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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Phil's Favorites

Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession - here's why

 

Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession – here's why

Why is this man smiling? AP Photo/Richard Drew

Courtesy of Jay L. Zagorsky, Boston University

The world is on the brink of a recession, if all the breathless headlines are to be...



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Zero Hedge

Only 38% Of Americans Believe Humans Mainly Responsible For Climate Change

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

By now, most people have accepted that climate change is real, and that it is happening. What we can't all agree on though, is what the main cause is. As Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, close to an absolute majority of the world's sci...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Create A Panic Peak This Week?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Yesterday Crude Oil rallied nearly 15%. How often does Crude rally this much in a day? Not often!

How many times has Crude rallied nearly 15% in the past 20-years? Only one other time, which suggests that yesterdays move was a rare event.

This chart looks at Crude Oil on a weekly basis over the past 2-years. Last year Crude Oil created a bearish reversal pattern at the 2018 highs and a bullish reversal pattern at the 2018 lows.

Earlier this year, Crude created a bearish reversal pattern (bearish wick pattern), while testing its 61% retracement level of last years hig...



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The Technical Traders

VIX To Begin A New Uptrend and What it Means

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The news of the drone attack on Saudi Arabia over the weekend prompted a big upside move in Oil (over 10%) and a moderate downside rotation in the US major indexes/stock market.  Although prices had recovered slightly by the opening bell on Monday, September 16, the shock wave resulting from this disruption in oil supply is just now starting to play out.

The long term uncertainty in the markets, as well as the rotation in the US Dollar and other foreign currencies, could play a bigger role in the type of volatility and extend of the immediate price rotation that may result from this external news event.  Our VIX predictions and ADL predictive modeling system are suggesting volatility wi...



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Insider Scoop

3 Takeaways From SeaWorld CEO's Surprise Resignation

Courtesy of Benzinga

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE: SEAS) announced Monday evening that Gustavo Antorcha resigned as CEO and board member due to a "difference of approach."

What Happened

Antorcha's resignation will be effective immediately and he will be replaced with CFO Marc ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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