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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Apr 10, 2022
Cash-Based Sources of Intrinsic Value for Meta Platforms and PayPal Remain Strong
Image Shown: Shares of Meta Platforms Inc (blue line) and PayPal Holdings Inc (orange line) have staged a nice comeback during the past month, as of the start of April 2022. Rising interest rates and the impact that has had on the market's discount rate implicitly used within the enterprise cash flow pricing process has pressured the value of equities with long free-cash-flow growth tails--stocks that are expected to grow at a meaningful premium over global economic growth over the coming decades. The rapid increase in the 10-year Treasury rate, no doubt, has had a profound impact on the equity values of long-duration cash-flow companies such as those held in the ultra-speculative ARK Innovation ETF, for example. However, established big cap tech firms and many fintech entities shouldn't necessarily be as impacted by rising interest rates as those of many currently money-losing speculative innovation names that won't generate meaningful levels of free cash flow for 5 to 10 years, maybe longer. For example, shares of companies such as Apple Inc. or Microsoft Corp. should only have but a muted impact from rising rates; these companies have huge net cash positions and are already generating strong free cash flow. It can even be argued that higher inflation/rates will afford Apple and Microsoft pricing power to raise product and software prices. While we might expect the ARK Innovation ETF to be down nearly 40% year-to-date and more than half during the past 52 weeks, we don't think it makes a lot of sense for some of the strongest, large cap growth names to be off ~12%, on average, year-to-date. We think the market, in many instances and especially within the area of technology, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc, formerly Facebook, and PayPal Holdings Inc are two such names that the market has been beating down too much, in our view. Though some weakness in Meta Platform's and PayPal's shares can be expected in the current market environment, year-to-date declines of 30%+ and 40%+, respectively, are a bit much. That said, during the past few months, we have reduced our fair value estimates for both Meta Platforms and PayPal for good reasons. For starters, Meta Platforms is investing heavily in the metaverse, a digital universe, and is scaling up its data center capacity to support its efforts on this front (which is driving its capital expenditure and operating cost expectations up sharply in the medium-term). Meta Platforms is not expected to make a meaningful amount or any money on these investments for some time. PayPal is facing headwinds from hefty customer acquisition costs to grow its active user base amid rising competitive threats. We also think that we may have been too aggressive within our valuation model when we built in too much earnings leverage during the next five years at PayPal. Said another way, the fintech company’s mid-cycle operating margin is not what we once though it was--as PayPal will find it difficult to meaningfully expand its margins in the current environment. However, putting it all together, these pressures and others have all been reflected in our current fair value estimates (and fair value estimate ranges) for Meta Platforms, which sits at $367 per share, and PayPal, which sits at $152 per share. Both companies are included as ideas in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, and we are beginning to see signs of a rebound underway. For long-term investors, we think Meta Platforms is a no-brainer at current prices, though we may be a bit more cautious on PayPal, which is now more of a "show-me" story, given recent hiccups. All this having been said, let's dig in to why we still like Meta Platforms and PayPal.
Mar 1, 2022
Shares of Our Favorite Miner South32 Skyrocketed During Past Year
Image Shown: South32, an idea in our ESG Newsletter portfolio and one of our favorite miners, put up tremendous financial performance during the first half of fiscal 2022 as it capitalized on surging realized prices for its commodities sales. Image Source: South32 – First Half of Fiscal 2022 IR Earnings Presentation. Shares of the American depository receipts (‘ADRs’) of one of our favorite miners, South32, have put up tremendous performance during the past year. According to data provided by Yahoo! Finance, shares of SOUHY are up over 50% during the past year on a price only basis while the S&P 500 is up ~9% on a price only basis during this period as of late February 2022. South32 is focused on building up a portfolio around high-quality nickel, aluminum, alumina, manganese, and zinc assets (these are metals and minerals that are essential for building things such as lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles) while retaining a meaningful presence in the metallurgical coal space. Let's follow up on this excellent idea.
Feb 10, 2022
Top ESG Idea South32 Getting Closer to Launching Major Mining Project in Arizona
Image Shown: South32 is targeting ample zinc, lead, and silver resources at the Hermosa project in Arizona that could be quite economical to extract should the Australian-based miner move forward with the endeavor. Image Source: South32 – January 2022 IR Presentation. Shares of South32, one of our favorite miners, are up over 50% during the past year as of this writing and that is before taking dividend considerations into account. The Australian miner has a bright outlook after shedding virtually all its thermal coal assets last calendar year (completed in June 2021) and announcing in October 2021 that it would acquire a sizable economic interest in a Chilean copper mine. We include shares of SOUHY as an idea in the ESG Newsletter portfolio and continue to be huge fans of the company. The miner has ample exposure to the “green energy” revolution and continues to pivot towards minerals that are expected to be in high demand in the future, which in turn supports the firm’s cash flow growth runway. South32 has exposure to attractive potential mining opportunities down in Arizona and recently provided a big update on these efforts that are worth going over. Let's dig in.
Feb 4, 2022
Undervalued PINS, SNAP Rallying; FB Incredibly Mispriced, and Refreshed Consumer Discretionary Reports
Image: Valuentum's Periodic Screener, February 4. Two of the most undervalued stocks in our coverage Pinterest, Inc. and Snap Inc. are indicated to rally hard February 4 after issuing positive earnings reports, providing further evidence of the importance of the discounted cash flow process and the magnet that intrinsic value estimates are to stock prices.
Feb 4, 2022
Our Reports on Stocks in the Discretionary Spending Industry
Image Source: Mike Mozart. Our reports on stocks in the Discretionary Spending industry can be found in this article: ATVI, BBY, CBRL, CMG, DIS, DG, DLTR, DPZ, EL, F, GM, HAS, HD, LOW, MCD, NFLX, NKE, SBUX, TSLA, YUM, DKS, TJX, ROST, WHR, KMX, AZO, RL, ULTA, LEG, GPC, VFC, CTAS, WSM.
Jan 27, 2022
Net Cash Rich Tesla Reports Solid Free Cash Flow, Closes Out 2021 on a High Note
Image Shown: A look at Tesla Inc’s new ‘Gigafactory’ manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, that is currently under development. Image Source: Tesla Inc – Fourth Quarter of 2021 IR Shareholder Deck. On January 26, Tesla reported that it had produced ~306,000 vehicles and delivered ~309,000 vehicles during the final quarter of 2021. The electric vehicle (‘EV’) and battery maker beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates in the fourth quarter as it continued to successfully ramp its production capabilities. We plan to fine-tune our cash flow valuation model covering Tesla to take its latest earnings report into account, but we still expect the point fair value estimate to be below where shares are trading at the time of this writing (~$937 per share).
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 13, 2022
Governance: The G in ESG Investing
Image: The Valuentum Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scoring System shows how “Governance” considerations are analyzed. No discussion of ESG investing would be complete without addressing the role of corporate governance (“stewardship”) in equity investing. As with the other aspects of ESG investing, corporate governance covers a lot of ground. It can include pretty much anything related to how a company is run, including leadership, executive compensation, audits and accounting, and shareholder rights. These areas are just the tip of the iceberg, however. A company with good corporate governance is one that is run well with the proper incentives and with all stakeholders in mind, from employees to suppliers to customers to shareholders and beyond. Good corporate governance practices decrease the risk to investors as it cuts through conflicts of interest, misuse of resources, and a general lack of concern for all stakeholders. A company that fails at implementing good corporate governance is at increased risk of litigation or scandal, which could wreck the share price. With the turn of the century, the dot com bust probably exposed most prominently the need for good corporate governance practices. Fraud was rampant. Whether it was the former CEO of Tyco International receiving millions in unauthorized bonuses, the actions of those at the top of Enron that created one of the biggest frauds in corporate history, the scandal at accounting and auditing firm Arthur Andersen, the demise of MCI/Worldcom, or the questionable practices that led to the Global Analyst Research Settlement, Wall Street had lost its way. In fact, a big reason why our firm Valuentum was founded is based on ensuring that investors get a fair shake and that someone is keeping a watchful eye not only on companies, but also on the sell-side stock analyst research that may still be full of conflicts of interest. As a result of the Global Analyst Research Settlement, all the big investment banks from Goldman Sachs to J.P. Morgan to Morgan Stanley to UBS Group and beyond had to pay stiff fines for producing conflicted, if not fraudulent research. In this note, we talk about the considerations that go into the G in ESG investing.
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.
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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.