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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Oct 22, 2023
There Will Be Volatility
Image: An ETF tracking Russell 1000 "growth" stocks has outperformed an ETF tracking Russell 2000 "value" stocks since the beginning of 2021. To us, the market remains hypersensitive to almost every economic data point that hits the wires, and we’re just not going to play that game. The macro headlines and never-ending news flow are what many quant and algorithmic traders are trading on, and to a very large extent, for investors with a long-term horizon, these macro data points just don’t factor into the equation. When valuing equities, we’re always after mid-cycle expectations, not peak or trough performance, so our valuations implicitly embed a "normal" recession. Warren Buffett didn’t become a billionaire buying and selling on macro data points, and volatility is simply to be expected given the proliferation of price-agnostic trading these days. Instead of panicking over higher interest rates, we think investors should view the Fed’s work thus far as future potential dry powder to stimulate both the economy and the markets. Whenever you feel like stocks are no good, have a read of Warren Buffett’s classic piece written during the Great Financial Crisis, “Buy American. I Am.” To us, we still like stocks for the long run. Happy investing!
Aug 15, 2023
Home Depot’s Comparable Store Sales Continue Declines, Big Ticket Purchases Slow
Image: Our fair value estimate range of Home Depot. Shares of Home Depot are trading at the high end of the range at ~$325 per share at the time of this writing. Home Depot is one of the most resilient companies across the retail arena. The firm weathered the Great Financial Crisis [GFC] well and it handled the vicissitudes of the COVID-19 pandemic and aftermath flowingly as it juggled supply chain issues, changing consumer buying preferences, and increased demand as consumers remodeled and upgraded their working and living spaces while cocooning at home. The company’s second-quarter 2023 results, released August 15, came in better than expected, but comparable store sales fell 2% both in aggregate and in the U.S. Though comparable store sales declines improved from bigger declines in the first quarter, Home Depot’s guidance for comparable sales to fall 2%-5% for all of fiscal 2023 indicates there may be some further year-over-year weakness ahead. We’re sticking with Home Depot in the Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, however.
May 19, 2023
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week of May 19
Let's take a look at firms raising/lowering their dividends this week.
Nov 16, 2022
Home Depot Says Customers Remain “Resilient and Engaged”
Image: Home Depot's third-quarter performance wasn't bad. Inventories expanded, but management reiterated that its core customer remains resilient and engaged. Image Source: Home Depot. Home Depot’s third-quarter report was solid, all things considered. The firm offset weaker transactions with a higher average ticket to driven solid comp performance. Management noted that its core customer remains resilient, and while inventories have ballooned on a year-over-year basis, we’re less concerned about the inventory build as most of Home Depot’s inventory is of the non-perishable variety. We like the firm as an idea in the simulated Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, though we continue to pay attention to the health of its balance sheet, which includes a considerable net debt position.
Oct 14, 2022
Banks Held Up in 3Q 2022 But Mortgage Market Dynamics and Consumer Health Are Big Economic Concerns
Image: Homebuyer mortgage payments on new homes have increased more than 50% since last year due to rising interest rates. We think this is a precursor to lower housing prices, which could have implications across the banking and financials sector. Image Source: Redfin. Third-quarter 2022 earnings reports from the money center banks weren’t bad, but we’re concerned about the impact of rising mortgage rates on originations coupled with weakness in asset values across the residential and commercial real estate markets. Consumer personal savings rates are already suffering as many seek to use revolving credit to deal with inflationary pressures. We like the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) as the best way to play diversified exposure to the banking and financials industry, an ETF that we include in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio, but there's a lot to worry about, including global financial contagion risk from Europe.
Aug 19, 2022
Nelson: The 16 Most Important Steps To Understand The Stock Market
Image Source: Tim Green. We outline the '16 Most Important Steps to Understand the Stock Market.' We think it's important to take a read of these key stock market tenets when things are going great -- and perhaps even more important when things aren't going your way. This continues to be a working document.
May 20, 2022
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week May 20
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Dec 10, 2021
What Really Is the ”S” in ESG Investing
Image: The Valuentum Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scoring System shows how “Social” considerations are analyzed. Social considerations tend to ebb and flow and reflect the values of society. Renewed interest in diversity, inclusion, and equity, for example, have made these areas a greater focus for companies and investors. As we have evolved as a society over decades and generations, the types of social considerations that may have primacy will change over time, so it’s important to make sure social considerations are just one part of your research. In addition to looking at how a company scores on the Valuentum ESG rating system and how it aligns with your own values, be sure to also look at whether such an idea is in the simulated newsletter portfolios, how it rates on the Valuentum Buying Index (VBI), its Dividend Cushion ratio for dividend-paying stocks, and much more. It’s extremely important to reward those companies doing the social good, but equity prices and returns will always be driven in part by a company’s cash-based sources of intrinsic value: net cash on the balance sheet and future expected free cash flow.
May 21, 2021
Dividend Increases/Decreases for the Week May 21
Let's take a look at companies that raised/lowered their dividend this week.
Feb 8, 2021
Stock Market Outlook for 2021
2020 was one from the history books and a year that will live on in infamy. That said, we are excited for the future as global health authorities are steadily putting an end to the public health crisis created by COVID-19, aided by the quick discovery of safe and viable vaccines. Tech, fintech, and payment processing firms were all big winners in 2020, and we expect that to continue being the case in 2021. Digital advertising, cloud-computing, and e-commerce activities are set to continue dominating their respective fields. Cybersecurity demand is moving higher and the constant threats posed by both governments (usually nations that are hostile to Western interests) and non-state actors highlights how crucial these services are. Retailers with omni-channel selling capabilities are well-positioned to ride the global economic recovery upwards. Green energy firms will continue to grow at a brisk pace in 2021, though the oil & gas industry appears ready for a comeback. The adoption of 5G wireless technologies and smartphones will create immense growth opportunities for smartphone makers, semiconductor players and telecommunications giants. Video streaming services have become ubiquitous over the past decade with room to continue growing as households “cut the cord” and instead opt for several video streaming packages. We’re not too big of fans of old industrial names given their capital-intensive nature relative to capital-light technology or fintech, but there are select names that have appeal. Cryptocurrencies have taken the market by storm as we turn the calendar into 2021, but the traditional banking system remains healthy enough to withstand another shock should it be on the horizon. Our fair value estimate of the S&P 500 remains $3,530-$3,920, but we may still be on a roller coaster ride for the year. Here’s to a great 2021!
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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.