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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Sep 16, 2019
Economic Roundtable: Quant Quake, “Quac-cidental Correlation,” and Economic Moats
Image Source: Anders Sandberg. Last week, the markets may have revealed that internals aren’t all that healthy. Major equity markets experienced a “rotation” that reminded many investors of the “quant quake” from August 2007. As Valuentum’s Brian Nelson wrote in Value Trap, “just a few bad days in the market caused a rapid unwinding of many quant long-short strategies (back then). Goldman’s chief financial officer said at the time that the firm was witnessing ‘25-standard deviation moves, several days in a row.’” On the surface, markets last week seemed relatively calm, but as the episode in 2007 revealed the activity last week may just be the calm before the storm. Many are pointing to overcrowded trades in betting against certain factors, while others are saying that many were forced to deleverage. We’re not so sure, and we think it may be the opposite: after years of suffering from lagging “value” returns, we think several quant shops stepped in to take on leverage, betting on a return to “value.” Let's talk about last week's quant quake, spurious correlations (the “guac-cidental correlation, in fact), economic moats and much more.
Sep 13, 2019
Kroger Posts Solid Quarter, Issues Weak Guidance
Image Shown: Kroger Company – IR Presentation. Kroger’s same-store sales growth was a welcome sight as it relates to the current strength of the US consumer, but we are staying away from the retailer for a reason. Its large net debt load puts the company’s payout at risk during adverse economic conditions, and we think management should be battering down the hatches considering how late we are in the business cycle. Management ending Kroger’s incremental operating profit forecast is a troubling sign.
Sep 11, 2019
Economic Roundtable: “Value” Versus “Growth” Rotation
“This kind of trading activity could be setting the stage for a big quant fund blow up, if the kind of leverage it takes to move the markets to this magnitude was applied. All it may take is for the B/M “value” factor to continue to suffer in the coming 12-18 months--it’s possible we could see a few quant firms go belly up. My guess is that market participants are paying very close attention to this activity, and if they “smell blood,” things could get ugly.” – Brian Nelson, CFA
Sep 5, 2019
Valuentum’s Economic Roundtable: Trade War, Factors and Beyond
The markets rallied hard September 5 on relief that the US and China will go back to the negotiations table next month. This back-and-forth news cycle is enough to give any investor whiplash. Let’s catch up with the Valuentum Team on the latest developments, not only with the trade war but also with respect to factor investing, possible bubbles and beyond.
Sep 4, 2019
The "Hierarchy" of Valuentum Idea Generation
Image: The Valuentum Buying Index rating scale.Let's talk about this hierarchy of idea generation in this note.
Aug 26, 2019
The Valuentum Team Talks Powell Speech and Threat of Global Recession
Last week, China issued retaliatory tariffs on US goods, and Trump responded in kind, escalating trade tensions. Caught in the middle of this US-China trade war is the Fed, however. Let’s sit down with the Valuentum team and kick things off with our thoughts on Fed Chairman Powell’s speech, Challenges for Monetary Policy issued August 23 in Jackson Hole, WY.
Aug 22, 2019
What’s on the Valuentum Team’s Mind?
Let’s get the Valuentum team’s thoughts on recent developments.
Aug 21, 2019
Target Stuns, Shares Jump Higher
Image Shown: Shares of Target Corporation (TGT) leapt higher on August 21 on the back of its strong performance during the second quarter of FY2019. In particular, the retailer’s comparable same store sales growth was quite impressive given the hard comparison period, with e-commerce and same-day fulfillment leading the way.Strong performance out of Target and other major US retailers like Walmart indicate that while headwinds are forming, the US economy remains strong for now. We've raised our fair value estimate of Target.
Aug 19, 2019
No Recession At Walmart; Estee Lauder Not Cheap
Image Source: Mike Mozart. Walmart’s results were quite reassuring regarding the health of the economy. There are also pockets of significant strength, with prestige beauty being catapulted by a “selfie generation.”
Aug 15, 2019
Macy’s Cuts Guidance, Dividend Cut Could Be on the Horizon
Image Shown: Macy’s cut adjusted EPS guidance for FY2019, which implies a material drop from its FY2018 performance. Flat revenue guidance, gross margin pressure, and rising SG&A expenses all signal there’s likely more pain yet to come. Image Source: Macy’s – IR Presentation. We are staying far away from Macy’s and most retailers in general, but continue to like Dollar General Corporation as the nimble retailer has posted stellar performance since joining the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio in April 2017.
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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.