Displaying items by tag: valuation
Are ESG Stocks in a Bubble?
There has been rising anxiety of late that the growing assets in ESG stocks have created a valuation bubble in the most popular shares in the category. The idea is that rush into ESG has funneled a ton of capital into a relatively small group of shares, “artificially” inflating valuation. However, the Financial Times argues that there is definitively no bubble in these stocks. In fact, they are not valued any more richly than any average basket of shares. Overall, the average PE ratio of a global basket of ESG stocks is the same for an average basket of all stocks: 14x.
FINSUM: This is actually quite a relieving study, as there have been some very lofty AUM growth figures thrown around lately for ESG. And in case you are nervous, the same metrics/comparison listed above also hold for US/domestic ESG stocks.
Are Big Tech Companies Overvalued?
One of the questions swirling in the back (or front!) of investors’ minds is whether big tech megacaps are overvalued. They have had a stellar run this year and are trading at rich multiples, which has led to fears of overvaluation. On the other hand, they still seem like they might be the best growth play in the market. At the end of September one could argue things had gotten out of hand. FAAMG stocks were trading at 35x earnings while the rest of the S&P 500 was at 12x, the widest gap since 2000. However, since then fortunes have reversed, with the spread now only 31x to 20x.
FINSUM: So the big question is whether the shrinking of the spread means there is margin for FAAMG growth, or it is a part of a larger trend towards valuation parity? We think it depends on the regulatory path that new administration takes.
Time to Get Aboard the Amazon Rocket Ship
Yes, Amazon looks expensive and has seen massive gains in recent years. This makes many fearful of the stock. But the reality is that the stock is a free cash flow rocket ship that is going to keep surging higher, according to 47 of the 49 Wall Street analysts who cover it. Amazon trades for 69x 2020 earnings, but it still looks pretty inexpensive on a free cash flow basis. The company’s past growth initiatives are now paying off, which means Amazon is throwing off free cash flow in a big way.
FINSUM: Amazon has averaged a 35% gain per year since it went public. We don’t see any big reasons why it cannot continue this year.
The End of Buybacks Will Be Great for These Stocks
One the tail risks for markets right now is the sharp downturn that is supposed to happen to the stock buyback market. Huge levels of corporate buybacks have been supporting US equities for years, but that is forecast to drop dramatically. While that may wound US stocks, it poses a major opportunity for another area: Europe. European stocks don’t see much in the way of buybacks, which has left them much less loved than the US recently. However, the declines in US buybacks are likely to make Europe look much more attractive.
FINSUM: European valuations are significantly more attractive than in the US, which means that if the playing field gets levelled by decreased buybacks, there is probably a good opportunity here. That said, Europe has a lot of economic issues right now.
Why Weak Earnings Will Be Good for Stocks
If that headline seems like a head scratcher, it is meant to be. Barron’s ran a curious article today which argues that weak forecasts for earnings might actually be a good catalyst for higher stock prices. That seems to defy logic, but would be a continuation of a trend that has been in place for a few years. When companies broadcast weak earnings to come, it tends to make investors nervous, leading to oversold conditions. As you might expect, oversold markets tend to lead to bull runs.
FINSUM: This is a tenuous relationship, but when that has been apparent for the last few years. Stocks do like to climb a wall of worry, and this would be a good wall.