Stocks Have Likely Overshot The Potential Coronavirus Impact

This column is my opinion and expresses my views. Those views can change at a moments notice when the market changes. I am not right all the time and I do not expect to be. I disclose all my positions clearly listed on the page, and I do not trade my account on the stocks spoken of in this column unless fully disclosed. If that does not work for you stop reading and close the page. Do not bother me or harass me.

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March 14, 2020

Stocks – None

Macro – SPY

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The market is likely to continue to go through a process of trying to reconcile the potential impact the virus may have on the economy. I have been running through my models all week with premium subscribers. At this point, my model’s worst-case scenario is currently forecasting no growth in 2020, or roughly $158.60 per share, which is basically in line with 2019 earnings of $157.10 in 2019, while forecasting growth of 11% in 2021 to $176. It means using a PE ratio of 16; the S&P 500 is worth roughly 2850.

However, I have been working through some other scenarios, where I assume earnings contraction in 2020. Those models also seem to suggest that downside from the recent lows is relatively limited. Since 1988 a modest recession, such as in 2001, resulted in earnings for the S&P 500 falling by roughly 30%. Meanwhile, a period of slowing economic growth like in 2015 and 2016, led to earnings contractions of around 10%.

In a scenario similar to 2015 and 2016, where we don’t get a recession, but slowing GDP growth to say around 1 to 1.5%, it seems fair to say that perhaps earnings could take a 10% hit from 2019 levels and assuming a modest 10% earnings rebound in 2021, then we could have 2021 earnings of about $155.57. Using a historical PE of about 16, we could value the S&P 500 at around 2,520.

In the worst case, 2001 scenario, and earnings collapse by 30% and see a more significant rebound in 2021, by around 20%, the S&P 500 would be valued at roughly 2,130.

I don’t think we are in a 2001 type of scenario. It seems possible that we are in a 2015-16 situation, but that may even be a stretch. Perhaps, a modest 5% decline in earning in 2020 and a 10% growth in rate in 2021, the S&P 500 would be valued at around 2,650.

Where the S&P 500 could fall too depends on where you think the economy is heading. But out of all the scenarios I have run, it seems that more than likely the S&P 500 has likely overshoot the potential impact to earnings. The index reached a low of 2,478 this past week. In only one scenario, does the S&P 500 fall below that low. In the scenario where earnings fall by 30%.

As I said, my model, which updates everyday is suggesting in a worst-case scenario, no growth in 2020 and growth of about 12% in 2021, and an S&P 500 valued around 2,850. So take it for what it is worth. I will continue to update these numbers throughout the week and keeping paying members in the loop.

Have a great weekend.


-Mike

Mott Capital Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Upon request, the advisor will provide a list of all recommendations made during the past twelve months. Past performance is not indicative of future results.       

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