Despite exceptional YTD performance, Financials sector stocks are trading at a historically low relative discount to the market. The banking industry is healthy, and a number of catalysts, including robust M&A activity, higher interest rates, and accelerated loan growth, could push bank stocks higher.
Deep-rooted cultural traditions of hard work and perseverance have contributed to Japan’s high-quality products, superior manufacturing, and technological innovations, resulting in a durable global competitive advantage.
For investors looking to position their portfolio to counter rising inflation, midstream energy companies may offer a number of key advantages.
For more than a decade, U.S. natural gas utility and pipeline companies have significantly increased investment in their infrastructure networks. We believe higher investment is a positive catalyst driving earnings growth for many natural gas distribution companies operating under rate of return (ROR) regulation.
As factory automation systems appear in factories throughout the world, Japanese companies are slated to be major beneficiaries - both as producers and users of robotics.
Over the last decade, strong growth in production has allowed the U.S. to become a net exporter of natural gas. Both liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and pipeline exports to Mexico have been growing rapidly, and significant further growth is forecast.
Berkshire Hathaway’s recent acquisition of more than 5% in five of Japan’s most esteemed corporations—Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., Sumitomo Corp., Itochu Corp., and Marubeni—has sent a resounding signal that Japan’s valuations are compelling, potentially bolstering investor sentiment about investing in Japan.
In summer 2020, Tokyo will host the Olympic games, providing Japan an opportunity to showcase itself to the world. Investments in technology and infrastructure will delight visitors during the 2020 Games and beyond, and this strategy may help trigger a new growth period for Japan’s economy.
Over the last five years, a difficult operating environment has hampered midstream energy companies and contributed to declines in distributions and stock prices. However, we believe that today midstream companies are at an important inflection point, poised to resume distribution growth that should attract favorable investor attention.
Two key measures of the health of the banking industry have shown significant improvement and could point to continued solid profitability in the Financial sector in 2019 and beyond.