Monthly Archives

August 2019

Number Cruncher Extra – Eight wealth-creating stocks in the U.S. real estate sector

In the midst of trade tensions and geopolitical disputes, it is the cyclical sectors – communications services and energy are prime examples – that tend to suffer most. As investors, sector allocation is crucial to the wealth our portfolio creates and thus we are curious about the sectors that hold up the best during a market shakeout. Interestingly, the best performing S&P 500 sector in the current quarter as of Aug. 23, at 5.6 per cent, is a cyclical one – real estate – followed by information technology. For the Globe and Mail this week, we focused on the U.S. real estate sector, which is largely unaffected by tariff disputes and indeed benefiting from the current conditions of low unemployment and interest rates.

This strategy uses the Inovestor for Advisors platform to screen the S&P 500 real estate sector using the following criteria:

  • A market capitalization of US$10-billion or more;
  • A positive free-cash-flow-to-capital ratio. This ratio gives a sense of how well the company uses the invested capital to generate free cash flows, which could be used to do such things as stimulate growth, distribute or increase dividends, or reduce debt;
  • A positive 12-month change in the economic value-added (EVA) metric – a positive figure shows us that the company’s profit is increasing at a faster and greater pace than the costs of capital. The EVA is the economic profit generated by the company and is calculated as the net operating profit after tax minus capital expenses;
  • Economic performance index (EPI) greater than or equal to one. This is a key criterion as it represents the ratio of return on capital to cost of capital. An EPI greater than one indicates that the company is generating wealth for shareholders – for every dollar invested into the company, more than one dollar is generated in returns;
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Eight wealth-creating stocks in the U.S. real estate sector

In the midst of trade tensions and geopolitical disputes, it is the cyclical sectors – communications services and energy are prime examples – that tend to suffer most. As investors, sector allocation is crucial to the wealth our portfolio creates and thus we are curious about the sectors that hold up the best during a market shakeout. Interestingly, the best performing S&P 500 sector in the current quarter as of Aug. 23, at 5.6 per cent, is a cyclical one – real estate – followed by information technology. For the Globe and Mail this week, we focused on the U.S. real estate sector, which is largely unaffected by tariff disputes and indeed benefiting from the current conditions of low unemployment and interest rates.

This strategy uses the Inovestor for Advisors platform to screen the S&P 500 real estate sector using the following criteria:

  • A market capitalization of US$10-billion or more;
  • A positive free-cash-flow-to-capital ratio. This ratio gives a sense of how well the company uses the invested capital to generate free cash flows, which could be used to do such things as stimulate growth, distribute or increase dividends, or reduce debt;
  • A positive 12-month change in the economic value-added (EVA) metric – a positive figure shows us that the company’s profit is increasing at a faster and greater pace than the costs of capital. The EVA is the economic profit generated by the company and is calculated as the net operating profit after tax minus capital expenses;
  • Economic performance index (EPI) greater than or equal to one. This is a key criterion as it represents the ratio of return on capital to cost of capital. An EPI greater than one indicates that the company is generating wealth for shareholders – for every dollar invested into the company, more than one dollar is generated in returns;

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Number Cruncher Extra – Eighteen low volatility S&P 500 stocks capable of withstanding market shocks

The unresolved and further complication of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute hit the markets once again last week, which I believe will cause higher volatility in the markets in the short run. On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that, for now, no business will be made with Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, and that he is not ready to finalize a trade deal with China. This follows China’s decision to stop purchasing American agricultural products. Therefore, for the Globe and Mail this week, we screened the U.S. market to identify companies with low volatility and sustainable operations that can withstand further potential market turmoil.

This strategy screens the S&P 500 using the following criteria:

  • A market capitalization of US$10-billion or more;
  • A beta of one or less. A stock with a beta less than one is considered less volatile than the market;
  • A five-year average return on capital (ROC) greater than or equal to 10 per cent, reported as of last quarter’s end, and a positive change in the 12-month return on capital figure;
  • A minimum free-cash-flow-to-capital ratio of 5 per cent. This ratio gives a sense of how well the company uses the invested capital to generate free cash flows, which could be used to do such things as stimulate growth, distribute or increase dividends, or reduce debt;
  • A positive 12-month change in the economic value-added (EVA) metric – a positive figure shows us that the company’s profit is increasing at a faster and greater pace than the costs of capital. The EVA is the economic profit generated by the company and is calculated as the net operating profit after tax minus capital expenses;
  • A cost of capital less than 10 per cent, reported as of last quarter’s end.
For subscribers to StockPointer, you can select the link below and adjust the screener to your liking.

Eighteen low volatility S&P 500 stocks capable of withstanding market shocks

The unresolved and further complication of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute hit the markets once again last week, which I believe will cause higher volatility in the markets in the short run. On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that, for now, no business will be made with Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, and that he is not ready to finalize a trade deal with China. This follows China’s decision to stop purchasing American agricultural products. Therefore, for the Globe and Mail this week, we screened the U.S. market to identify companies with low volatility and sustainable operations that can withstand further potential market turmoil.

This strategy screens the S&P 500 using the following criteria:

  • A market capitalization of US$10-billion or more;
  • A beta of one or less. A stock with a beta less than one is considered less volatile than the market;
  • A five-year average return on capital (ROC) greater than or equal to 10 per cent, reported as of last quarter’s end, and a positive change in the 12-month return on capital figure;
  • A minimum free-cash-flow-to-capital ratio of 5 per cent. This ratio gives a sense of how well the company uses the invested capital to generate free cash flows, which could be used to do such things as stimulate growth, distribute or increase dividends, or reduce debt;
  • A positive 12-month change in the economic value-added (EVA) metric – a positive figure shows us that the company’s profit is increasing at a faster and greater pace than the costs of capital. The EVA is the economic profit generated by the company and is calculated as the net operating profit after tax minus capital expenses;
  • A cost of capital less than 10 per cent, reported as of last quarter’s end.

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Portfolio Manager’s August comment For July Results

The S&P/TSX Total Return Index rose by 0.34% in July, the S&P 500 by 1.44% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA declined by 1.18%. At July end, the YTD S&P/TSX Total Return Index was up 16.62% which was lower than the S&P500 (20.24%) but higher than the MSCI ACWI ex. USA of 12.65%.

The market met new highs in July before retracing some of that gain as trade disputes dampened and long-term treasury rates fell to historical lows. At month’s end, the US 10-year treasury yield crossed the 2% mark to the low side.

The best TSX sector in July was Consumer Discretionary up 3.4%, followed by Information Technology, up 3.2%. On the contrary, the worst performing sector was Health Care principally due to the performance of the Cannabis sector.

Looking more specifically at INOC, the best performers in July were Equitable Group (+27.01%), a Canadian bank with the majority of its business involved in the residential mortgages with prime and non prime, who reported better than expected figures for Q2 results. The next best performer was Parex Resources Inc. (+7.38%), an oil producer with assets in Colombia, whose gains were due to the rally in oil prices last month.

On the other hand, the weakest contributor to INOC was Stella Jones (SJ), which was down 12.89%. News in regard to the departure of the company’s long-standing CEO caused the market to react negatively. The other negative contributors were Norbord (OSB) and Linamar (LNR).

Canadian ETFs: Two new providers, two exits amid competitive atmosphere

In this research report created this week for The Globe And Mail, we look at Canadian ETFs: July’s launches and terminations.

Competition remains fierce in the Canadian exchange-traded fund industry. As two new ETF providers enter the market, two others announce their exits. The new market players introduced suites of innovation-focused ETFs and alternative funds.

Emerge Canada Inc. launched five actively managed thematic ETFs on NEO Exchange. They focus on innovative sectors including genomics and biotech, autonomous tech and robotics, AI and big data, and fintech. The suite will be subadvised by ARK Investment Management LLC, a New York-based firm specializing in disruptive innovation. ARK Investment Management is an award-winning ETF issuer that attracted more than US$2.8-billion in ETF assets under management. Each of Emerge’s ETFs comes in two different classes, Canadian dollar units (shown in the accompanying table – EARK, for example) and U.S. dollar units (EARK.U).

Another provider joined the market in July. Picton Mahoney Asset Management,a Toronto-based hedge fund manager, introduced exchange-traded class of units for its entire Fortified Alternative Fund family. The suite comprises alternative funds that invest in long and short positions in equities, derivatives, securities of investment funds, fixed income securities and/or cash and cash equivalents. In addition to management fees of 0.95 per cent, each Fortified ETF also charges outperformance fees tied to certain benchmarks.

Increased competition and the expanding product range make it difficult for small issuers to survive. For example, Coin Capital Investment Management Inc.announced that it will be terminating the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) and the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR), thereby exiting the ETF industry, effective on or about Aug. 29.

First Block Capital Inc. is exiting the market by closing its only ETF, the FBC Distributed Ledger Technology Adopters ETF (FBCN), effective on or about Sept. 17. The blockchain ETF was up against similar ETFs from Horizons ETFs, First Trust Portfolios Canada and Harvest Portfolios Group.

Among the well-established fund providers,BMO Asset Management Inc. announced the termination of three ETFs: the BMO Global Banks Hedged to CAD Index ETF (BANK), the BMO Global Insurance Hedged to CAD Index ETF (INSR) and the BMO Shiller Select US Index ETF (ZEUS), effective on or about Nov. 1. Each of these ETFs has not attracted significant assets – less than $20-million in assets under management since their inception back in 2017.

Find the full report here

This article is written by Kimberly Yip Woon Sun,  ETF Analyst at Inovestor Inc.