Skip to comments.Is Your Stocks Portfolio Ready for What’s Going to Happen?
Posted on 01/25/2013 6:20:34 PM PST by blam
Is Your Stocks Portfolio Ready for Whats Going to Happen?
Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2013
Jan 25, 2013 - 09:13 AM
Sasha Cekerevac writes: As corporate earnings season continues for S&P 500 companies, it is becoming quite evident that revenue growth is lacking across many sectors of the economy. However, we are continuing to see growth in corporate earnings per share.
How is this possible? One method is through share buybacks. S&P 500 corporations, which are generating very high levels of cash, are buying back shares and reducing the number outstanding, which increases the corporate earnings-per-share level.
From April 2011 through October 2012, S&P 500 companies bought back and retired approximately eight billion shares, according to FactSet. This has been a significant driver for corporate earnings over the last two years. (Source: Cheng, J., Investors See a Way Forward: Buybacks, Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2013.)
If this level of share buybacks for S&P 500 corporations continues this year, we can expect to see corporate earnings increase by between five percent and 10%, without any organic growth in corporate earnings and flat revenues.
Another driver for S&P 500 share prices will be that the dividend yield will still remain very attractive when compared to U.S. Treasuries.
While revenue growth needs to begin to increase substantially at some point, I think 2013 will be another year in which the combination of a strong dividend yield and modest corporate earnings growth will result in the continuation of investment funds rotating out of the bonds and into equities.
Personally, I think a lot of buybacks are ill timed. While I like to see corporate earnings increase, the problem with many S&P 500 companies is that they tend to buy shares at the wrong time.
When the S&P 500 was dropping in late 2008, S&P 500 corporations should have been aggressively buying back shares. When the overall market is up, I would rather have a higher dividend yield and fewer share buybacks.
Instituting share buybacks on significant selloffs is better for the long-term investor, as the company is able to both increase corporate earnings and buy shares at more attractive levels. Buying shares when theyre at very high levels usually isnt the best use of funds.
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Another year of steady, if not spectacular, corporate earnings growth with flat revenues and strong dividend yields would make sense in the overall S&P 500 picture.
Above is a 30-year monthly chart of the S&P 500. Note that when a new uptrend begins, it has generally lasted approximately four years. I would even consider an acceleration, or higher trajectory, in the market a new trend.
The S&P 500 increased its trajectory in late 1995, topping out in 2000. Following the pullback, a new uptrend began in 2003, topping out in 2007. The latest uptrend began in 2010, which, if history is any guide, means that the S&P 500 has one more year before topping out. Of course this is an oversimplification, but its worth considering nonetheless.
This very rough timeline also makes sense of how corporate earnings and interest rates will move. If revenues start to decline, this will cause cash flow to deteriorate and result in lower levels of share buybacks, thus lowering corporate earnings.
Also, next year, we will most likely see the Federal Reserve either begin to tighten monetary policy or (at the very least) voice the opinion that a tightening money supply will begin shortly. This will certainly cause panic across all markets.
While corporate earnings can be massaged higher through share buybacks, at some point, revenues need to grow. Revenues for most firms are relatively flat, but theyre also not declining significantly. Flat revenues can still allow decent corporate earnings per share this year through share buybacks; but in an environment of rising interest rates and declining revenues, the S&P 500 could be in a lot of trouble.
Is the stock market going blam?
I don’t think right away.
Stock portfolio? I’m just trying to find work! Ever since this communist butthead took office the economy has tanked and work has disappeared! Used to work for a small construction company that specialized in laboratories, we never had trouble getting good paying contracts with universities, colleges, high schools as well as the private sector. Once the Antichrist took over business dried up and the company went belly up. But it’s okay because I keep being told that we’ve been in recovery for years.
Thee are dozens of newsletters selling for $600 to $1500 year, advising subscribers to sell, sell, sell...
I read your post!
How much do I owe you?
Newsletters are published in pairs, a bull and bear version. Never fails! Two bullish fundamental facts; money supply & negative sentiment will continue driving stock values UP.
Fed monetary policy fiat leverage essentially repeals bond market credit / inflation risk. A temporary suspension of The law of supply and demand. Yes, this $hit will eventually end badly. Extremely badly. Then, what you hold will not matter.
” - - - I keep being told that weve been in recovery for years. - - - “
All addicts, especially Spendaholics, always claim to be “in recovery.”
The article’s graphic can be interpreted as follows: Phase Two ended in 2000, and since that time we have been in Phase Three; Phase Four could be a sharp downtrend to Phase One; and Phase One could last as long as Phase Three.
[Note: the above ‘Phase’ terminology was used by various annalists, most notable by the publication “The Professional Tape Reader.”]
What say you?
“which, if history is any guide, means that the S&P 500,,,”
History is no longer a guide. We have a socialist revolutionary in the white house who now fears no upcoming election. This is a time to be very cautious, or to CAREFULLY invest overseas in newer capitalist countries.
Here in America, any business can be nationalized, enriched, wiped-out, etc,, just by executive fiat. Todays example is government pressure on banks to stop serving firearm manufacturers. And we get a new example from the dictotorship almost daily.
Well done! Worth reading. I was prompted to follow the link and find out more about the author, Sasha Cekerevac.
I'm a retired chip-maker...mostly I post these articles to learn from you sharp guys that know about these things...I know very little...
My stock portfolio is 100% risk free. Correct, I don’t do stocks.
My stock portfolio is 100% risk free. Correct, I don’t do stocks.
Once I read this book years ago: http://www.ccsales.com/the_richest_man_in_babylon.pdf
I realized banks, etc. require collateral of us, but when we “loan” our money (deposits) to banks, they give us nothing but digits. And stocks/bonds are just worthless paper too. All my investments are in land, or assets I can resell.
We took advantage of the very bottom of the real estate market to add to our property holdings. I’m with you that it seems like a much more tangible investment. I just never trusted the stock market. We’ve done really well in the last two years.
I keep hearing the values will continue up slowly for two to three more years then take a dip again. There is no way though that they will fall below the prices we paid unless major catastrophy strikes but that will hit stocks too.
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