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Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Latest Valuentum Commentary

Feb 27, 2020
Has the Stock Market Crash Begun?
Image: CDC. Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-section through the viral genome, seen as black dots.According to the latest Situation Report from the CDC, dated February 25, there are now more new cases reported from countries outside of China than from China. Globally, there are currently 80,000+ confirmed cases in nearly 40 countries, with China, South Korea, Italy and Iran the major hotspots. Up until now, investors have been anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop (i.e. community spread in the United States), with the CDC even saying, “It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country (United States) will have severe illness.” Well, that “when” is now. The CDC just confirmed February 26, 2020, a possible instance of community spread of COVID-19 in the US.
Feb 24, 2020
ALERT: Adding Market Crash 'Protection,' Removing MSFT, BKNG
Image source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We're adding out-of-the-money put options to both the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio and Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. We're removing Microsoft from the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, and we're removing Booking Holdings from the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio. We reiterate that, had the Dow Jones Industrial Average already swooned a couple thousand points on news of the COVID-19 outbreak, we might have considered some undervalued stocks with strong momentum potential "buying opportunities." However, to this point in time, the markets have largely ignored COVID-19, with major US indices still sitting near all-time highs. We could be in for a wild ride in the coming weeks and months, and an outright market crash is not out of question. For those looking for short-idea considerations, please consider the Exclusive publication here. We remain fully-invested in the High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio given its yield and income focus.
Feb 22, 2020
Is a Stock Market Crash Coming? -- Coronavirus Update and P/E Ratios
Image Source: World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Situation Report -- 32. We don’t think this is the environment to put new capital to work, and we remain highly cautious of what COVID-19 means for global economic growth not just in the first quarter of 2020 but for the rest of this year (maybe longer). Right now, the US markets are not really factoring in anything related to COVID-19, and perhaps may be adjusting to China’s stimulus in artificially propping up the markets as if the outbreak is somehow a “positive thing.” With the S&P 500 trading at 19.0 forward earnings estimates--estimates that are likely too high given the evidence we are seeing with respect to a slowdown due to COVID-19--and corporate debt levels more elevated than ever before (note, a high net debt level should depress the P/E in enterprise valuation--US corporate debt has advanced 50% over the past decade, to $10 trillion), it is our contention that the current market reflects a “situation-equivalent” forward P/E (i.e. rightsizing for new net debt relative to the dot-com peak and adjusting for lower forward earnings expectations compared with current forecasts) perhaps greater than 24.4, which was recorded at the peak of the dot-com bubble. Though interest rates are lower than they were at the time of the dot-com crash, suggesting a modest reasonable bump to normalized forward P/E ratios of ~15 times to reflect “fair valuations,” we could seriously be in for fundamental-driven crash soon, as both the earnings multiple and earnings estimates contract aggressively. Hypothetically, a contraction to a 16x forward multiple on earnings estimates just 10% lower than currently forecast implies an S&P 500 of 2,566, or a swoon of about 20%-30% from current levels--and that would just get us down to 16x still-respectable forward numbers. How quantitative-driven price-agnostic trading may impact this scenario is not known either, and all of this could be setting up for a wild ride in the coming weeks and months. Fasten your seatbelts. We’ll have a few newsletter portfolio alerts coming Monday.
Feb 20, 2020
Analyzing Valuentum’s Economic Castle Index: A Walk Forward Case Study
There are two things generally wrong with a pure economic moat assessment, or economic “moat factor.” First, it is much easier to assess outsize economic returns in the near-term than it is to assess outsize economic returns over the long haul. Quite simply, nobody can predict what will happen tomorrow, and they certainly don’t know what will happen 20 or 30 years from now. Second, a rational investor should generally prefer expected near-term outsize economic returns than expected long-term ones given the uncertainty of the latter--somewhat related to our first point, a bird in the hand (or large economic returns in the near term) is worth two in the bush (or large economic returns in the long run that may not materialize). The time value of money reinforces this notion. Near-term economic returns are generally worth more than long-term ones in real terms, even if they may be smaller nominally. This is where our Economic Castle rating comes in. The goal of the Economic Castle rating is to identify those companies that are likely to generate a lot (or not so much) shareholder value over the foreseeable future. Instead of pondering a guess as to how the landscape will look 20 or 30 years from now, something not even the Oracle of Omaha can do with any sort of certainty (e.g. IBM, KHC), the Economic Castle rating ranks companies based on near-term expected economic returns, or returns that are more likely to be realized as opposed to those that may be built on “castles in the air” over 20-30 time horizons. By evaluating companies on the basis of the spread between their forecasted future return on invested capital (‘ROIC’) excluding goodwill less their estimated weighted-average cost of capital (‘WACC’), we measure a company’s ability to generate an “economic profit” over the foreseeable future, which we define as the next five fiscal years. Companies that generate a forecasted spread of 50 percentage points or more are given a “Very Attractive” Economic Castle rating and firms that are forecasted to generate a spread of 150 percentage points or higher are considered “Highest-Rated”. Firms that carry an Unattractive Economic Castle rating are those that are forecasted to generate a forward ROIC (ex-goodwill) less estimated WACC spread that’s meaningfully below zero (firms near economic parity can receive a Neutral Economic Castle rating, assigned by the Valuentum team).
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.
Jan 7, 2020
Dividend Cushion Ratio Catches Another Dividend Cut
Image Shown: Tupperware Brands Corporation suspended its dividend in November 2019, a pitfall investors could have avoided by utilizing Valuentum’s proprietary Dividend Cushion ratio. Our Dividend Cushion ratio can be a very useful tool for income seeking investors that wish to avoid payout cuts and the likely capital depreciation that follows. The Dividend Cushion ratio is based on our forecast of the firm’s future free cash flows over the next five full fiscal years, less its net debt or plus its net cash position, divided by its expected dividend obligations during this period. We view this as a powerful gauge of a company’s true dividend coverage, as compared to EPS payout ratios which are backward looking and flawed when evaluating the ability to cover future dividend obligations. This metric has been successfully in warning investors about numerous value traps over the years, including packaging company Tupperware Brands Corp. The company sells anything from plastic kitchen storage containers under its Tupperware brand to beauty products under its NaturCare and other brands. The Dividend Cushion also most recently warned about the cut at Core Labs, too.
Nov 3, 2019
Our Reports on Stocks in the Containers & Packaging Industry
Image Source: Ball Corp. Our reports on stocks in the Packaging and Containers industry can be found in this article. Reports include ATR, BLL, CCK, IP, OI, PKG, SEE, SLGN, TUP, WY.
Oct 25, 2019
Weyerhaeuser Faces Deteriorating Financials While Trying to Manage a Monstrous Debt Load
Image Shown: Weyerhaeuser Company – Second quarter 2019 IR Presentation. One very interesting space of the REIT investing world includes the timber industry. Weyerhaeuser Company is a Seattle-based timber REIT that controls and owns ~12 million acres of timberland in the US, along with managing ~14 million acres in Canada via long-term licenses. The company commenced operations way back in 1900, and shares of WY yield 4.6% as of this writing. Weyerhaeuser carries too much leverage on the books for us to be interested in shares at this time, especially when considering the recent weakness in its financial performance. Given rising near-term headwinds, we think there are better high-yielding opportunities out there with safer payouts.
Aug 20, 2019
Owens-Illinois’ Debt Load Is Daunting, We Are Staying Away From This Value Trap
Image Source: Owens-Illinois Inc -- IR Presentation. Due to Owens-Illinois’ onerous leverage, guidance cut, and signs that the global economy is slowing down, we are staying far from the name. While shares of OI trade decently below the low end of our fair value estimate range we caution that the market is likely right on this one. Owens-Illinois is another example of a Value Trap.
Jul 28, 2019
Update: Frequently Asked Questions About Valuentum Securities, Inc.
We address a number of questions from both subscribers and visitors to our site.


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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.