Category Archives: dividends payout

7/7/19: Investment for growth is at record lows for S&P500

Interesting chart via @DavidSchawel showing changes over time in corporate (S&P500 companies) distribution of earnings:

In simple terms:

  1. Much discussed shares buybacks are still the rage: running at 31% of all cash distributions, second highest level after 34% in 2007. On a cumulated basis, and taking into the account already reduced free float in S&P 500 over the years, this is a massive level of buybacks.
  2. 'Investment for growth' - as defined - is at 51% - the lowest on record.
  3. Meaningful investment for growth (often opportunistic M&As) is at 38%, tied for the lowest with 2007 figure.
S&P 500 firms are clearly not in investment mode. Despite 'Trump incentives' - under the TCJA 2017 tax cuts act - actual capex is running tied to the second lowest levels for 2018 and 2019, at 26% of all cash distributions.

15/4/16: Corporate Finance, S&P500 and Bubble Trouble…

Classical corporate finance tells us that companies should be valued on their earnings with past earnings being indicative of future earnings (predictive component). Which is tosh. In today's world that is.

Q4 2016 saw highest payouts to shareholders (combined cash dividends and share repurchases) in over 10 years (couple of slides from my course presentation):

And yet... yet... earnings have hit the brick wall back in Q3 2014 and have been trending down ever since:

You really can't call S&P500 anything but a sail-in-the-Fed-wind. There are no fundamentals sustaining it above 1600-1650 range. At least, not corporate fundamentals.

Unless, of course, one expects the recent extraordinary payout performance to remain indefinitely present in the future. Which only a sell-side analyst or a lunatic can...