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Latest Valuentum Commentary
May 8, 2020
ICYMI: Never Been More Bullish Even as Buffett Dumps Airlines
Image Source: IATA. Data Source: McKinsey & Company (IATA). Airlines haven’t been able to earn their estimated cost of capital for as long as we can remember. There have been hundreds of airline bankruptcies since deregulation in 1978. The news may be scary in coming months, and market volatility may elevate again, but we’ve never been more bullish on the longer run. The biggest advantage of an individual investor is something called time horizon arbitrage. As many professionals continue to fear a break below the March 23 lows, we’re focused on how this market absorbs the tremendous and unprecedented stimulus in the coming months and what that means for nominal equity prices in the longer run. It may not happen this month or this year, but we expect lift off as investors race to preserve purchasing power! Our favorite ideas for a portfolio setting remain in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, and High Yield Dividend Newsletter portfolio. Our favorite brand new ideas, released each month, are included in the Exclusive publication.
Apr 8, 2020
US Fiscal Stimulus and Emergency Spending Update
Image Source: Pictures of Money. On Thursday, April 9, the US Senate is set to hold a vote on whether to add additional funding towards helping small- and medium-sized businesses (‘SMBs’) on top of the $350 billion allocated towards a loan/grant program that was included in the recently passed $2+ trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (‘CARES Act’). Key Republican legislators and Trump administration officials including Senate Majority Leader McConnell (Kentucky), Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and Senator Rubio (Florida) who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, want to add $250 billion in funding capacity to the SMBs relief program, dubbed the Paycheck Protection Program (‘PPP’). That program involves providing loans to SMBs equal to 250% of their monthly payroll, and those loans can be used to pay employees along with utilities and rent. If those funds are used to retain workers, they can become forgivable loans and effectively grants (if certain conditions are met).
Mar 18, 2020
Banking Entities: The Technicals Tell the Story
Image: The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF has experienced a tremendous amount of pain in recent weeks. What is clear is that temporarily shutting down large parts of U.S. economy is absolutely unprecedented, and there will be substantial knock-on effects and difficulties in getting things restarted. This is most especially true if the coronavirus re-emerges following the periods of social distancing around the world, or when the weather turns colder again in the fall, and humanity could be facing a different strand of the coronavirus. Don’t forget that all bank institutions use a lot of financial leverage by their very nature, and the Fed and Treasury can never truly stop a run-on-the-bank dynamic (i.e. that which happened to WaMu in 2008). We think BOK Financial is in particular trouble given its energy loan exposure. Others to avoid include Cullen/Frost Bankers, Cadence Bancorp, and CIT Group. The credit card entities, Capital One and Synchrony Financial may be worth avoiding. We’d stay far away from the regional banks given their exposure to small business pain amid COVID-19. We don’t think the fiscal stimulus on the table does much to help small businesses. Deutsche Bank may be the first of the big European banks to topple, and this weakness could eventually spread to the U.S. banks given counterparty risk. Most foreign banks, including Santander, Credit Suisse, UBS, ING, and BBVA remain exposed to crisis scenarios. We’re also witnessing some very troubling developments with banking preferred shares, with the bank-preferred-heavy ETF, Global X SuperIncome Preferred ETF dropping ~15% during the trading session March 18. The preferreds of HSBC and Ally Financial are top weightings in that ETF. Banking technicals are raising some major red flags across the board, and given actions by the Fed and Treasury, this crisis has all the makings of being worse than the Great Financial Crisis. In any financial crisis perhaps excepting a depression, there can come a time to invest new money in bank stocks. Though it seems likely we have not yet reached the bottom in the markets yet, the highest-ground bank franchises in the US are JPMorgan and Bank of America, in our view. While sharp declines in their equity values may be expected (no one truly knows how deep the coming flood will be), they’re likely to make it to the other side with most of their equity capital firmly intact. With all that said, however, one doesn’t have to hold banking equities. It may be time to phone Mr. Buffett before things really start to unfold.
Mar 15, 2020
Fed Cuts 100 Basis Points, Launches More QE
“Now, stocks and other assets are being sold, some indiscriminately. It is truly becoming a stock pickers market as opposed to a quant-led and index-led market. It takes a different kind of bravery to buy on massive down days and one must have conviction in their research that the company will not go away if massive downside scenarios do in fact emerge.” – Matthew Warren. In this piece, we cover our assessment of what the global markets might be facing in a bull-case, base-case, and bear-case scenario. Our base case is a substantial recession in the US and a financial crisis of some unknown magnitude.
Feb 28, 2020
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week Ending February 28
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
May 23, 2016
Why The Fed Matters
As higher discount rates are embedded in traditional valuation models, the value of long-duration free cash flows is reduced exponentially, shrinking estimates of intrinsic worth. It’s purely fundamental.
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