Equities and Margins

P/E expansion has been an important driver of US equity returns in recent years. The left chart shows the disaggregation of returns in 5 year blocks going back to 1996. As we can see, in the years 2011-2016, 55% points of the 79% return of the S&P in that period...

No Margin Support for Equities

P/E expansion has been an important driver of US equity returns in recent years. The left chart shows the disaggregation of returns in 5 year blocks going back to 1996. As we can see, in the years 2011-2016, 55% points of the 79% return of the S&P in that period...

Earnings to Fall Further

Profit margins are declining, and we expect them to fall much further.  As you can see from the chart below, Variant Perception’s leading indicator for wages does a very good job of leading US corporate profit margins by a little over a year and a half. The message is...

Pillars of Equity Rally Fall Away

Stock buybacks have been an important feature of the equity rally.  Companies have used low rates and easy credit to borrow money and used it to buy their own shares back.  An identity for a company’s share price is: S = (revenues * margins * P/E) / # of shares. ...

Profit Margins to Head Lower, Equities to Suffer

Profit margins in the US have hit modern-day record levels, and this has been used to help justify high equity valuations.  Consensus estimates are for profit margins to remain steady, or even increase from current levels.  We disagree for ironclad economic and...