Displaying items by tag: valuation
Despite a generally weak year in equities, the market is still very expensive. That said, not every sector is and there are still some bargains to be had. Interestingly, more than half the S&P 500’s sectors currently trade at a discount to their historical relative value (relative to the S&P 500’s P/E ratio). These include: Tech, Materials, Real Estate, Industrials, Health Care and Telecom. Telecom is 60% below its average relative valuation, for instance.
FINSUM: Interesting to see how many sectors are at discounts. That said, the problem with this view is that there are no catalysts to prompt a return to the mean.
Most of the indicators that the media is discussing at the moment have to do with a recession (e.g. an inverted yield curve). But today, there is an important one that speaks directly to a bear market—flows in pension funds, insurers, and sovereign wealth funds. There is a combination of factors happening which shows markets have reached the end of this cycle. On the one hand, pension funds and insurers are pulling money out of public markets in order to chase private investments (e.g. real estate and infrastructure). But at the same time, the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds are now pulling out of private market investments because there is too much money chasing too few deals. In other words, valuations have gotten too high everywhere and some of the world’s biggest investors are moving into cash.
FINSUM: When the world’s biggest investors are getting out of both public and private markets, it seems to indicate that the end of the market cycle is near. That said, this bull market has revived itself many times.
The financial media and the research side of Wall Street both seem to have completely succumbed to bearishness over the last couple months. Alongside rising rates, inflation, and yields, as well as some signals about the potential end of the cycle, commentary has become decidedly negative. However, the CIO of Evercore Asset Management has just put out a contrary opinion, arguing that stocks are not overvalued and could return 7% for the next ten years. The crux of his thinking is that P/E ratios are not a good metric of valuation. Rather we should be looking at real earnings yield, which is yields minus inflation. By this metric, stocks are only at average valuations.
FINSUM: Basically this approach tries to take account of the fact that we are in a low-yield, low-inflation environment, and it does make some sense.
Despite a tumultuous market over the last few weeks, stocks are at least maintaining their ground. This may give investors hope that prices can make a turnaround and the bull market can resume. However, beware history, as in previous periods of Fed tightening, valuation multiples have tended to decline, a fact that spells trouble for this market.
FINSUM: If higher rates mean lower multiples, then the 18-month outlook is not too strong for this market. However, the economy may not be as strong as many expect (look at the most recent jobs report), which could keep the Fed at bay.
McDonalds’ stock has not been doing so well lately, but guess what, that has not diminished its prospects. Well, at least not in the eyes of Wall Street stock analysts. McDonalds had a great 2017, but has fallen 12% this year. The introduction of its new $1-$2-$3 menu is part of the reason. However, most analysts still rate it a buy and it looks like a good long-term value proposition. The stock currently trades for 20x earnings, versus a high of almost 25 last year.
FINSUM: We think CEO Steve Easterbook is a great leader for the company and we have high long-term conviction for old Mickey Ds.