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

Momentum Monday...Still So Much Pessimisim Amidst The Speculation

 

Momentum Monday…Still So Much Pessimisim Amidst The Speculation

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

Happy Monday everyone.

As always, Ivanhoff and I spent 20 minutes pouring over the markets looking at the areas of Momentum. Have a watch/listen here. I have embedded it below :

I am starting to think there are two macros…one for the old physical world (thousands of textbooks and hundreds of years of history) and one for the digital world which is anyone’s guess with so little history.

Obviously fear and greed will still drive bo...



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Zero Hedge

Greenwich Single-Family Listings Fall Most On Record As Buying Frenzy Continues 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

New York City millionaires quickly realize their hometown has transformed into a socio-economic disaster that could rival the 1970s in terms of crime, unemployment, and taxes. Many have made a beeline for neighboring Greenwich. 

After years of stagnant demand growth for its multi-million dollar mansions due to the secular decline of "active" asset management, the hedge fund capital of the world is having a real estate renaissance in the town located in southwestern Fairfield County, Connecticut. And it only took a virus pandemic.&...



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Digital Currencies

A Unifying Theory of Everything

 

A Unifying Theory of Everything

Courtesy of Scott Galloway, No Mercy/No Malice@profgalloway

This week, New York Magazine let me go full stream of consciousness on … everything. Their editor pitched me the idea to articulate a unifying theory on “this whole crazy techno-fiscal moment.” Problem is, while I understand crypto better than 99 percent of people, I do not understand crypto.

On Wednesday, crypto pioneer Coinbase listed shares on the NASDAQ, and closed the day at an almost $100 billion valuation, making it nearly as valuable as Goldman Sachs. Coinbase’s big day made a bunch of wealthy people wealthier, but it also poked several bears — ...



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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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Biotech/COVID-19

Scientists are on a path to sequencing 1 million human genomes and use big data to unlock genetic secrets

 

Scientists are on a path to sequencing 1 million human genomes and use big data to unlock genetic secrets

A complete human genome, seen here in pairs of chromosomes, offers a wealth of information, but it is hard connect genetics to traits or disease. HYanWong/Wikimedia Comons

Courtesy of Xavier Bofill De Ros, National Institutes of Health

The first draft of the human genome was publ...



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Chart School

Money Printing Asset Price Targets

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The FED giveth and the FED taketh away. Right now the FED is giving a lot into 2022 US Mid Terms. 

Unless the FED breaks the market, here are some BRRRRR asset price targets, not normal price targets but money printing adjusted price targets. 


BITCOIN 175,000 to 500,000 USD

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DOW to 40,000 to 50,000

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More DOW

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Politics

Colombia gives nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants legal status and right to work

 

Colombia gives nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants legal status and right to work

Venezuelans wait at the Colombian border to be processed and housed in tents in 2020. All Venezuelans now in Colombia will receive a 10-year residency permit. Schneyder Mendoza/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Erika Frydenlund, Old Dominion University; Jose J. Padilla, Old Dominion University...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Historic Selloff In Treasury Bonds Turn Into Opportunity?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Long-dated treasury bonds have been crushed over the past year, sending ETFs like TLT (20+ Year US Treasury Bond ETF) spiraling over 20%.

Improving economy? Inflation concerns? Perhaps a combination of both… interest rates have risen sharply and thus bond prices have fallen in historic fashion.

Today’s chart looks at $TLT over the past 20 years. As you can see, the recent decline has truly been historic. $TLT’s price has swung from historically overbought highs to oversold lows.

At present, the long-dated bond ETF ($TLT) is trading 7.8% below its 200-...



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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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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar - March 10, 2021

Don't miss our latest weekly webinar! 

Join us at PSW for LIVE Webinars every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST.

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar – March 10, 2021

 

Major Topics:

00:00:01 - EIA Petroleum Status Report
00:04:42 - Crude Oil WTI
00:12:52 - COVID-19 Update
00:22:08 - Bonds and Borrowed Funds | S&P 500
00:45:28 - COVID-19 Vaccination
00:48:32 - Trading Techniques
00:50:34 - PBR
00:50:43 - LYG
00:50:48 - More Trading Techniques
00:52:59 - Chinese Hacks Microsoft's E...



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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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