How to Use Web Search Trends In Your Fundamental Research Workflow #2: Using Screener to Find Interesting Trends

Previous post in this series: How to Use Web Search Trends In Your Fundamental Research Workflow: Beat or Miss?

In our last blog post in this series, we talked about predicting a beat or miss with search trends. But there are situations where the data may not work as easily as with that example. So how can you sift through all of the data to find those situations?

Sentieo’s Screener lets you filter from thousands of stocks down to more manageable lists of names to do further work on. The steps below will use the Sentieo Index, a weighted average of alternative datasets that varies by ticker.

First, let’s rank on companies using a Sentieo Index r-squared of over 0.3. This will help find companies whose search trends correlate closely with revenues. We get down to 405 results:

Now perhaps we want to see where these companies are diverging vs. consensus expectations.

Let’s try using our acceleration ranks. This is just a number from 0 to 100, where (>50) means that the data had a positive acceleration, while (<50) means a negative acceleration (or a deceleration). We can simply look for cases where the Sentieo Index is accelerating, with Revenue growth expected to decelerate.

47 stocks is still a lot to go through. You can narrow down further by filter on a sector or even a specific watchlist. We’ve put in our “Cloud” watchlist to cover pure SaaS companies and are getting the following results:

It’s important to sanity-check these numbers by going into the charting interface. If we look closer for $ZEN, we can see that the Sentieo Index suggests an acceleration, while consensus expects a revenue growth deceleration.

View Interactive Chart

Screening is important when harnessing the power of alternative data. It is impossible to manually sift through data trends for each of the thousands of companies that we cover. Screener will help focus your efforts to a manageable list, so that you’re finding the best opportunities and prioritizing your time accordingly.

 

Top 17 Value Investing Blogs You Should Be Reading

In the constant race against the clock, you shouldn’t waste time reading mediocre content. We put together this list of must-read blogs based on feedback from our team of former analysts and additional in-depth research.

1. ValueWalk

Started in 2010, ValueWalk.com offers breaking financial industry news — with a focus on hedge funds, large asset managers, and value investing. The site provides quality content that is important to value investors (most of which is free).

It is read by senior level executives at the largest banks, hedge funds, asset managers, and Fortune 500 companies.

2. The Reformed Broker

This blog was started in November 2008 by the New York City-based financial advisor and CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, Joshua M. Brown.

The blog covers markets, politics, economics, media, culture and finance. Brown uses “statistics, satire, anecdotes, pop culture references, sarcasm, fact, fantasy and any other device” to communicate his market-related insights.

Brown has been featured in or has written for Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Dow Jones Newswires, Bloomberg, Reuters, and more. He is also an on-air contributor to CNBC.

3. SumZero

This site describes itself as “the world’s largest community exclusively for professional investors, providing quality, peer-reviewed investment research from top analysts and rising stars in the fund industry.” Members describe this site as network-enriching and career-enhancing.

4. Base Hit Investing

John Huber is the portfolio manager of Saber Capital Management, LLC, a value-focused investment firm. Saber’s objective is to compound capital over the long-term by making investments in undervalued stocks of high-quality businesses. A few of his article topics include:

    1. Case Studies
    2. Education
    3. How to Improve Results
    4. Industry-Banks
    5. Industry-Insurance
    6. Industry-Oil
    7. Industry-Railroads
    8. Investment Ideas & Company Research

5. Zero Hedge

The mission statement of ZeroHedge on their website gives a good sense of their content:

    1. to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public.
    2. to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become.
    3. to liberate oppressed knowledge.
    4. to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint.

Readers can subscribe to their newsletter for daily alerts and a weekly digest of articles.

6. Contrarian Edge

Vitaliy Katsenelson, author of this blog and a couple books, is a former analyst, portfolio manager, and now CEO of Investment Management Associates. His blog posts cover everything from behavioral investing, to capitalism, to cryptocurrency and specific tickers.

7. The Brooklyn Investor

The Brooklyn Investor is somewhat mysterious, in that he doesn’t reveal his real name on his blog. However, he explains that most of his career has been on Wall Street, starting in investment strategy/portfolio management, trading, futures/options and OTC derivatives structuring and trading, proprietary trading, special situations, and systems trading of futures at “one of the big hedge funds.”

He has always been a fan of Warren Buffett and other long term investors, and “it is reasonable to assume that [he is] long stocks that he thinks] are interesting and short the ones that I don’t like etc.” His blog covers everything from AAPL and GOOG to the gold standard.

8. Memos from Howard Marks

Oaktree Capital Management is a global alternative investment management firm with expertise in credit strategies. A section of their website is devoted to insights specifically from their internal team about investment strategies and investment philosophy. Howard Marks (CFA and Co-Chairman of Oaktree) covers topics from index investing to macro-fragility, to algorithmic investing.

9. Berkshire Hathaway Reports

Quarterly and annual reports – also easily accessible within Sentieo Document Search!

10. The Manual of Ideas

Through invitation-only events and member publications, MOI Global fosters a community of intelligent investors united by a passion for lifelong learning. The Manual of Ideas started out nearly a decade ago, focused on content. As the founders went out to gather and generate uniquely differentiated content for value-oriented investors, they came to appreciate the tight-knit value investing community that had been developing for many years thanks to a strong network formed by the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.

11. KASE Learning

Whitney Tilson is one of the most public longstanding value investors. Rooted in sharing their half century of experience as value investors and fund managers, Tilson and his long-time partner, Glenn Tongue have produced a multitude of resources on this site.

12. Value Investor Insight

Whitney Tilson also co-founded this monthly newsletter in 2004, in which he and editor in chief John Heins interview two portfolio managers about current topics.

13. Value Investors Club

Value Investors Club is “an exclusive online investment club where top investors share their best ideas.” VIC prides itself in the fact that its members are admitted only because of the strength of their investment ideas, and not their job titles. This selection process adds a number of diverse perspectives the forum.

14. csinvesting

The author of csinvesting has an interesting background: “In my peripatetic life I have been a ruby smuggler, commodity trader, securities analyst, investment banker, and entrepreneur. Each role taught me more about value investing.” His philosophy is for investors to learn from the successes and failures of others, so his blog covers mostly case studies.

15. Value Investing World

Value Investing World is a blog self-described as “dedicated to promoting the multidisciplinary approach to investing and development of – as Charlie Munger describes it – a latticework of mental models…and largely focused on linking to investing and economic material it deems of interest.”

16. Investor Junkie

Articles for everyone from beginner to advanced investors. Topics include everything from “socially responsible investing” to  “investing as an expat.”

17. A Wealth of Common Sense

A Wealth of Common Sense focuses on wealth management, investments, financial markets and investor psychology. Author Ben Carlson, CFA, manages portfolios for institutions and individuals at Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. Ben has written a few books and has a weekly podcast called “Animal Spirits” which covers financial markets, personal finance, movies and dad life.

 

 

How to Use Web Search Trends In Your Fundamental Research Workflow: Beat or Miss?

Note: The content of this post references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

Alternative data is a hot topic these days. From buzz around satellite imagery data to social chatter, there is a deluge of data out there. How can you make use of it, though?

Let’s walk through an example with Sodastream ($SODA). We used Sentieo to plot global web search trends for the “sodastream” keyword (dark blue) against the $SODA stock price (light blue).

View Interactive Chart

The correlation is great, but we don’t suggest that you buy a stock just because alternative data is going up. You should instead use this data as another pillar of a comprehensive investment process. Ask yourself: how does alternative data tie back to the fundamentals of a business?

As consumers, we tend to search for products online before purchasing. In most cases, searching Sodastream signifies interest in the brand or an intent to purchase – let’s call this “digital traffic.” Some percentage of that “traffic” will convert to true revenue as the consumer makes an purchase online or in-store at a later point.

So while search trends will most closely tie to digital traffic, we hope it can be a meaningful indicator for overall Revenue (or other top-line key performance indicators). As we can see from the chart below, that seemed to be the case here. Search trends had a 0.9 r-squared with $SODA’s revenue growth.

View Interactive Chart

This example is just one way that search trends can help you in your fundamental research. Stay tuned for the upcoming posts in this blog series on alternative data search trends.

Apple Hits $1 Trillion To Become First Trillion Dollar Company; But It’s Still Not The Most Valuable Company In The World

Today, Apple (AAPL) became the first $1 trillion public U.S. company. Its stock jumped 2.8 percent to $207.05 (as of 9:15 a.m. Pacific), taking its gain to 9 percent since this Tuesday, when it released its latest quarterly earnings. Apple management reported higher than expected quarterly results, and mentioned that it bought back $20 billion of its own shares.

But in spite of all of the press coverage around this major milestone, Apple is not even the most valuable company in the world. That distinction belongs to fellow tech giant Amazon. How can that be, when Amazon’s market capitalization is only a ‘meager’ 887 billion? The key lies in the metric used to measure a company’s value.

Most analysts use “Enterprise Value” rather than market capitalization to measure a company’s value because it accounts for the total operating value of the firm and adjusts for the capital structure of the firm (with equity, debt, and cash). A large part of Apple’s equity value is in the hoard of cash on its balance sheet, which doesn’t reflect the ongoing value of the company. They could use that cash to issue a dividend or buyback shares, but it wouldn’t change how much the actual company is worth based on its potential future profits. In fact, Apple typically buys back shares every quarter.

Amazon passed Apple in enterprise value back in June during its meteoric rise and is now worth $80B more than Apple. Amazon and Apple are just two of the tech giants (dare we say “conglomerates”) that now make up the most valuable companies in the world. We took a closer look at the rest of the tech giants and plotted their enterprise values over time using Sentieo’s Plotter tool.

 

Tech Giants Enterprise Value

Sentieo

Interactive Chart: http://snt.io/c8B2JRXn2

Looking at the chart, we can see that Apple (black line) and Google (red line) had been leading the pack since 2016. However, around February of this year, Amazon surpassed them both to become the most valuable, and after some back and forth, broke away at the beginning of June.

Facebook (blue line) and Netflix (purple line), while also members of the “FANG” group, actually have much lower enterprise value that Amazon and Apple.

 

Regardless of Enterprise Value or Market Cap, Tech Is Taking Over

The more important thing to note is that these tech giants are taking the stage as the world’s most valuable companies, both in enterprise value and market cap. In July, CNBC reported that the majority of the returns this year on the S&P 500 index have from tech giants. The tech companies in the table below are responsible for 99 percent of the S&P 500 returns this year, meaning the rest of the S&P remained almost flat. (Data as of July 10, 2018)

This hasn’t been the case since the last dot-com boom in the 1990s, when Cisco was anticipated to become the first trillion dollar company. We plotted a few tech and oil companies to look at how market leadership has changed over the past 10 years.

The large grey spike in 2008 represents PetroChina’s peak market cap.

In 2006, Microsoft (blue line) had the fourth largest market cap but was still eclipsed by Exxon (orange), GE (black), and PetroChina (gray) — and closely followed by Total (teal).

In 2011, Apple (red) came in third place to Exxon and PetroChina.

But in 2016, Apple (red), and Microsoft (blue), Amazon (purple) and Facebook (green) all took the top 4 highest market cap spots, dissimilar to the situation today.

 

Market Cap: Tech vs. Oil 

Interactive Chart: http://snt.io/aHB2JPRNV

Based on their monstrous market share, we anticipate that the tech giants will rule for a while — unless another unexpected dot-com crash occurs.