Posts Tagged ‘American Express’

Five Reasons to Avoid the Gold Rush (updated)

Here’s a follow up video on American Express and an updated article on gold by Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, at Contrarian Edge. - Ilene  

Vitaliy: I was on BNN-TV, a Canadian version of CNBC, discussing my take on American Express – a good company but not a good (fairly valued at the most) stock (click here to watch).   Gold just ran through a $1,000 mark.  I’ve been getting emails asking me if my thoughts on gold have changed, they have not.  Here is an updated article I wrote a few months ago.

Five Reasons to Avoid the Gold Rush (updated)

gold The reasons why one should sell the cat, pawn the mother-in-law, and use the proceeds to buy gold are well known: the Fed is printing money faster than you can read this, which will result in inflation; the government is borrowing like a drunken monkey, so the dollar will be devalued; this will debase all currencies, so the only thing that will save you is the shiny metal.

However, here are some arguments why one should think twice before jumping in bed with gold bugs, or at least remain sober while determining gold’s weight in the portfolio . 

1. For investors (not speculators) it is very hard to own gold, because you cannot attach a logical value to it. Unlike stocks or bonds, gold has no cash flow and has a negative cost of carry – it costs you money to hold it.  It is only worth what people perceive it to be worth right now.  The argument I commonly hear is, “What about all those Enrons, Lehmans, Citigroups, etc. that either went bankrupt or got near it?  What was the value of those?”  If the lesson learned is not to own stocks but to own gold, it is the wrong lesson.  The lesson should be: own companies you can analyze (the aforementioned companies were unanalyzable) and diversify – don’t put your all net worth into one stock. 

2. The gold ETF SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is the seventh largest holder of physical gold in the world.  If its holders decide to sell (or are forced to sell; think of hedge-fund liquidations), who will they sell it to?  This is extremely important, as the presence of GLD changes the dynamics of the gold price, both to the upside and downside.  If gold keeps
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Is there any upside in American Express?

Is there any upside in American Express?

American ExpressCourtesy of Vitaliy N. Katsenelson at Contrarian Edge

Financial stocks had a huge run up from their bottom. Many have doubled and tripled, but are they still cheap?

It’s almost impossible to value big financial institutions like Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), or Goldman Sachs (GS) — they’re a lot like hot dogs — you don’t really know what’s inside of them; for the most part, they’re leveraged hedge funds.

They may appear to be cheap on a price-to-book basis, but the book is an illusive concept when it comes to financial stocks, especially when leverage, a deteriorating economy, and accounting assumptions may transform the book into a pamphlet in a New York second.

There are very few financial companies that one can actually analyze and thus value — American Express (AXP) is one of them, and I believe it’s a great proxy for other financial stocks. American Express’s financials are transparent, thus you can make some fairly reasonable assumptions of its normalized credit losses (net write-offs), borrowing costs, fixed costs, etc… and come up with a ballpark earnings power.

In 2007, American Express earned $3.26, however, at the time, its net write-offs of its credit-card portfolio were hovering at an all-time low of 3.3%.

American Express was benefiting from the temporary impact of a new bankruptcy law passed in 2005 (people rushed to file for bankruptcy before the stricter law went into effect, which lead to lower bankruptcy filings in 2006 and 2007), in addition to easy access of credit through home equity loans, low unemployment, and expanding economy.

The 3.3% net write-offs are not coming back anytime soon, so $3.26 of earnings (which implies a price-to-earnings ratio of 10 at today’s price) is a number we can dream and fantasize about, but won’t see for a long, long time.

Fast-forward to today: American Express’s losses almost tripled, approaching 10% (though this number is a bit exaggerated by American Express proactively cutting available credit to its customers). Wall Street expects the company to earn $1 per share in 2009. However, similar to $3.26 earnings per share, this number is not really meaningful either — bad times, as good times, will not persist forever.

To figure out American Express’s normalized earnings power, you need to make an assumption of its normalized net write-offs, among other assumptions (borrowing costs, new level…
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Capital One Chargeoffs Rise To 9.4%

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Capital One Chargeoffs Rise To 9.4%; American Express Chargeoffs 10%; Card Issuance Drops 50%

credit cardsCourtesy of Mish 

Credit cards losses are accelerating at Capital One, a trend one should expect to continue given the rapidly rising unemployment rate. Interestingly, Capital One is returning TARP funds.

Please consider Capital One Card Write-Offs Advance to 9.4 Percent.

Capital One Financial Corp., the Virginia credit-card lender that’s returning federal bailout money, said uncollectible U.S. card loans rose in May.

Capital One wrote off 9.41 percent of U.S. card loans on an annualized basis, compared with 8.56 percent reported for April, the McLean-based bank said today in a federal filing. Loans 30 days or more overdue declined to 4.9 percent from 5.04 percent.

Charge-offs for international loans advanced to 9.77 percent from 8.91 percent, and auto finance climbed to 3.62 percent from 3.46 percent.

American Express Card Write-Offs 10 Percent

Bloomberg is reporting American Express Posts Card Write-Offs at 10 Percent.

American Express Co., the largest U.S. credit-card company by purchases, said uncollectible loans declined in May, aided by the sale of consumer debts written off in previous months.

American Express wrote off 10 percent of managed U.S. card loans, compared with 10.1 percent for April, the New York-based company said today in a federal filing. The decline reflects proceeds from selling bad loans that were already charged off, the filing said.

Loans 30 days or more overdue at American Express declined to 4.7 percent from 4.9 percent in April, while at Capital One, based in McLean, Virginia, late payments fell to 4.9 percent from 5.04 percent. Capital One estimated its charge-off rate was understated by half a percentage point, citing a surge in the number of bankruptcies that delayed processing of that data.

Banks Reduce Credit Card Mailings

Looking ahead expect these numbers to get much worse. Odds are unemployment continues to rise for a year or longer after the end of the recession is announced. And with each uptick in unemployment chargeoffs will increase.

Is it any wonder Banks Reduce Credit Card Mailings?

A major shift in the kinds of direct mail that banks send out occurred last quarter, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a firm that tracks direct mail advertising.

Overwhelmed by delinquent


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Chart o' the Day: The Biggest Corporate Cash Hoarders

 

Chart o’ the Day: The Biggest Corporate Cash Hoarders

Courtesy of 

via Fortune Magazine, which notes that non-financial S&P 500 companies hold $1.2 trillion in cash overseas. The majority of whatever comes back will be used to buyback stock and pay down debt. We’ll see if something else happens besides that.

...

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Zero Hedge

It's Not Just The Homicides: Commercial Robberies In Baltimore Are Up 88%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

We now have supporting evidence that Baltimore is the “nation’s most dangerous city,” according to a new report issued by USA Today’s crime desk. The implosion of Baltimore’s inner city comes as little surprise to us, considering our recent reporting of out of control murders and violent crime plungin...



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ValueWalk

Antifragile By Nassim Taleb Animated Book Review

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder By Nassim Taleb Animated Book Review

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Insider Scoop

Imperial Capital: MINDBODY Has The Keys To Success

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 7 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's After-Hours Session 50 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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Digital Currencies

US Olympians Are Turning To Bitcoin To Offset Competition-Related Costs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As many college athletes know all too well, funding for more niche sports like - for example - luge is often lacking, and securing more often requires hours of fundraising by the team's boosters.

Which is why, ahead of the Winter Games in PyeongChang, some teams started getting creative. For instance, fundraisers for the US luge team have started accepting donations in bitcoin. Indeed, the team has raised several thousand dollars worth of bitcoin.

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Chart School

'Bull Trap' in Dow Jones Industrial Average

Courtesy of Declan.

Starting to see evidence that the February bounce in markets is fading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a 'bull trap' as it ducked below breakout support despite finishing above yesterday's close. Volume dropped as relative performance against tech indices took a marked step lower. Troubling times for the 'flight-to-safety' route.


The Semiconductor Index had looked like it was ready to mount a challenge of the January 'bull trap' but the last couple of days have seen a second attempt at a reversal ...

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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Morten Wendelbo, Texas A&M University and Timothy Callaghan, ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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