• Introduction
  • Cheapest vs. Most Expensive Deciles
  • Fundamental Consternation & Consideration
  • Using our Core Products to Expand the Opportunity Set
  • Summary Tables
  • Conclusions
  • Exhibits

Note to readers: This paper is meant for limited distribution. It follows the same format and has many of the same or similar conclusions as does our companion paper, Comparing the Small & Mid Cap Valuation Tails. We apologize for any overlap or sense of repetition caused by the similar nature of both papers.


In our first paper published today, Bubble Trouble? Comparing the Current Market to 1999 and 2007, we compared the current situation for our Small & Mid Cap (SMID) and Large Cap universes to the situations during the Tech Bubble and 2007. We showed that Large Cap valuations are at highs second only to the Tech Bubble in 1999-2000 and eclipsing the valuations during 2007. Large Cap ROEs are currently between the record high levels in 2007 and the low levels during the Tech Bubble and are enjoying near record margins now. The brilliance on offer in books like Margin of Safety have been completely forgotten.

Having reviewed the Large Cap market as a whole in our prior piece, we decided to focus our attention on the degree to which value spreads may provide investors with opportunities in stock selection today. We have selected Sales/Price as the metric on which we will decile the stock universes to define “cheap” (i.e., “value”) vs. “expensive” (i.e., “growth”), but the results would be similar had we chosen EBITDA/EV or Book/Price as all three valuation metrics were fairly well correlated in our analyses.

After doing our analysis for these papers, we were both surprised and disappointed to see such narrow valuation spreads between the most and least expensive stocks. As is often the case when we get into the data, the conclusions are less concise, clean and compelling than we would have liked. In some past periods glamour stocks achieved such high valuation levels despite poor profitability metrics because of investor euphoria surrounding a specific sector (e.g., technology) while ignoring other sectors. This behavior created ripe opportunities for investors via wide value spreads. Unfortunately, as our research will show, both the cheapest and most expensive deciles of firms are similarly expensive relative to their own histories. This spread compression eliminates an “easy” valuation anomaly to exploit, unlike during the 1999 Tech Bubble when spreads were enormous.

The combination of low value dispersion at the tails combined with elevated levels of valuations in both groups implies that investors will have to work harder to find opportunities in a market whose general risk profile seems elevated to us. Our view is that investors who rely heavily on simple metrics of valuation for returns face major headwinds as the margin of safety typically afforded by such approaches may have been eroded by nearly unprecedented levels of price relative to fundamentals. Similarly, our research indicates that investors fond of pursuing the highest growth firms face a universe increasingly characterized by difficult fundamentals, making process around those disciplines more difficult to maintain.

As this paper will show, with value-spreads leaving much to be desired we believe that integrating our Core Model among the least and most expensive firms in the Large Cap space offers investors a powerful tool to exploit the fundamental fractures we see in the most expensive firms while improving the odds of better identifying inexpensive firms whose economic franchises may prove more resilient than their valuation implies.

  1. As a reminder for our Financial Advisors: our models are available on a continuous basis, and most have been in production for over a decade.  If you are looking for simple, concentrated, low turnover, and tax efficient model portfolios we would like to talk with you.  KCR also offers a wide range of easy-to-use but sophisticated tools.  Our toolkits can help identify mispriced stocks with the best and worst risk/reward characteristics, estimate a stock’s duration and warn you when a company is engaging in low-quality accounting. Over the last 12 years, KCR has built and offers time-tested and class-leading products built by experienced and proven money managers for fixed to low prices.
  2. Kailash Capital’s sister company, L2 Asset Management, runs market neutral, long/short, large-cap, and mid-cap long-only portfolios with a value and quality bias.  L2 employs a highly disciplined investment process characterized by moderate concentration, low turnover, high tax efficiency, and low fees. While nobody can predict the future, we believe the recent resurgence in risk-adjusted returns seen across all products is the beginning of what may be a long period where speculation is punished, and prudence and patience rewarded.


The information, data, analyses, and opinions presented herein (a) do not constitute investment advice, (b) are provided solely for informational purposes and therefore are not, individually or collectively, an offer to buy or sell a security, (c) are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate, and (d) are subject to change without notice. Kailash Capital, LLC and its affiliates (collectively, “Kailash Capital”) shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages or other losses resulting from, or related to, the information, data, analyses or opinions or their use. The information herein may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any manner without the prior written consent of Kailash Capital. In preparing the information, data, analyses, and opinions presented herein, Kailash Capital has obtained data, statistics, and information from sources it believes to be reliable. Kailash Capital, however, does not perform an audit or seeks independent verification of any of the data, statistics, and information it receives. Kailash Capital and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. © 2021 Kailash Capital, LLC – All rights reserved.

Nothing herein shall limit or restrict the right of affiliates of Kailash Capital, LLC to perform investment management or advisory services for any other persons or entities. Furthermore, nothing herein shall limit or restrict affiliates of Kailash Capital, LLC from buying, selling or trading securities or other investments for their own accounts or for the accounts of their clients. Affiliates of Kailash Capital, LLC may at any time have, acquire, increase, decrease or dispose of the securities or other investments referenced in this publication. Kailash Capital, LLC shall have no obligation to recommend securities or investments in this publication as result of its affiliates’ investment activities for their own accounts or for the accounts of their clients.

May 14, 2014 |

Categories: White Papers

May 14, 2014

Categories: White Papers

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