Which is the best support for European equities : earnings… or US investors ?

Maybe both actually… Lire la suite

6 reasons why « Value » should continue to outperform in 2017

To those who fear market have already priced in a lot of good news, especially on the « Trump » effect on the macro backdrop, and that maybe the « Value » trade is now overcrowded and associated sector rotation (from defensive names to more cyclical ones) is overdone, Morgan Stanley’s equity strategy team, lead by Graham Secker, has some good news. Actually 6… Lire la suite

Europe consumer staples: what will drive earnings in 2017?

The European consumer staples sector has been characterized by slowing organic growth number, due to volume softness and pricing pressure, which has in turn contributed to its valuation de-rating, on top of sector rotation triggered since July 2016 by the rise in bond yields. What will be the drivers of earnings going forward ? Lire la suite

European equities: risk-reward to the downside

Global and regional macro backdrop is improving, investor sentiment is getting more bullish, EPS have turned the corner and are now on a more positive trend… No surprise European equities finished 2016 in a pretty better shape than they started it. Is the rally going to continue in 2017 ? Well, the mood is there and some brokers have decided to add some fuel to it.

This morning, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch raised their SXXP y/e target to respectively 375 (from 345) and 390 (7% upside). Drivers for upside: accelerating growth, higher earnings revisions and EPS growth (11% for 2017e vs 7-8% previously at Merrill), forward P/E of 15x (stable from current level).

Lire la suite

European equity around fair value, won’t change by end of year – UBS

UBS’s Europe strategists stick to their Stoxx 600 340 points target by year-end and provide a useful table of the underlying fundamentals/valuation factors. The following table illustrates where market would be if you change either 2017 EPS earnings growth and 12month forward P/E ratio. Bottom line: if you are cautious right now, don’t touch European equities.

Lire la suite

Are Equity Risk Premiums of Any Help to Investors ? Not so sure…

Source: Goldman Sachs

Source: Goldman Sachs

From GS’s latest GOAL publication:

« Much of the reason that equities appear cheap versus bonds therefore is simply a reflection of how much bond yields have fallen. Most measures of the ERP will use some kind of long-run historical average measure of profit growth and extrapolate into the future. »

Current levels of ERP assumes that earnings growth of the past 20 years will go one forever. But that’s a hard case to make. In fact, as GS’s strategists put it:

« Here lies the great dilemma for investors: on the one hand, current bond yields imply that valuations can continue to rise for financial assets (as they have already done over recent years), but, on the other hand, to justify current risk free rates into the future, we should assume lower long-term growth (consistent with ‘secular stagnation’).This should cap the level of valuations close to current levels.This is why we argue that while the Long Good Buy for equities still holds – they should do well relative to bonds over the medium term – the market trajectory is likely to be flatter than experienced through 2009 to 2016. »

If you want to make money, you have to be a good… Sector picker

Many fund managers pried their ability to pick stocks, or, as the jargon goes « generate alpha » through stock selection (and with that the handsome fees they charge you). But the following 2 graphs show that rather than picking the right stocks, it’s better to pick the right sectors…

Lire la suite

Is the Quest for Yield Distorting US Equity Markets?

« Low global bond yields are pressuring US Treasury yields, while inflation outlooks are muted and the Fed appears on hold with rate hikes. All of these points favor high dividend yields »… Makes sense although this is massively pushing investors into the most expensive territories of equity markets !

Lire la suite

The Bruce Greenwald Method

h/t Value Investing World and thank you to Michael Mauboussin for initially sharing this…

A thorough review of Greenwald’s course on value investing with lots of very valuable content. For those who haven’t read his classic book Value Investing From Graham to Buffet and Beyond.

The PDF is here to download.

Europe equities are cheap, but for one (or two) reason(s)

Source: Goldman Sachs

Source: Goldman Sachs

This might look simplistic, but when you look for cheap equities around the world, Europe is not alone. Asia Pacific and even Japanese equities look interesting. Of course, currencies make equity investing a little bit more tricky when you look globally.

The problem with European equities is twofold: first, the debt crisis is far from over (public deficits and debts are astronomically high, economic and earnings growth are subpar and deflation is here); second, all hopes rely on the decision of the ECB to start buying government debt, which from a cautious investor standpoint is worrysome, all the most in a region where economic and political governance is inefficient.

Remember how the market was… like a month ago ?

That’s the « world » (European equity market as represented by the Stoxx Europe 600 index actually) on Oct 15, 2014 and on Nov 21, 2014…

Source: Factset

Source: Factset

On Nov 21st (yesterday):

Source: Factset

Source: Factset

As a reminder, volatility on Euro Stoxx 50 (much narrower index) was 28.76 on October 15 (it peaked for the year at 31.52 on the 16th of October). Now it’s 18.91.

In summary, the European stock market has gained 10.8% in a little bit more than a month, while volatility has declined by 34%.

Good reminder of Buffett’s favorite quote from Ben’s Graham: « Be fearful when everyone else is greedy; be greedy when everyone else is fearful ». Works all the time !