We are about midway through earnings season and most of the big banks have now reported. The delay of an interest rate increase had a role in the recent selloff as did just the general terrible market sentiment due to the severe correction that took place. What many market participants fail to understand is that this is the same low interest rate environment the banks have been operating in for the last several years. Profits keep going up and tangible book values continues to grow. During these next several years we should see very significant dividend and stock buyback increases as these banks are now overly-capitalized. This is great news for us and I’d expect valuations to expand as the market begins to fully understand just how far these institutions have come from the Financial Crisis. While I’m not a huge bull on the general market, I can tell you that I’m hugely optimistic on our positions. If interest rates do increase that would be a major positive for us but if not I’d still expect to outperform. Most of our big holdings such as Bank of America, Citigroup, AGO and AIG, trade at discount to their liquidation value. They are all compounding their intrinsic value by at least 10% per annum via retained earnings and stock buybacks at a discount to intrinsic value. This alone should allow us to return double digits over the next several years, which in my opinion would be a great return. If the financials are re-rated to a higher valuation in light of their fortress balance sheets and capital return growth, returns could be much higher. Most importantly, I cannot fathom a scenario where we lose money on these positions over the long-term. Of course, short-term mark to market moves will occur, but as long as we are patient and disciplined we should do quite well. Below are my most recent research reports for you to review at your leisure. Thank you very much and please let me know if you need anything at all or have any questions.
J.P. Morgan – Focus On Balance Sheet and Earnings Power
Bank of America – Loan Growth And Operational Efficiencies Augur Well For the Future
Wells Fargo – A Solid Buy on Dips
Citigroup – Focus On Rates Obscures Massive Discount To Intrinsic Value