Gold-Miner Valuations Low

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

After soaring in a powerful upleg, the gold miners’ stocks have been grinding lower for a couple months now.  This ongoing correction is increasingly draining enthusiasm for this small contrarian sector, working to rebalance sentiment.  Gold-stock price levels relative to gold suggest this necessary and healthy selloff hasn’t fully run its course yet.  But once this passes, current valuations remain very bullish for the gold miners.

Unlike the vast majority of other industries, gold miners’ earnings are almost totally dependent on a single variable.  That’s the price of gold.  The profitability of excavating and selling gold directly levers prevailing gold prices.  The costs of producing this metal are largely fixed, mostly determined during mine-planning stages when engineers decide which gold-bearing ores to mine, how to dig to them, and how to process them.

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Big US Stocks’ Q4’19 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Stock-market volatility has exploded on COVID-19 fears, shattering the Fed’s QE4-fueled levitation.  The resulting stunning sentiment shift has left investors and speculators wondering where these wild markets are heading.  This is an important time to check the latest fundamentals underlying the big US stocks that dominate market action.  They just finished reporting their Q4’19 results, which illuminate their valuations.

Recent weeks’ stock-market swings have been huge, driven by mounting worries about the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.  For 6 weeks I’ve covered this virus’s daily progression in depth in our subscription newsletters, including many troubling reports out of China that the media ignored.  Before this selloff, I recommended long-volatility and short-stock-market trades that surged to big realized gains up to +145%.

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Gold Miners’ Profits To Soar

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The gold miners are likely to report blowout profits in this spinning-up Q3’19 earnings season.  Higher production, stable costs, and much-higher gold prices should combine for some super-impressive results.  That’s going to leave the still-undervalued gold miners much more attractive fundamentally, supporting bigger capital inflows and much-higher stock prices.  Q3 should prove the gold miners’ best quarter in years.

Stock prices are ultimately dependent on underlying corporate earnings.  Over the long term all stock prices gravitate towards some reasonable multiple of their underlying companies’ profits.  Herd greed and fear can force stock prices to disconnect from fundamentals for some time, but eventually they trump sentiment.  So there’s nothing more important for stock-price-appreciation potential than foundational profits.

Most of the major gold miners trade in the US or Canada, and thus are required to report their results quarterly.  The SEC deadline for filing 10-Q quarterly reports is 40 calendar days after quarter-ends, or November 9th for the recently-finished Q3’19.  The major gold miners tend to report in the latter end of that window.  The definitive list of them comes from the leading gold-stock trading vehicle and benchmark.

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The Relentless Road to Recession

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog 

“Show me the data,” demand those who cannot see a recession forming all around them and who keep parroting what they are told about the economy being strong because it is what they want to believe; yet, the data look like an endless march through a long summer down the road to recession.

And that is what you are going to get in this article, a seemingly endless parade of data along the recessionary road. This is for the data hounds.

As we end the summer of our discontent when few would deny that most economic talk turned toward recession and, as we begin the time when I said the stock market appears it may fulfill my prognostication of another October surprise, it’s time to lay out — again — the latest data that support my summer recession prediction. We’ll have to wait until next year for the government to officially declare a recession if one did start in September. (Yes, September is a summer month.) In the meantime, the data stream is a long line of confirmation.

Air-Conditioner Maker Lennox Cuts Forecast, Citing ‘Significantly Cooler Temperatures’

From CNBC – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Published Mon, Jul 22 2019 10:48 AM EDT Updated Mon, Jul 22 2019 12:57 PM EDT

Kate Rooney@Kr00ney

Key Points

  • Lennox International lowers its 2019 guidance, partially based on colder temperatures.
  • “Significantly cooler temperatures and higher precipitation across the United States adversely impacted the HVAC market in the second quarter,” says Chairman and CEO Todd Bluedorn.
  • The guidance cut comes after a heat wave swept through the United States this weekend. June was the hottest since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began recording temperatures in the 1800s and July is on track to break its own record.

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What The World Doesn’t Need Now Is Lower Rates

The Q2 earnings season is upon us and the risks to the rally that started after the worst December on record at the close of last year is in serious jeopardy. We received a glimpse of this with some of the current companies that have reported. For example, to understand how dangerous this earnings reporting season can be, take a look at what one of the largest US multinational firms had to say recently after it reported earnings. The Minnesota-based Fastenal, which is the largest fastener distributor in North America, reported worse-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue. Shares of Fastenal promptly tanked more than 4%. But what the management said about the quarter was very interesting. The company said in its press release that its strategy to raise prices to offset tariffs placed to date on products sourced from China were not sufficient to also counter general inflation in the marketplace.

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US GDP Not All It Was Cracked Up To Be

You may be worried my prediction that a recession will start sometime this summer is not looking too good. So was I after first-quarter corporate earnings started coming in better than what economists expected. Except that barely “beating expectations” is kind of pathetic when expectations are dumbed down as far as they were.

(Note that I have also stated each time I repeat this prediction that we won’t know until half a year beyond summer whether or not it happened, because initial GDP reports are often revised down after the next quarter (perhaps in order to make the next quarter look better quarter on quarter) as facts come in more clearly and because no recession is officially declared until a month after two full quarters have seen total GDP decline — not a decline in the growth rate, but an actual drop in GDP.)

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Companies to Buy Back Fewer Shares

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. companies’ shopping spree for their own shares helped put a floor on market declines in 2018. Don’t look for the same level of support in 2019.

Wall Street’s recent volatility has optimists betting that buybacks could provide the market with an even better buffer in 2019. But many strategists see the lift from buybacks – a major factor behind the bull market – losing some force as earnings growth slows while tax policy bonanzas fizzle out.

“Companies bought back around 2.8 percent of shares outstanding in 2018. That was a substantial support to the market and bigger than dividends,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago.

case of dollar bills to buy back stock shares

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Stealth Reason Why The Stock Market Keeps Going Up

By Gordon T Long – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Key Message:

  • The US stock market continues to rise because it is increasingly dominated by shrinking “availability & supply”,
  • All three stock “Pools” are shrinking in a stealth & unappreciated fashion,
  • There is an increasing potential for a “Minsky Melt-Up” based on an even stronger US dollar (i.e. An Emerging Market Flight to Safety),
  • Expect a coming M&A corporate focus using inflated stock as the takeover currency to answer slowing corporate growth …. further reducing listing and outstanding share pools.
  • Expect market rotation from Growth to Value in the near term versus the final Topping of the equity markets.

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Sears Warns It May Go Out of Business

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Sears Holdings Corp. reported a smaller decline in quarterly same-store sales, but warned again that there is doubt about the company’s continued operation as it awaits approval to sell some of its businesses to its chief executive’s hedge fund.

“It is imperative that the Company reduce debt, adjust its debt maturity profile and eliminate the associated cash interest obligations,” Chief Executive Edward Lampert said in a blog post on the company’s website.

A Home Business Can Be Rewarding

By Alexia Wolker

Running a home business can be a great way to balance your work and home life. Working from home gives you the flexibility of not having to commute to and from work, which maximizes the time you can spend with your family. There are many different business`s you can run from home, this article should give you some ideas for home-based businesses that may work for you.

It`s already tough enough to get people to trust a home business, so don`t let your website sabotage the trust you have built. Be honest, forthright, and open in everything you post. Don`t hide anything or be sneaky, like throwing keywords throughout the page that look out of place. If you get 10 people to your site who trust you and buy, it`s better than doing anything it takes to get 10 times as many who see through your techniques and leave.

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Gold Miners’ Q4’17 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The gold miners’ stocks remain deeply out of favor, trading at prices seen when gold was half or even a quarter of current levels. So many traders assume this small contrarian sector must be really struggling fundamentally. But nothing could be farther from the truth! The major gold miners’ recently-released Q4’17 results prove they are thriving. Their languishing stock prices are the result of irrational herd sentiment.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Required by securities regulators, these quarterly results are exceedingly important for investors and speculators. They dispel all the sentimental distortions surrounding prevailing stock-price levels, revealing the underlying hard fundamental realities. They serve to re-anchor perceptions.

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Companies On Track For $800 Billion Share Buyback Record In 2018

By Rick Mills – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Donald Trump’s tax cuts are already paying dividends… well, actually the companies that are benefiting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Trump Administration in December are not only returning cash to shareholders in the form of dividends, but are presiding over what could be the largest share buyback program in history.

The legislation slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and the top individual tax rate shrunk to 37%. It also cut income tax rates, doubled the standard deduction and eliminated personal exemptions. All told, the Trump tax cuts are the eighth largest since 1918, and represent just over 1% of GDP – in other words, how much federal revenue the government will forego as a percentage of the economy.

Yardeni.com

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Corporate Earnings Fiction

By Wolf Richter – Re-Blogged From Wolf Street

The Biggest Sinners in the Dow.

All 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have now reported earnings for the third quarter. As required, they reported these earnings under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These standardized accounting rules are supposed to allow investors to compare the results of different companies. But that’s too harsh a fate for many of our corporate heroes, and so they proffer their own and much more pleasing accounting strategies – as expressed in “adjusted” earnings and “adjusted” earnings per share (EPS).

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Silver Miners’ Q1’17 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Silver mining is a tough business both geologically and economically.  Primary silver deposits, those with enough silver to generate over half their revenues when mined, are quite rare.  Most of the world’s silver ore formed alongside base metals or gold, and their value usually well outweighs silver’s.  So typically in any given year, less than a third of the global mined silver supply actually comes from primary silver mines!

The world authority on silver supply-and-demand fundamentals is the Silver Institute.  It recently released its highly-anticipated World Silver Survey 2017, which covers 2016.  Last year only 30% of silver mined came from primary silver mines, a slight increase.  The remaining 70% of silver produced was simply a byproduct.  35% of the total mined supply came from lead/zinc mines, 23% from copper, and 12% from gold.

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What Not to Buy in Today’s Stock Market

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From IMA
Dear reader, if you are overcome with fear of missing out on the next stock market move; if you feel like you have to own stocks no matter the cost; if you tell yourself, “Stocks are expensive, but I am a long-term investor”; then consider this article a public service announcement written just for you.
Before we jump into the stock discussion, let’s quickly scan the global economic environment. The health of the European Union did not improve in 2016, and Brexit only increased the possibility of other “exits” as the structural issues that render this union dysfunctional went unfixed.
Japan’s population has not gotten any younger since the last time I wrote about it — it is still the oldest in the world. Japan’s debt pile got bigger, and it remains the most indebted developed nation (though, in all fairness, other countries are desperately trying to take that title away from it). Despite the growing debt, Japanese five-year government bonds are “paying” an interest rate of –0.10 percent. Imagine what will happen to its government’s budget when Japan has to start actually paying to borrow money commensurate with its debtor profile.

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Stocks Are Trading Based on Accounting Gimmicks And Fraud, Not Growth

By Graham Summers – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Time to bust yet another hole in the “stocks are cheap” argument.

As we’ve already noted earlier this week, based on the only valuation metric that can’t be massaged, stocks are more expensive than they were in 2007 and on their way to tying the all-time high established in 1999.

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Base Jumping off the Stock Market’s Peak

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

According to Bank of America, there is no time to leap into the stock market like the moment before its cataclysmic fall. BofA’s Michael Hartnett has no doubt that the stock market stands on the edge of catastrophic collapse, but the euphoric rise before it takes the plunge could be the greatest financial rush you’ll ever know:

As Hartnett explains, the catalyst for bull in equity and credit markets since 2009 was the “revolutionary monetary policy of central banks” who, since Lehman, “have cut rates 679 times and bought $14.2tn of financial assets.” And, once again, he warns that this central bank “liquidity supernova” is coming to an end, as is “the period of excess returns in equities and corporate bonds, as is the period of suppressed volatility.” (Zero Hedge)

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Equity Bubble Has Run Out of Excuses and Time

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

It is finally going to be a make or break earnings season for stocks. This is because the justification for record high stock prices that have been perched atop extremely stretched valuation metrics has been the following false assumptions: the hope that the Federal Reserve will not resume its interest rate hiking cycle, the U.S. dollar stops rising, the price of oil enters a sustainable bull market and long-term interest rates continue to fall.

If all those conditions were in place investors could continue to believe a turnaround in the anemic 2% GDP growth rate endured since 2010 was imminent. And, most importantly, that a reversal in the 5 straight quarters of negative earnings on the S&P 500 was just around the corner.  But even if they were perpetually disappointed in growth and earnings that didn’t materialize, they could always afford to wait until the next quarterly earnings report because there just wasn’t any alternative to owning stocks.

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Macy’s Crushed By Amazon

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

This is a tale of changing environments and the organisms that are, as a result, dying off.

First, consider the bricks and mortar retailers. Amazon, the dominant online seller of virtually everything, reports a spectacular quarter with soaring sales and (fairly new for them) strong profits. But in a world of flat consumer spending, where families have already used up their savings, their kids’ college funds and the loose change in their sofas to make ends meet, one store’s feast is necessarily another’s famine. And the physical retailers — which require you to actually go to them in order to buy their stuff — now find the water hole dry and the trees barren of leaves. Here’s what Macy’s reported this morning:

Macy’s results reminiscent of financial crisis

(CNBC) – Macy’s dismal first-quarter results are bringing back unwelcome memories of the financial crisis, as the retailer on Wednesday reported two metrics that harken back to that period of economic malaise.

During the first quarter, the department store chain said its comparable sales fell 5.6 percent. That marks a deceleration from its fourth-quarter same-store sales decline of 4.3 percent, and represents its most severe decrease in this metric since second quarter 2009. During that quarter, Macy’s comparable sales slid 9.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the retailer reported a 36 percent year-over-year drop in operating income. That not only marks its seventh straight quarter of year-over-year declines for this metric, but it is far steeper than any quarter during the Great Recession, said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics. In second quarter 2009, by comparison, the retailer’s operating income fell closer to 10 percent.

It’s hard to see how Macy’s survives in its current form. But it might hang on longer than Italy’s major banks, which are saddled with a profligate and therefore ungovernable home country locked within a currency union managed by Germany for Germany. The result is catastrophic:

Tumbling Banco Popolare leads Italian bank shares lower

(Reuters) – Shares in Banco Popolare plunged 14 percent on Wednesday after a surprise first-quarter loss driven by loan writedowns — the main focus of investor concerns over Italian banks.

Banco Popolare booked loan writedowns requested by the European Central Bank as a condition for approving a planned merger with Banca Popolare di Milano that will create Italy’s third-biggest banking group.

To improve its loan loss provisions Banco Popolare must raise 1 billion euros in a share issue slated for early June.

Italian banks have lost nearly 40 percent of their market value so far this year, weighed down by concerns they could need additional capital to shoulder losses from sales of bad loans that rose to 360 billion euros ($410 billion) during a long recession.

A share rebound triggered by the hasty creation last month of the fund intended to inject capital into weaker lenders and buy their bad loans proved short-lived.

Banco Popolare said late on Tuesday that it had written down loans for 684 million euros in the first quarter, nearly four times more than in the same period of 2015, posting a net loss of 314 million euros for the first three months.

CEO Pierfrancesco Saviotti told an analyst call that the loan writedowns were the first step towards selling chunks of bad loans and that it would book further provisions this year.

He said the ECB wanted provisions to cover 62 percent of the most troubled loans up from a 60 percent coverage ratio the bank reached in the first quarter.

Bankers say other Italian banks are likely to follow in the steps of Banco Popolare and raise cash to make up for loan losses.

Loans to insolvent borrowers are valued on average at around 40 percent of their nominal value on Italian banks’ balance sheets but market prices for these assets reach at most 30-35 cents on the dollar when the loan is backed by a good-quality property.

The problem for both physical retailers and Italian banks is that the world continues to change in unfavorable ways. E-commerce keeps getting easier and more fun, and malls as a result keep getting emptier, with no end in sight. (Actually there is an end in sight, which is when most malls are cleared of bankrupt retailers and converted to refugee housing.)

As for Italian banks, the euro is up lately, which makes Italy that much less competitive on global markets and Italian borrowers that much less likely to cover their payments. And with interest rates trending ever-more-negative, there’s not much for even a well-run bank to do with excess capital these days.

Which leads inescapably to the conclusion that while Macy’s and the Italian banks are the weakest and therefore most vulnerable organisms in this ecosystem, they’re just the first to go. Other US retailers will report a string of bad numbers in the coming month and other banks around the world will follow the Italians’ lead. Here’s a Zero Hedge chart comparing the stock price of Germany’s iconic Deutsche Bank to (iconic in a different way) Lehman Brothers pre-Great Recession:

As a result, in the coming year the dominant question will morph from “what to buy?” to “what crashes next?”

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Entering The Belly Of The Epocalypse

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold-Eagle

Only a couple of weeks ago, I said we were entering the jaws of the Epocalypse….

Mexican retail billionaire Hugo Salinas Price has looked long into the stomach of this mammoth, and this is what he has seen:

“[Global] debt [as a percentage of GDP] peaked in August of 2014. I’ve been watching this for 20 years, and I have never seen anything like it. It was always growing, and now something has changed. A big change of this sort is an enormous event. I think it portends a new trend, and that trend will be to get out of debt. Deleverage and pay down debt. That is, of course, a contraction. Contraction means depression. The world is going into a depression. It’s going to get very nasty. (USAWatchdog)”

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Bad Numbers And Dark Prophesies: Almost Everybody’s Cutting Something

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The drumbeat of bad (and sometimes just plain weird) news has risen lately — but today’s batch stands out. Here’s a small sampling:

US jobless claims were higher than expected, and continue the rising trend of the past few weeks.

US layoffs surged to a six month high, while asset write-downs are up worldwide. Among today’s related announcements: 6,000 layoffs from ConocoPhillips and 10,000 from Shell Oil, and a $5.75 billion write-down from Credit Suisse.

These aren’t surprising given the bloodbath in oil and banks’ exposure to that industry. Many, many more shocks from these two sectors are coming.

Q4 US worker productivity fell at a 3% annual rate. According to the linked article: “Economists blame softer productivity on a lack of investment, which they say has led to an unprecedented decline in capital intensity.” In other words, while corporations were borrowing trillions to buy back their shares they weren’t bothering to build new factories or upgrade old ones.

US December factory orders posted their biggest drop in a year. Fewer people are working and those who are are either underpaid or insecure, so they’re apparently buying less stuff. And, again, companies are using all their free cash to buy back shares rather than build capacity.

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Gold Miners’ Strong Q3 Results

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The beleaguered gold-mining sector continues to be plagued by monumental universal bearishness.  Nearly everyone assumes the gold miners are doomed, that they can’t survive for long in a sub-$1200-gold environment.  But this belief is totally wrong, a consequence of extreme fear’s fog of war.  The gold miners’ underlying earnings fundamentals remain very strong, as evidenced by their recent Q3 results.

In all the stock markets, corporate profits ultimately drive stock prices.  Because a stock simply represents a fractional stake in its underlying company’s future earnings stream, all stock prices eventually revert to some reasonable multiple of those profits.  These earnings are truly the only fundamental driver of stock prices.  All deviations from righteous valuations based on profits are just the temporary products of herd sentiment.

The gold stocks are suffering such an extreme psychological anomaly today, drowning in mind-boggling depths of popular fear and despair.  The leading HUI gold-stock index just slumped to a brutal new 13.3-year secular low this week!  The apathy and hate for this sector is nothing short of astounding.  Anyone masochistic enough to make a bullish contrarian case on gold stocks will be peppered with scathing ridicule.

But in the midst of any universal sentiment extreme, prudent investors and speculators must disconnect from the herd emotions to take a rational look at the underlying profits fundamentals.  And there is zero doubt today that prevailing gold-stock prices are truly fundamentally absurd.  The last time gold stocks were priced at these levels per the HUI ages ago in July 2002, the gold price was merely trading around $305.

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A 30-50% Stock Plunge ‘Would Not Be A Surprise’

By HENRY BLODGET – Re-Blogged From http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com

As regular readers know, for the past ~21 months I have been worrying out loud about US stock prices. Specifically, I have suggested that a decline of 30% to 50% would not be a surprise.

I haven’t predicted a crash. But I have said clearly that I think stocks will deliver returns that are way below average for the next seven to 10 years. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see stocks crash. So don’t say no one warned you!

So far, these concerns have just made me sound like Chicken Little. The S&P 500 is up strongly from where I first sounded the alarm.

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What the F*#k Should Investors Do? (Part 2)

(This article was written last October! Several forecasts has turned out right on the money. The author’s advice still is quite valuable today.  –Bob)

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/

In my column last Friday, in response to an e-mail I had received from an investor asking “what the fuck” he should do, I promised to explain what we’re doing with our portfolio. I will, but first let me tell you a story. When I was a sophomore in college, I was taking five or six classes and had a full-time job and a full-time (more like overtime) girlfriend. I was approaching finals, I had to study for lots of tests and turn in assignments, and to make matters worse, I had procrastinated until the last minute.

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Share Buybacks – Good or Bad?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Buy Low and Sell High!

Though this is what investors aim for, many (most?) wind up doing just the opposite. Companies buying or selling their own shares are notorious for their awful timing. Rather than indicating merely lousy skill, many times it points to corporate leaders acting in their own, personal interests, even when that is opposite to their fiduciary responsibility of working for the benefit of all shareholders.

When you hear a CEO say that the company is buying back its own shares ‘To release shareholder value,” you may need to dig deeper. After that kind of “handshake,” you may want to count your fingers.

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