Technology Outperformance No Longer Supported By Fundamentals

Source: Morgan Stanley

A word of caution from Morgan Stanley’s equity strategists:

« The latest burst of Tech outperformance has not been accompanied by superior EPS trends. Just now Tech shows few signs of stopping (or even slowing); for example: i) post its largest 1m outperformance versus the S&P since 2012, the NASDAQ is now 2.7SD above its 12M relative average; ii) 80% of constituents of MSCI ACWI’s IT index outperformed the market over the last month, the highest breadth reading since 2003. Amid all this euphoria we’d encourage investors to keep a close eye on EPS trends as the latest burst of price outperformance has not been accompanied by EPS outperformance. »

It seems investors have started noticing.

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Understanding P/E

Source: Pixabay

P/E remains one of the most used metrics to value stocks. It is very easy to compute. But it’s not always easy to interpret. « Most investors fail to have a clear sense of what a particular multiple implies about a company’s future financial performance and don’t understand how multiples change over time », according to Michael Mauboussin and Dan Callahan in a report published in 2014 by Credit Suisse (this article is mainly based on their note which you can read here).

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What Options for Buffett Who Has $90 Billion To Invest?

Short answer:  Not Many.

Facts: Cash & cash equivalents at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) reached $116 billion at the end of 2017, compared with $86.4 billion at the start of the year. Per Morningstar’s Gregg Warren estimates, Buffett finds himself with « around $90 billion in dry powder that could be committed to investments, acquisitions, share repurchases and dividends. » Continuer la lecture de « What Options for Buffett Who Has $90 Billion To Invest? »

Ingenico : From Conquest to Caution

Source: Pixabay

Ingenico hast lost its mojo. A 7% miss on market expectations on EBITDA for both 2018e and 2020e has been severely sanctioned by investors. Shares of the payment terminal manufacturer lost 16% of their value on Feb 22, leaving the market cap of the company at €4.8 billion. At first glance, the fall looks excessive. But it’s probably deserved.

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Quick View on What’s on Investors Mind and in their Portfolios

Source: Pixabay

Merrill issued its latest Fund Manager Survey last week, right after the sell-off in equity markets. The message to take out is: don’t buy on dips (well my view is that you always have to think long term, understand the fundamentals of any asset class and have a view on valuation, otherwise, don’t invest at all – but that’s not the point here, I think this survey is useful to gauge market sentiment).

Continuer la lecture de « Quick View on What’s on Investors Mind and in their Portfolios »

Rising Real Yields Are the Real Threat

https://pixabay.com/en/dollar-american-currency-money-17527/
Source: Pixabay

Deutsche Bank’s strategist team published a report to figure out what’s currently priced in by financial markets after the bout of volatility. Rising real yields are a clear threat to the rebound in equity market. But having recently talked to fund managers in other asset classes, real yields are a threat to many asset classes where lots of money have flown other the last years (EM debt for instance).

Here’s DB’s take on European equities:

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Things That Could Help European Stocks Break Out… Or Not – JPMorgan

JPMorgan’s equity strategist team has published a report today trying to figure out if European stocks will finally break out the glassdoor of 400 points (for Stoxx Europe 600) that they have been hitting 3 times already (2000, 2007, 2015).

They argue that this time might be the time, IF a number of conditions are successfully met. Among them, earnings recovery, operating leverage, decent (!) valuations and direction of bond yields are important factors to consider. Big swing factor are FX.

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Markets Keep Going Up. Where Are the Risks ?

Rule of thumb: the more expensive a financial asset is, the lower its prospective return. That’s simple. But sentiment and markets can become and stay irrational longer than investors can stay solvant, they say. So if you cannot predict when the markets will turn, it’s probably better to check where the risks are and monitor them the best you can. And invest with a margin of safety. Always…

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Carrefour, Bompard and the Reputation of Management vs Business

Alexandre Bompard, the young and alert new CEO of troubled French retailer Carrefour, will soon have a chance to show if he can thwart this priceless but nonetheless true observation from Warren Buffett:

« When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact. » Continuer la lecture de « Carrefour, Bompard and the Reputation of Management vs Business »

Are We on The Verge of Final Melt-Up Before the Next Krach ? Jeremy Grantham Thinks So

According to Investopedia a « melt-up » is a « A dramatic and unexpected improvement in the investment performance of an asset class driven partly by a stampede of investors who don’t want to miss out on its rise rather than by fundamental improvements in the economy. »

This is exactly what could happen to financial markets, according to veteran value investor Jeremy Grantham. Continuer la lecture de « Are We on The Verge of Final Melt-Up Before the Next Krach ? Jeremy Grantham Thinks So »

Unibail Rodamco-Westfield: 2 Views from the same Broker

Unibail Rodamco (UL) announced a friendly takeover offer for Australia-based Westfield (WFD) in a deal that values the Australian mall operator at c$25 bn (on EV basis).

Interestingly, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has analysts covering both companies. Following the transaction, the team covering UL has maintained its Buy rating while the one covering Westfield has moved to « Not Rated », arguing that « WFD is no longer trading on the basis of fundamentals. » Continuer la lecture de « Unibail Rodamco-Westfield: 2 Views from the same Broker »

Exane Issues Undeperform Note on Intu Properties But Says Hammerson Could Buy It… The Day the Deal is Announced

Hammerson announced a recommended offer for Intu Properties, the exact same day Exane BNP Paribas’s Michael Burt says « Hammerson is the most obvious acquirer for Intu » in a report date Dec 6 (at 6:18am), yet adding M&A is not an option. Continuer la lecture de « Exane Issues Undeperform Note on Intu Properties But Says Hammerson Could Buy It… The Day the Deal is Announced »

Oil & Gas: A Primer (Sort of)

(Most of the data points/comments are extracted from a Primer published in Oct 2016 by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Comments and financial data at the end are my own).

After a number of underperforming years, European oil & gas companies have been staging their comeback: they have cut into capex and opex to generate more cash flow or reduce debt and be able to maintain their payout/dividend payment.

The market has bearly started to notice, but oil & gas companies are leaner and in better shape to leave in a world where oil price would stand around 40-60$/barrel. Continuer la lecture de « Oil & Gas: A Primer (Sort of) »

JPMorgan Expects Double Digit Earnings Growth in 2018 Globally

« Global earnings look set to deliver double digit growth this year, at 12%, the best since 2010. The strength was broad based, with all the key regions contributing, and largely driven by Cyclicals and commodities. As base effects are turning less favorable, the question is whether earnings will remain a support for equities into 2018. »

This is the opening statement and a rather bullish intro to a report published today by JPMorgan’s strategists Mislav Matejka, Emmanuel Cau, Prabhav Bhadani and Aditi Balachandar. Continuer la lecture de « JPMorgan Expects Double Digit Earnings Growth in 2018 Globally »