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So far Poplar Forest Research has created 37 blog entries.

December 31, 2020 Quarterly Letter


The most important job for our investment team is to identify situations where embedded expectations are unreasonably low while avoiding stocks that are cheap for good reason (aka value traps). Cheap stocks can stay cheap unless fundamentals turn out to be better than expected. In contrast, the “great” company that merely ends up being “good” often generates disappointing results for its shareholders - just like so many New Year’s Eves.

December 31, 2020 Quarterly Letter2021-05-24T23:04:12+00:00

September 30, 2020 Quarterly Letter


While investors seem to be increasingly addicted to free money, I’m becoming ever more worried about the unintended long-term consequences of low rates, especially given the Fed’s new ultra-dovish policy targeting higher inflation. As former Fed Chair Martin said: “What’s good for the United States is good for the New York Stock Exchange. But what’s good for the New York Stock Exchange might not be good for the United States.”

September 30, 2020 Quarterly Letter2020-10-01T17:32:50+00:00

Poplar Forest Analyst Insights: Technology and Communication Services Q&A


In this edition of Analyst Insights, Cathy Lloyd talks about what she looks for when evaluating opportunities in Technology and Communication Services, how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the industry, and discusses growth opportunities for tech companies beyond 2020.

Poplar Forest Analyst Insights: Technology and Communication Services Q&A2020-08-28T22:20:54+00:00

June 30, 2020 Quarterly Letter


I've been thinking about this lately as I've watched the Federal Reserve try to rekindle our economic fire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In campfire cookery terms, the virus has been like a once in a hundred year downpour that soaked the woodpile -- wet wood doesn’t burn well. Fortunately, the Fed has trillions of dollars of industrial strength lighter fluid. When combined with the dry kindling that is the U.S. Congress’s fiscal stimulus, the economy could soon be cooking again. With our portfolio trading at less than 14x depressed 2020 estimated earnings, we feel very well positioned for recovery.

June 30, 2020 Quarterly Letter2020-07-01T18:17:04+00:00

Poplar Forest Analyst Insights: Financials Q&A


In this edition of Analyst Insights, Derek Derman frames the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Financial Services sector, highlights how banks and insurance companies are much stronger now than during the financial crisis, and discusses some of his highest conviction investment ideas.

Poplar Forest Analyst Insights: Financials Q&A2020-06-11T19:11:50+00:00

March 31, 2020 Quarterly Letter


I’ve been investing for almost 40 years now, so I’ve lived through many booms and busts, however, I’ve never seen anything quite like the COVID Crash. It took just 20 days for the S&P 500 to fall the 20% required to put us in a bear market. For the first time since 1997, stock market circuit breakers, designed to slow selloffs, were triggered three times in six days. We’ve experienced unprecedented day-to-day volatility: in March, the S&P 500 moved up or down by at least 4% in eight consecutive sessions, eclipsing the old record of six days in 1929. The pace of change is unprecedented.

March 31, 2020 Quarterly Letter2020-06-11T19:12:43+00:00

Poplar Forest Analyst Insights: Coronavirus Update & Healthcare Overview


The global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is creating panic in financial markets.  We appear to be in a period of maximum uncertainty characterized by a rapidly expanding list of questions, but few, if any, answers.  Over the coming weeks, it seems likely that patient counts may dramatically increase in the U.S. and create some short-term pressure on economic activity.  As patient counts rise, the American media will predictably stoke public fears of an intractable pandemic.  Contrary to these fears, we see encouraging reasons to believe that an effective therapy could be approved within the next few months.  We also believe the fatality rate in the U.S. could be much lower than in China, where smoking is more prevalent.

Poplar Forest Analyst Insights: Coronavirus Update & Healthcare Overview2020-06-11T19:13:23+00:00

December 31, 2019 Quarterly Letter


At roughly 11x estimated earnings, the companies we own continue to be priced at attractive absolute levels and at historically wide discounts to the market despite offering market-like earnings growth prospects. Whether we compare ourselves to broad market indices (S&P at 18x, Russell Value at 15x) or to other value managers (Peer average 15x), we offer differentiated portfolios of what we believe are incredibly compelling investment opportunities.

December 31, 2019 Quarterly Letter2020-06-11T19:14:17+00:00
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