På sista tiden har jag läst om James Montiers bok Value Investing. Här kommer några blandade citat från författaren.
"Over the long term, conservative and careful investors are the ones still standing when the dust settles. [...] Only a moderate risk profile will permit investors to attain the cool head and future-vision which is necessary to reach the confidence level that only common sense can bring. [...]
the best long-term investment is one that is easy to hold, and easy to buy in moments of decline. [...] the best long-term investment, then, has something about it which builds confidence in the long-term future- even though the current moment may include aspects that have frightened other investors."
What builds confidence?
För det första en historik som sträcker sig över flera konjunkturcykler: "High quality companies have proven their staying power through good and bad times".
För det andra en låg skuldsättning:
"You want a company that's able to make money without heavy financing needs. When companies need lots of borrowing to keep a business afloat, they also take on important vulnerabilities. If sales slow down- and there are always slow periods, even for the most stable and reliable businesses- heavy borrowers face the issue of being able to make their interest payments. Since the business can be lost entirely if loan payments aren't made, they naturally assume the highest priority in a company's expenditures. This means other aspects of the business may suffer: marketing, research and development, retaining valuable employees, making capital investments- all the things that keep a business moving forward and keep it a step ahead of the competition.
[...] When times are tough, the financially strong [companies] actually grow stronger. They're able to buy competitors that falter, choked by excessive financing and inadequate cash flow. They're able to take market share by beefing up marketing just when their competitors are forced to retrench. [...] They can develop new products that will make long-term difference. "
James Montier ger sin syn på aktieåterköp i artikeln A Man From a Different Time:
“I don’t regard repurchases as equivalent to dividends, least of all in their permanence. Whilst dividends are generally raised and lowered relatively slowly, repurchases seem to be used to distribute excess earnings that are temporary in nature. Witness the explosion and implosion of repurchases over the last few years”
I artikeln "Capital discipline as an alpha source, or, Pay me my money down" skriver Montier:
“According to classical finance, investors should be indifferent to whether a firm pays a dividend or retains the cash, because retained cash should lead to higher future growth [...] However, the empirical evidence on this proposition is not kind to classical finance. For instance, looking at the US since 1995, the retained earnings yield (the earnings kept by the firm in yield terms) was 3.6%. This should set a floor for future real dividend growth. However, real dividend growth since 1955 has been just 0.4% p.a.! “
Montier refererar till andra undersökningar från USA:
* [during 1976-1999] firms with high capex growth rates underperform those with low capex growth rates by around 7% p.a
* [during 1963-2003] firms with low asset growth outperform firms with high asset growth by nearly 21% p.a.!
Jag har tittat närmare på den senare undersökningen via artikeln Asset Growth and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns (författare Cooper, Gulen & Schill):
“a firm’s annual asset growth rate emerges as an economically and statistically significant predictor of the cross-section of U.S. stock returns. [...] We document a strong negative correlation between a firm’s asset growth and subsequent abnormal returns. [...]the asset growth effect arises in part from managerial overinvestment and related investor underappreciation of managerial empire building. “
Jag kan tänka mig att en viktig faktor är misslyckade förvärv. Det här med kapitaldisciplin är något jag lyft fram som ett viktigt kriterium för mig. Nu blir jag förstås nöjd när jag hittat empiri som stödjer:) En tanke bakom utdelningsinvesteringar är ju att företagen ska "tvingas" fokusera på sina bästa ideer.