Why It’s Really Not ‘Different’ This Time…
For anyone who has been a part of the family over at my premium Income Trader service for more than a few years, you know how much I love sharing the wisdom of old traders.
One of my favorite old traders is a colorful character (aren’t they always?) who shared this gem with me:
Two of the most expensive things you can say are, “I do” and “it’s different this time.”
He has a great deal of experience with both phrases. (By the time I met him, he was on his fifth wife.) But today, I’m going to focus my comments on the latter.
It’s Different This Time: Many investors use this saying to justify high valuations in the stock market. Similarly, policymakers use it to justify implementing policies that led to mistakes in the past.
Right now, even after a significant decline in the stock market, valuations are still high. Based on companies that have already reported Q1 earnings, the forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for the S&P 500 is 19.1.
The five-year average is 16.7… and the 10-year average is just 15.
Why It’s Not ‘Different’ This Time
Earnings estimates are still too high, in my opinion. When they are lowered, the stock market is even more overvalued.
But investors are saying “it’s different this time” because they believe earnings are low due to the unprecedented shutdown of the economy. While they’re correct that the shutdown is unprecedented, we’ve experienced recessions before. And they offer guidance to what we can expect in the next few months…
Investors are saying “it’s different this time” because the economy will be “reopened,” which they think indicates a rapid recovery versus previous recessions that involved slow recoveries. Unfortunately for the bulls, it is not different this time.
Even after businesses start getting approval from government officials, it will take weeks for many to reopen. They will need to clean, restock, and put protective measures in place. Then they will need to convince customers to come back.
Recovery will be slower than expected. I expect unemployment to remain high into 2021, and it will be higher than it was in 2009 when it peaked at 9.9%. This will weigh on consumer spending… and on the stock market.
It’s not different this time. Recovery will be slow and painful, and we need to be prepared for that.
How I’m Trading Right Now
This week, I recommended a trade to my Income Trader followers in a company that stands to benefit from the recovery — Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB).
The company’s products include Kleenex facial tissue, Cottonelle and Scott toilet paper, Wypall utility wipes, KimWipes scientific cleaning wipes, and Huggies disposable diapers and baby wipes. All of these products have been in demand for the past few weeks.
That helped KMB deliver better-than-expected earnings when the company reported earlier this month. Earnings came in at $2.13 per share, while analysts had only expected $2.01. Revenue topped $5 billion, which was 2.3% above analysts’ expectations.
The stock gave an Income Trader Volatility (ITV) “buy” signal after rallying on the earnings report.
The chart is now bullish. Based on the technicals, a reasonable price target for the stock is about $160. That would be about 21 times expected earnings, in line with KMB’s seven-year average P/E ratio of 25. This indicates the stock is undervalued.
I expect this to be one of those stocks that becomes an Income Trader favorite, especially as value investors discover it. That’s why this week, I recommended the first of what I believe will be many short-term income trades in KMB.
Unfortunately, out of fairness to my subscribers, I can’t share the exact details of the trade with you. But just know that it is possible to make successful trades in this market. You have to be nimble, sharp, and willing to venture into new territory from time to time.
It also helps to have an award-winning indicator like ITV working for you. We’ve been using this to identify trades since 2013, and have made winning trades more than 90% of the time. And my followers have earned tens of thousands of dollars in income in the process (even hundreds of thousands for some). To learn more about ITV and join there ranks, go here now.