2016, and $572.2 billion in 2015. In 2018, announced buybacks hit $1.1 trillion. Given all the global wealth that has been accumulated through the 21st century, it may seem hard to believe that another Great Depression is even possible. However, in the event of a structural shock to the marketplace where aggregate enterprise values for companies are fundamentally reset lower, the vast amount of cash spent on buybacks would only make matters worse. The money that had been spent on buybacks could have been distributed to shareholders in the form of a dividend or even held on the books as a sanctuary of value within the enterprise during hardship. Buybacks, unlike dividends, can result in wealth destruction in a market economy, much like they can with companies. This is an important downside scenario that is often overlooked." -- Value Trap, published 2018
Mar 15, 2020
Panic Buying of Consumer Goods and Its Impact on Discounted Cash Flow Valuation
Image: Sam’s Club (Crystal Lake, IL), March 14. Water and toilet paper continue to be completely sold out at most big box retailers as COVID-19 panic buying of consumer goods continues to spread. Fear-induced purchases in the US have also helped drive up investor sentiment toward consumer staples names with a large domestic presence. We caution, however, that near-term earnings bumps emanating from “stockpiling” have little impact on a company’s intrinsic value, which is derived more from normalized conditions, and in most cases, the panic buying of consumer goods is merely pulling demand forward. “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper…There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” – Johnny Carson, in 1973, causing a month-long shortage of toilet paper in the US at the time. The spread of COVID-19 is creating a similar panic as consumers stock up on just about everything from toilet paper to canned goods to hand sanitizer.
Mar 13, 2020
Dow Fell 9.99%, Worst Point Drop in History, More Nibbling?
Every stock in the S&P 500 fell during the trading session March 12, except one. The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced the biggest point drop in history, Europe was crushed, gold and crypto-currencies sold off, Treasuries and munis were weak, as correlations among almost all asset classes approached one, as they often do during economic crises. Thursday, the S&P 500 closed at 2,480, near the low end of our 2,350-2,750 target range, and given the massive historical decline March 12 (the biggest point drop in history), equities are now starting to reflect a more neutral risk-reward balance at current levels, though we note downside risks remain. It may be time to consider doing some more nibbling on some of your favorite ideas. Where should you look? Our favorite ideas are always included in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio and Exclusive publication. In particular, we think ideas that have strong net cash positions, strong economic returns ("castles"), solid moats around their operations (competitive advantages), and strong free cash flow generation are the places to look during crises.
Mar 11, 2020
Seeds of Financial Crisis May Have Been Sown, Volatility Soars
Image Shown: The broader market indices continue to reveal tremendous levels of volatility. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 5.86%, or 1,465 points, to 23,553 during the trading session March 11. From Value Trap: It seems like the markets experience a new financial crisis every decade or so. During the past few decades alone, there have been three significant banking crises: the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s/early 1990s; the fall of Long-Term Capital Management and the Russian/Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s; and the Great Recession of the last decade that not only toppled Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, and Wachovia but also caused the seizure of Indy Mac, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...It's likely we will have another financial crisis at some point in the future, the magnitude and duration of which are the only questions. My primary reason for this view is not to be a doomsayer, but rests on the human emotions of greed and fear... -- Value Trap, published 2018
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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.