Displaying items by tag: valuation
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.
The market fell another 4% yesterday, pushing all the major indices into a correction, meaning a 10% drop or more. However, the reality is that this really isn’t much of a correction, at least yet. Looking at a number of the most common valuation metrics, such as P/E, CAPE, dividend yields etc, stocks are still very expensive. Even considering this fall, they are still up 19% over the last year. That means it would take much a more substantial fall to push them into the territory where they could be a buy on a “value” basis.
FINSUM: A few thoughts here. Firstly, stocks are only a buy right now if you think the market is taking a break before heading higher. Well, that is our view. The market is all concerned that growth is too good, which through some mechanisms (like the Fed) will lead to a recession. In early 2016 (the last time a correction happened), the market was worried about a dismal economy. That time the fears were wrong, and we think they will be this time too. This has been a middle of the road recovery for almost a decade, and we think it will revert to that mean, avoiding investors’ worst nightmare—growth! (as if that is such a nightmare).
Well-known hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham has published an article in Barron’s considering the state of the US equity market. His piece is well-thought out and communicated and comes to a clear conclusion—the bull market has more room to run. Basing his argument on a mix of historical market data, economic info, and psychological analysis, Grantham reluctantly comes to the conclusion that the bull market may be entering its final “melt up” phase. He says that while this is one of the priciest markets in history, “strangely, I find the less statistical data more compelling in this bubble context than the simple fact of overpricing”.
FINSUM: We know Grantham personally and respect his views. He was a pioneer in the statistical study of markets, but here says he leans away from that view, which is very noteworthy.