Buybacks

  • 26 Oct
    Buybacks Destroy Blue Chip Stocks, GE Is A Prime Example

    Buybacks Destroy Blue Chip Stocks, GE Is A Prime Example

    • GE spent more than $21 billion on buybacks in 2016. The stock price is now down more than 30%, thus that $21 billion was thrown away.
    • Other S&P 500 companies aren’t much better and their time to reckon with financial engineering will come too.
    • The more buybacks a company does, the lower the market cap will be in 5-years, which is something managers don’t want to know.



    Introduction

    In December 2016, I wrote an article titled Is Your Value Being Destroyed? where I discussed how buybacks are destroying long term shareholder value.

    My favorite example from that article was General Electric (NYSE: GE) because it seemed completely illogical to me that a company would sell valuable assets in order to increase buyback activity because this isn’t how you operate a business, this is pure short term financial engineering. More →

  • 29 Aug
    Why Price To Book Is So Important

    Why Price To Book Is So Important

    • The stock market has been only going up in the last 8 years, and will probably continue to do so.
    • Nevertheless, it’s good to take a look at valuations and other financial metrics.
    • One metric that’s often disregarded but extremely important is price to book value.

    Introduction

    The stock market (S&P 500) didn’t go higher last month, which is, to be a bit sarcastic, very strange. More →

  • 13 Jul
    This Is What Could Happen To Berkshire Hathaway After Buffett

    This Is What Could Happen To Berkshire Hathaway After Buffett

    • BRK’s companies aren’t reliant on Buffett when it comes to their performance.
    • Buffett leaving leads to two uncertainties, but the outcome of both are positive.
    • The power of BRK lies in the quality of its businesses and huge cash pile. At this point, even an idiot at the helm of BRK would do well.

    Introduction

    One of the biggest concerns surrounding Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) is what will happen after Buffett and Munger.

    To keep our karma positive, I’ll write this article under the assumption that Buffett gets an offer from Bill Gates to be the project manager of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) new multi-billion virtual reality Bridge game project. I think something like this could make Buffett leave BRK as I wish him many more decades of health. More →

  • 12 Jul
    Want A Higher Return With Less Risk? This Company Is A Better “Buy & Forget It” Investment Than The S&P 500

    Want A Higher Return With Less Risk? This Company Is A Better “Buy & Forget It” Investment Than The S&P 500

    • Berkshire Hathaway offers similar diversification, a better book value, higher growth, and it doesn’t do stupid buybacks.
    • Share this article with those you know who are heavily invested in the S&P 500 and are buy and forget it investors, they’ll appreciate this and it might change their lives.

    Introduction

    The predominant investing paradigm is to invest in the S&P 500 because of its low risk and  good diversification, and because it has done well in the past. Given this, most buy and forget investors simply put their money into the S&P 500.

    Now, what if there was an investment that offered the same level of diversification, less risk, and a higher return? It would be logical for the buy and forget it investor to immediately invest in such an investment vehicle. More →

  • 26 May
    Corporate America’s Focus Isn’t On Shareholder Value Creation

    Corporate America’s Focus Isn’t On Shareholder Value Creation

    • Earnings haven’t grown in the last 10 years. What is corporate management doing?
    • A temporarily higher stock price isn’t good for the majority of investors, especially those investing for the long term and retirement.
    • Buybacks are idiotic, management pays $ 3million for a home they can build for $1 million.
    • There is only one company that does smart buybacks.

    Introduction

    There’s a huge problem affecting corporate America that nobody is seeing because most people think in positives and negatives, and can’t think on an relative scale. What do I mean by this? Well, when shareholders judge management, they look at whether the bottom line is positive and in line with what the competition is doing. Nobody is assessing whether it could have been much better.

    We expect only the best from our favorite athletes and we hope our children develop to their full potential but when it comes to corporate management, we remain mostly silent and accept whatever they throw at us. More →

  • 09 May
    Investment Research: The Challenge of Finding Attractive Investments

    Investment Research: The Challenge of Finding Attractive Investments

    • Bargains can be found through book value, special situations, 52 week lows, merger arbitrages, bankruptcies, etc.
    • It’s necessary to be a contrarian to be a value investor, though it might be painful for a while.
    • With experience, it will take less and less time to assess a stock and whether it has the potential to be a good investment.

    Introduction

    Last week we discussed Klarman’s view on the best business valuation methods. You can find the article here. Today we’ll discuss his approach to investment research.

    Studying fairly priced securities won’t get you far because you’re competing with thousands of others who have researched those companies and, especially in the current market environment, if there is anything worth owning, it will probably be expensive. Therefore, to find bargain investments, an investor has to look where others aren’t looking or refuse to look. More →

  • 05 May
    The Market Is Dumb And Getting Dumber

    The Market Is Dumb And Getting Dumber

    • The number of analysts is declining, stocks don’t react to earnings nor news anymore, and the underlying economic environment is rigged.
    • However, as investors, we have to always look at risk and reward as there is always a way to profit.
    • Protecting yourself from market ignorance doesn’t even cost much.

    Introduction

    I would define a dumb investor as one who doesn’t think about risk in relation to reward, and therefore I fearlessly say: the majority of investors are behaving in a pretty dumb way.

    This is a heavy statement, especially considering markets have performed nothing short of spectacularly in the last 8 years. As evidence, the S&P 500 is up three-fold since 2009 and continues to strongly march ahead. More →

  • 29 Dec
    Is Your Value Being Destroyed? Sven Tells You How To Spot It

    Is Your Value Being Destroyed? Sven Tells You How To Spot It

    • Buybacks and dividends continuously exceed earnings creating a financialized corporate environment and leaving less money for innovation and investments.
    • Such a situation isn’t sustainable in the long term.
    • We’ll close with an example of somebody willing to spend $21.5 billion of shareholders’ money to increase his salary by a few million.

    Introduction

    The end of each quarter is an excellent time to analyze what’s going on with buybacks and dividends. FactSet’s comprehensive analysis of quarterly buybacks and dividends for the S&P 500 is a great place to start.

    It’s of extreme importance to know what it is that management is doing with your money and if they are increasing or decreasing shareholder value. Today, we’ll analyze the situation and give you a few hints to enable you to easily analyze if the managers of the stocks you own add or subtract value with dividends and buybacks. More →

  • 25 Oct
    The First Two Weeks Of Earnings Season Are In. Warnings Ahead.

    The First Two Weeks Of Earnings Season Are In. Warnings Ahead.

    • Don’t be fooled by earnings growth in financials and utilities. The underlying risks are growing too.
    • Lower margins are the first indications of a recession being around the corner. Global government and monetary stimulus make it impossible to know if one will be coming sooner or later.
    • Without buybacks earnings would be terrible.

    The Earnings

    The first two weeks of earnings season have passed and, according to FACTSET, the combined earnings released so far are better than expected but still negative. 23% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings and their aggregate earnings decline for Q3 2016 is -0.3%. More →

  • 29 Sep
    What Do Investments, Yields & Buybacks Tell Us?

    What Do Investments, Yields & Buybacks Tell Us?

    • The 10-year and 2-year treasury yield spread is getting smaller.
    • Investments peaked last year.
    • The market is standing on legs of hope coming from positive expectations. What are you standing on?

    Introduction

    We will take a look at yields, investments, buybacks and valuations, and look for trends that might trigger a bear market. More →

1 2