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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Zero Hedge

Record Coral Cover Of Great Barrier Reef Shames Climate Alarmists, Media

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Peter Ridd via ClimateChangeDispatch.com,

The annual data on coral cover for the Great Barrier Reef, produced by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, was released on Monday showing the amount of coral on the reef is at record high levels.

...



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Phil's Favorites

Axie Infinity: online games where people earn as they play are transforming gaming

 

Axie Infinity: online games where people earn as they play are transforming gaming

Welcome to the latest craze in gaming. ira Lichi

Courtesy of Drew Cattanach, University of Westminster

The ultimate point of playing video games has always been to have fun. Whether it’s Space Invaders or Sonic or Red Dead Redemption, you hit the start button and do your thing until game over – and then you probably wipe the sweat off your hands and do it again.

But a new class of games is emerging where playing is an investment opport...



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Digital Currencies

Is Amazon About To Start Accepting Crypto?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

For the first time ever, Amazon has shown itself to be interested in crypto with a new major hire within its payments-focused team.

Posted on Thursday, the new role seeks an experienced product leader with expertise in blockchain, central bank digital currencies and cryptocurrencies to “develop the case for the capabilities which should be developed” and drive overall product vision.

The Payments Acceptance & Experience team is seeking an experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap

The Amazon Payment Acceptance & Experie...



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Biotech/COVID-19

US is split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated - and deaths and hospitalizations reflect this divide

 

US is split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated – and deaths and hospitalizations reflect this divide

As coronavirus cases surge, unvaccinated people are accounting for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths. Fat Camera/E+ via Getty Images

Courtesy of Rodney E. Rohde, Texas State University and Ryan McNamara, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ...



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Chart School

Investing with Channels - Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The US has a lot of debt, to sell more units of the debt to non US buyers the FED and Treasury must get the unit price of the debt down.

This video assumes a 'risk on' bullish bias into the Nov 2022 US mid terms. The bias assumes a US dollar trending down from it current high price of $93 on the DXY.






Chart 1 - US Dollar Channels


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Chart 2 - Ethereum/USD


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Politics

New York defines illegal firearms use as a 'public nuisance' in bid to pierce gun industry's powerful liability shield

 

New York defines illegal firearms use as a ‘public nuisance’ in bid to pierce gun industry’s powerful liability shield

Illegal gun use is now a public nuisance in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Courtesy of Timothy D. Lytton, Georgia State University

Could calling the illegal use of firearms a “public nuisance” bring an end to the gun industry’s immunity from civil lawsuits? ...



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Promotions

Free Webinar Wednesday: July 7, 1:00 pm EST

 

Don't miss Phil's Webinar on July 7 at 1:00 pm EST. It's FREE and open to all who wish to join.

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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