The mix of positive vaccine news and a growing case count in the second wave of COVID-19 are having a see-saw effect on stocks. One day, it looks as if tech’s run atop the market is finished and the next, FAANG stocks are once again surging. With so much uncertainty, some retail investors may look to Canada’s largest institutional investors — many of which recently filed quarterly holding statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — for some ideas and guidance. Here are four investments from those filings that caught our eye:
CPPIB’s investment in Unity Software (NYSE/U)
Unity Software Inc.’s shares have already more than doubled only two months after its IPO in September. The momentum surrounding the video game software developer is immense and one continued benefactor appears to be Canada’s largest pension fund.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board first invested in Unity in 2019 with a group of U.S.-based investment funds. The terms of CPPIB’s investment were not disclosed, but Unity said in a release at the time that depending on the results of a simultaneous tender offer, it could be bringing in US$675 million. That capital would’ve brought its valuation to US$6 billion at the time. Now, its market capitalization sits well above US$32 billion.
In its third-quarter disclosures, the pension revealed that its investment in Unity was worth US$725 million as of Sept. 30. Since then, Unity’s stock jumped from US$87.88 to above US$121, meaning that CPPIB’s 8,308,081 shares would now be worth more than US$1 billion.
Unity is still a young company, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said. In fact, it didn’t even have a business model for monetization until 2013. It currently trades on a revenue multiple, which makes it more difficult to understand its worth in the market, he said.
But its two core pieces are promising — one is providing the software that developers need to create mobile video games, especially those in the augmented reality realm, and the other focuses on advertising within those games. The total market for mobile games outside of China is currently US$60 billion, Pachter said, and US$15 billion of that is spent on advertising. Not only are investors betting on both the gaming market and advertising slice growing, but on Unity increasing its share in both.
“It’s like Netflix Inc. and Tesla Inc,” Pachter said. “You can only own Netflix at $500 if you think everyone is going to cut their cable. The reason some are skeptical about those stocks is because there are well-entrenched competitors for the consumer wallet. For Unity, I’m not so sure there is.”
The Caisse’s investment in Lightspeed POS (LSPD/TSX)
Like the CPPIB, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec already had a sizeable position in payments company Lightspeed POS Inc. before the Montreal-based company’s IPO on the TSX in 2019. Before that, the CDPQ appeared to invest twice in Lightspeed — an initial investment in 2015 that was co-led by two other firms and raised $80 million and a second tranche of US$136 million two years later.
Because Lightspeed launched on the NYSE last quarter, the value of the CDPQ’s investment in the company was revealed in its third-quarter disclosures. The CDPQ disclosed owning more than 24 million shares of Lightspeed and the position was worth US$775.6 million as of Sept. 30. The stock was trading at US$32.02 then and has since risen above US$45 meaning that if the CDPQ did not sell any of its shares, its position is now worth more than US$1.09 billion.
BMO analyst Thanos Moschopoulos said that although the CDPQ position is substantial, the pension has actually been trimming its stake in Lightspeed over the past several months. The CDPQ sold 1.6 million shares of Lightspeed in September and another 1 million shares in February, according to SEDI, a website that tracks insider share transactions.
Moschopoulos recently raised his target price on Lightspeed’s TSX-listed shares to $62 from $50, citing appealing valuation and a rising growth potential, after the company reported earnings in early November. What separates Lightspeed from the rest of the competition, according to Moschopoulos, is that its stock can straddle the middle between the COVID-19 and the back-to-normal trades.
“Lightspeed is kind of interesting because Lightspeed’s one where they showed strong resilience and strong growth through the pandemic but on the flip side, they will also benefit clearly from the economy reopening and the world getting back to normal because of the fact their primary customer base has significant bricks-and-mortar exposure,” he said. “It’s different from other tech stocks.”
Everyone’s investing in Bill Ackman’s SPAC (PSTH/NYSE)
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman made history in July when he brought the largest Special Purpose Acquisition Company public with a US$4 billion raise. Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd., plans to use the proceeds of the IPO to acquire a minority stake in a company valued in the tens of billions of dollars, although he hasn’t revealed which one as of yet.
Ackman’s SPAC drew the attention of a several big-name institutional investors, including T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Guggenheim Partners. Among them were three of the largest pension funds in Canada.
Of the three, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board’s US$256 million investment, as well as another US$9 million in warrants, was by far the most significant.
Ackman and the OTPP have a history of working together. In 2012, Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management L.P. led a push to have the Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. change its board and chief executive and gained the support of the OTPP, another of CP Rail’s large institutional investors. Pershing’s proxy fight was successful — it saw all its nominations for the board pushed through and Hunter Harrison replaced Fred Green as CEO.
Elsewhere in Canada, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board pumped US$28 million into Ackman’s SPAC and the Alberta Investment Management Corp. added more than US$11 million.
Chinese ADRs are popular
Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. has long been one of the top holdings for the biggest Canadian pensions, but last quarter, a host of pensions expanded their horizons beyond the Chinese e-commerce company to make new investments in Chinese electric vehicles, brokerages and education companies.
CPPIB led the way by investing at least US$82.5 million into five Chinese ADRs that it did not own in the last quarter. Its largest new investment in China was a US$36 million venture into data center operator Chindata Group Holdings Ltd. CPPIB also disclosed a new US$15.5 million position on Futu Holdings Ltd., which operates a digital brokerage platform in China. The wealth management company also drew the attention of the OTPP, which started a $13 million position in the firm last quarter.
The CDPQ and British Columbia Investment Management Inc. opened small positions of less than US$1 million on electric vehicle maker Xpeng Inc., while AIMCo started a US$1.9 million investment in Nio Inc. Both stocks have been among the hottest trading in North America as investors are strongly betting on a promising EV market in China and the potential for Tesla Inc. to face stiff competition from national manufacturers.
In the last month alone, Xpeng has more than doubled, while Nio has rallied more than 70 per cent. Both of these stocks are extremely volatile and unproven, however, which might explain why no pension was willing to pump significant funds into them.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020
PIMCO Municipal Closed-End Funds Announce Changes to Non-Fundamental Investment Policies – GlobeNewswire
NEW YORK, Dec. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PIMCO California Municipal Income Fund (NYSE: PCQ), PIMCO California Municipal Income Fund II (NYSE: PCK), PIMCO California Municipal Income Fund III (NYSE: PZC), PIMCO Municipal Income Fund (NYSE: PMF), PIMCO Municipal Income Fund II (NYSE: PML), PIMCO Municipal Income Fund III (NYSE: PMX), PIMCO New York Municipal Income Fund (NYSE: PNF), PIMCO New York Municipal Income Fund II (NYSE: PNI) and PIMCO New York Municipal Income Fund III (NYSE: PYN) (each a “Fund” and, together, the “Funds”) announced that, effective February 2, 2021, each fund will revise its non-fundamental investment policies such that each Fund (i) may invest up to 20% of its total assets in securities that generate income subject to the federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT Bonds”) (the “AMT Policy Revision”) and (ii) may invest up to 20% of its net assets in municipal bonds that are rated Ba or B or lower by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or BB or B or lower by S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) or Fitch, Inc. (“Fitch”), or that are unrated but determined to be of comparable quality by PIMCO Investment Management Company, LLC (“PIMCO”) (the “Lower-Rated Investments Policy Revision”), as described in further detail below.
Each Fund will effect the AMT Policy Revision by amending and restating its non-fundamental investment policies as follows, effective February 2, 2021:
|Fund||Current Policy||Amended Policy Effective February 2, 2021|
|PCQ, PCK and PZC||Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest substantially all (at least 90%) of its net assets in municipal bonds which pay interest that, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by the Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable), is exempt from federal and California income taxes. The Fund will [at all times]1 seek to avoid bonds generating interest potentially subjecting individuals to the alternative minimum tax.||Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 90% of its net assets in municipal bonds which pay interest that, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by the Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable), is exempt from regular federal and California income taxes (i.e., excluded from gross income for federal and California income tax purposes but not necessarily exempt from the federal alternative minimum tax). Subject to its other investment policies, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in investments the interest from which is subject to the federal alternative minimum tax.|
|PMF, PML and PMX||Under normal market conditions, the Fund expects to be fully invested (at least 90% of its net assets) in tax-exempt municipal bonds. The Fund will [at all times]1 seek to avoid bonds generating interest potentially subjecting individuals to the alternative minimum tax.||Under normal circumstances, the Fund expects to invest at least 90% of its net assets in municipal bonds which pay interest that, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by the Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable), is exempt from regular federal income taxes (i.e., excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes but not necessarily exempt from the federal alternative minimum tax). Subject to its other investment policies, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in investments the interest from which is subject to the federal alternative minimum tax.|
|PNF, PNI and PYN||Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest substantially all (at least 90%) of its net assets in municipal bonds which pay interest that, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by the Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable) is exempt from federal, New York State and New York City income taxes. The Fund will [at all times]1 seek to avoid bonds generating interest potentially subjecting individuals to the alternative minimum tax.||Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 90% of its net assets in municipal bonds which pay interest that, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer (or on the basis of other authority believed by the Fund’s portfolio manager to be reliable) is exempt from regular federal, New York State and New York City income taxes (i.e., excluded from gross income for federal, New York State and New York City income tax purposes but not necessarily exempt from the federal alternative minimum tax). Subject to its other investment policies, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets in investments the interest from which is subject to the federal alternative minimum tax.|
Each Fund will effect the Lower-Rated Investments Policy Revision by amending and restating its non-fundamental investment policies as follows, effective February 2, 2021:
|Fund||Current Policy||Amended Policy Effective February 2, 2021|
|PCQ, PCK, PZC, PMF, PML, PMX, PNF, PNI and PYN||The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in municipal bonds that are rated Ba/BB or B or that are unrated but judged to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s portfolio manager.||The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in municipal bonds that are rated Ba/BB or B or lower or that are unrated but determined to be of comparable quality by PIMCO.|
PIMCO, each Fund’s investment manager, recommended the proposed changes to the Fund’s Board of Trustees as being in the best interests of each Fund. PIMCO believes these policy revisions will provide each Fund with the increased flexibility to invest in AMT Bonds and non-investment grade securities and accordingly, greater access to potentially attractive investment opportunities.
Investments by the Funds in AMT Bonds may expose the Funds to certain risks in addition to those typically associated with municipal bonds. Interest or principal on AMT Bonds paid out of current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific asset may be adversely impacted by declines in revenue from the project or asset. Declines in general business activity could also affect the economic viability of facilities that are the sole source of revenue to support AMT Bonds. In this regard, AMT Bonds may entail greater risks than general obligation municipal bonds. For shareholders subject to the federal alternative minimum tax, a portion of a Fund’s distributions may not be exempt from gross federal income, which may give rise to alternative minimum tax liability.
Investments by the Funds in lower-rated securities, including high yield securities, may cause the Funds to be exposed to increased risks associated with such securities, including but not limited to, an issuer’s inability to make timely principal and interest payments and higher risk of default. Lower-rated securities may fluctuate more widely in price and yield and may fall in price during times when the economy is weak or is expected to become weak. These securities also may require a greater degree of judgment to establish a price and may be difficult to sell at the time and price a Fund desires. Issuers of securities that are in default or have defaulted may fail to resume principal or interest payments, in which case a Fund may lose its entire investment. The creditworthiness of issuers of these securities may be more complex to analyze than that of issuers of investment grade debt securities, and the overreliance on credit ratings may present additional risks. In addition to the risks inherent in lower-rated securities, for purposes of weekly asset coverage testing required for the Funds’ outstanding auction rate preferred shares, the lower-rated securities may be discounted more than higher-rated securities.
A discussion of the Funds’ investment strategies and associated risks will be included in the Funds’ next annual report to shareholders for the year ending December 31, 2020.
The Funds’ daily New York Stock Exchange closing market prices, net asset values per share, as well as other information, including updated portfolio statistics and performance are available at pimco.com/closedendfunds or by calling the Funds’ shareholder servicing agent at (844) 33-PIMCO. Updated portfolio holdings information about a Fund will be available approximately 15 calendar days after such Fund’s most recent fiscal quarter end, and will remain accessible until such Fund files a Form N-PORT or a shareholder report for the period which includes the date of the information.
PIMCO was founded in 1971 in Newport Beach, California and is one of the world’s premier fixed income investment managers. Today we have offices across the globe and 2,800+ professionals united by a single purpose: creating opportunities for investors in every environment. PIMCO is owned by Allianz S.E., a leading global diversified financial services provider.
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking statements. These statements may involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including the performance of financial markets, the investment performance of PIMCO’s sponsored investment products and separately managed accounts, general economic conditions, future acquisitions, competitive conditions and government regulations, including changes in tax laws. Readers should carefully consider such factors. Further, such forward-looking statements speak only on the date at which such statements are made. PIMCO undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.
This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. in the United States and throughout the world. ©2020, PIMCO
1 The bracketed language does not apply to PCQ, PMF or PNF.
Federal Realty Investment Trust Stock Can Still Grow By 40% – Forbes
We believe that Federal Realty Investment Trust stock (NYSE: FRT) has an upside potential of 40% in 1-1.5 years, once the consumer demand improves and the retail sales recovers to the pre-Covid level. FRT trades at $90 currently and it has lost 30% in value year-to-date. It traded at a pre-Covid high of $126 in February and is 28% below that level now. Also, FRT stock has gained 35% from the lows of $67 seen in March 2020, after the multi-billion dollar stimulus package announced by the U.S. government which has helped the stock market recover to a large extent. The stock is lagging the broader markets (S&P 500 is up about 65% since the March bottom), as investors are concerned about a drop in the rent collections rate of Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The company owns a portfolio of commercial properties near densely populated areas with affluent communities – where retail demand exceeds supply. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, retail businesses have suffered significant losses, leading to a drop in FRT’s rent collection rate. The same was evident from FRT’s cumulative revenues for the first three quarters – down 12% y-o-y. That said, its carefully selected properties at highly desirable locations are likely to ensure higher demand for its retail assets. Further, most of them are open-air facilities, which are considered comparatively safer than malls. Despite some growth in FRT stock since late March, we believe that the stock has room for growth in the near future provided there is no sudden uptick in the Covid-19 cases leading to further lockdown restrictions. Our conclusion is based on our detailed analysis of Federal Realty Investment Trust’s stock performance during the current crisis with that during the 2008 recession in an interactive dashboard analysis.
2020 Coronavirus Crisis
- 12/12/2019: Coronavirus cases first reported in China
- 1/31/2020: WHO declares a global health emergency.
- 2/19/2020: Signs of effective containment in China and hopes of monetary easing by major central banks helps S&P 500 reach a record high
- 3/23/2020: S&P 500 drops 34% from the peak level seen on Feb 19, as Covid-19 cases accelerate outside China. Doesn’t help that oil prices crash in mid-March amid Saudi-led price war
- From 3/24/2020: S&P 500 recovers 64% from the lows seen on Mar 23, as the Fed’s multi-billion dollar stimulus package suppresses near-term survival anxiety and infuses liquidity into the system.
In contrast, here’s how FRT and the broader market performed during the 2007/2008 crisis.
Timeline of 2007-08 Crisis
- 10/1/2007: Approximate pre-crisis peak in the S&P 500 index
- 9/1/2008 – 10/1/2008: Accelerated market decline corresponding to Lehman bankruptcy filing (9/15/08)
- 3/1/2009: Approximate bottoming out of the S&P 500 index
- 1/1/2010: Initial recovery to levels before the accelerated decline (around 9/1/2008)
Federal Realty Investment Trust vs S&P 500 Performance Over 2007-08 Financial Crisis
FRT stock declined from levels of around $91 in October 2007 (the pre-crisis peak) to roughly $41 in March 2009 (as the markets bottomed out), implying that the stock lost as much as 55% of its value from its approximate pre-crisis peak. This marked a slightly sharper drop than the broader S&P, which fell by about 51%.
However, FRT recovered strongly post the 2008 crisis to about $68 in early 2010 – rising by 65% between March 2009 and January 2010. In comparison, the S&P bounced back by about 48% over the same period.
Federal Realty Investment Trust’s Fundamentals in Recent Years Looked Strong
Federal Realty Investment Trust revenues grew 26% from $744 million in 2015 to $935.8 million in 2019. Similarly, the company’s adjusted net income increased from $209.7 million to $345.8 million over the same period. The company’s Q3 2020 revenues were 11% below the year-ago period due to lower rental income. On the same note, its EPS figure decreased from $0.84 to -$0.41 mainly driven by an impairment charge of $57 million.
Does Federal Realty Investment Trust Have A Sufficient Cash Cushion To Meet Its Obligations Through The Coronavirus Crisis?
Federal Realty Investment Trust’s total debt increased from $2.7 billion in 2016 to $4.5 billion at the end of Q3 2020, while its total cash increased from $23.4 million to around $863.3 million over the same period. The company generated around $268.4 million in cash from its operations in the first nine months of 2020, and if its cash situation further worsens, it might be difficult for the company to weather the crisis.
Phases of Covid-19 crisis:
- Early- to mid-March 2020: Fear of the coronavirus outbreak spreading rapidly translates into reality, with the number of cases accelerating globally
- Late-March 2020 onward: Social distancing measures + lockdowns
- April 2020: Fed stimulus suppresses near-term survival anxiety
- May-June 2020: Recovery of demand, with the gradual lifting of lockdowns – no panic anymore despite a steady increase in the number of cases
- July-October 2020: Weak Q2 and Q3 results, but continued improvement in demand and progress with vaccine development buoy market sentiment.
Keeping in mind the trajectory over 2009-10, this suggests a potential recovery to around $126 (40% upside) once economic conditions begin to show signs of improving, provided its debt condition doesn’t deteriorate any further. This marks a full recovery to the $126 level Federal Realty Investment Trust’s stock was at before the coronavirus outbreak gained global momentum.
What if you’re looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Here’s ahigh quality portfolio to beat the market, with over 100% return since 2016, versus 55% for the S&P 500. Comprised of companies with strong revenue growth, healthy profits, lots of cash, and low risk, it has outperformed the broader market year after year, consistently.
AIMA releases alternative investment guide – Wealth Professional
Aside from due diligence question highlights, the guide includes media such as five-minute educational videos, an investor infographic, downside protection charts, and continuing education advisor presentations.
Readers can get better acquainted with key regulatory differences between fund structures. Advisors can also get practical guidance with questions to ask their head office when weighing allocations to hedge funds, private credit funds, alternative mutual funds, and alternative ETFs. The guide also features a directory of AIMA members organized by strategy and fund structure.
Beyond that, readers can also learn about asset-allocation trends, including alternative investment leadership and engagement by notable institutional investors in Canada.
“Performance through the pandemic has proven that alternatives are resilient and essential to safeguard against the volatility in the market and the low-rate environment,” said Belle Kaura, VP Legal & CCO at Third Eye Capital, who is also chair of AIMA Canada’s board of directors and a member of the Executive Committee, 2018-2022.
“The proportion of alternatives will increase as advisors gain more access to these and there is greater familiarity with strategies and how to assess products to meet risk tolerance, liquidity needs and return targets,” Kaura said. “Strategies across a continuum of risk return profiles should dispel the notion that all alternatives are high risk, allowing advisors to allocate to better protect and create investor wealth.
COVID-19 restrictions extended in Halifax and Hants; N.S. ramps up asymptomatic testing – CTV News Atlantic
PIMCO Municipal Closed-End Funds Announce Changes to Non-Fundamental Investment Policies – GlobeNewswire
Demand fueling Powell River, Sunshine Coast real estate market – My Powell River Now
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
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