Sunday, October 21

Week 381 - Dividend-paying Production Agriculture Companies

Situation: Now we come to feeding the planet. Yes, row crops are a commodity so spot prices can go to extremes and stay there awhile. And yes, agricultural equipment makers can only sell product if farmers have money to spend. On the other hand, there have been improvements in satellite-based technology, 3rd party logistics, and financial services that dial back much of the risk introduced by weather. However, markets and prices have become sufficiently reliable that major countries no longer back up food supplies with large reserves. Similarly, investors are left to cope with consolidation brought on by global sourcing and improvements in planting and harvesting technologies. The supply chains for insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizer have been disrupted to such a degree that companies have had to enter into wave after wave of cross-border merger & acquisition activity. To their credit, Dow Chemical and DuPont are US leaders in the Ag Chemical space who have merged without bringing in companies from other countries. Even DowDuPont will have to split into 3 companies in order to devote one enterprise to Ag Chemicals and Seed Development: Corteva Agriscience

Mission: Highlight the leading companies that support farm production by using our Standard Spreadsheet. Include beef, pork, and poultry processors that have a controlling interest in animal breeding and egg production facilities. Include IBM because it has a monopoly on weather satellites and owns The Weather Channel.

Execution: see Table.

Bottom Line: This is a dicey area for investors, even those who make a study of it. The good news is that the common stocks in all 10 companies remain reasonably priced (see Columns Y-AA), which is saying a lot.

Risk Rating: 8 (where 10-Yr US Treasury Notes = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, gold bullion = 10)

Full Disclosure: I dollar-average into IBM and CAT, and own shares of HRL.

"The 2 and 8 Club" (CR) 2017 Invest Tune Retire.com All rights reserved.

Post questions and comments in the box below or send email to: irv.mcquarrie@InvestTuneRetire.com

Sunday, October 14

Week 380 - Are Stocks in “The 2 and 8 Club” Overpriced?

Situation: There’s a lot of talk suggesting that an “overpriced” stock market is headed for a fall. And sure, stocks do have rich valuations because the Federal Reserve has kept money cheap for 10 years and bonds don’t pay enough interest to compete for investor’s money (because the Federal Reserve bought up long-dated bonds). Now the Federal Reserve is determined to reverse those policies and investors are having to get used to the idea that stocks will revert to true value. But we have to specify which metrics define “overpriced” and use at least two of those before concluding that a particular stock is overpriced (see our blogs for the past two weeks).

Mission: Run our Standard Spreadsheet, using colors in Columns Y and Z to highlight Graham Numbers and 7-Yr P/Es that are overpriced (purple) or underpriced (green).

Execution: see Table.

Bottom Line: In the aggregate, the 32 stocks in “The 2 and 8 Club” have Graham Numbers that are more than 200% of their current valuation. This leaves room for at least a 50% fall from present prices. However, our confirmation metric does not support such a dire prediction: The average 7-Yr P/E is a little under the upper limit of the normal range for valuations (25). 

Stocks issued by some companies appear to clearly be overpriced, in that the Graham Number is more than twice the stock’s price and the 7-Yr P/E is more than 30: TXN, ADP, UPS, HSY and CAT. Other companies appear to clearly be underpriced in that the Graham Number is less than the stock’s price and the 7-Yr P/E is less than 25: CMCSA, PNC, ADM, PFG and MET. The fact that 5/32 stocks are overpriced and 5/32 stocks are underpriced is indicative of normal distribution (Bell Curve). So, we’ll use this approach often in future blogs.

Risk Rating: 7 (where 10-Yr US Treasury Notes = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, and gold bullion = 10)

Full Disclosure: I dollar-average into NEE, JPM, CAT and IBM, and also own shares of TRV, MMM, CSCO and CMI.

"The 2 and 8 Club" (CR) 2018 Invest Tune Retire.com All rights reserved.

Post questions and comments in the box below or send email to: irv.mcquarrie@InvestTuneRetire.com