Posts Categorized: Valuation & Accounting

Japan’s New Corporate Codes – Studying the Impact on Valuations

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Corporate governance represents the relationship among various corporate stakeholders that determines the strategic direction of a company. Practically, corporate governance adjudicates the balance among key stakeholder interests within the firm. Japan is unveiling a new corporate governance code for companies …

“Legitimacy” in the Banking Sector

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Earnings and valuation uncertainty – In a post Global Financial Crisis world, investors are questioning long-term earnings and valuation prospects for the banking sector. Tougher regulation, particularly on capital, liquidity and structure, are exerting pressure on the traditional banking business and clouding the outlook for investors….

Regional and Sector Strategy: January Update

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This month we, upgrade Financials to Overweight from Neutral reflecting the combination of relatively attractive valuations and improving earnings momentum. In addition, Financials’ earnings estimate revisions are only modestly negative (i.e., downward revisions just outpace upward revisions), in sharp contrast to most other sectors where estimate revisions are strongly negative. Our regional strategy remains unchanged…..

ESG Essentials – A Guide for Investors

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There is increasing recognition globally that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are relevant and material for investment decisions. If you are involved in the world of finance, the words “sustainability” or “ESG” have either crossed your desk or are about to. For investors that are new to the topic, this report will serve as a primer that provides a basis for additional avenues of inquiry. For those that are already familiar with the subject, this report will act as a supplement and may offer new or different perspectives on the most critical issues.

Regional and Sector Strategy: November Update

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This month we, upgrade Financials to Overweight from Neutral reflecting the combination of relatively attractive valuations and improving earnings momentum. In addition, Financials’ earnings estimate revisions are only modestly negative (i.e., downward revisions just outpace upward revisions), in sharp contrast to most other sectors where estimate revisions are strongly negative. Our regional strategy remains unchanged. We are Overweight or Neutral the majority of developed regions (Japan, U.K., Australia, North America) and Underweight most emerging markets (Latin America, CEEMEA)….

Impact Measurement to Enable an Effective Market

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Co-Authored with Kelly McCarthy   Investors in sustainable finance and banking may have noticed a recent focus on the importance of impact measurement. A number of government initiatives are emphasizing rigorous social and environmental performance tracking, including an announcement last month from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that Impact Small Business Investment Companies (Impact… Read more »

The Cornerstone Capital Strategy Update: Less Cyclical, More Defensive

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We have updated the inputs to the Cornerstone Capital Sector Strategy Model in which we rank the ten GICs in the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI). Figure 1 summarizes the most recent rankings. Figure 1:  Cornerstone Capital Global Markets Equity Strategy Model Sector Overview Relative to the previous rankings (published in the June edition… Read more »

Cornerstone Summary of “Earnings Guidance A White Paper from KKS Advisors & the Generation Foundation”

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The fact of the matter is that capital markets have moved away from a long-term mindset and more towards a focus on short-term results. This trend has been well observed by market participants and academics alike, yet the question as to what will serve as a catalyst to reverse the trend remains. To this end, it’s worth highlighting a recently released white paper by The Generation Foundation and KKS Advisors focusing on the impact of regular Earnings Guidance. Thorough examination of the topic leads to the following conclusions….

Confirmation Bias in the Investment Process

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The ancient Greek historian, Thucydides, wrote, “It is a habit of mankind . . . to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy.” The phenomenon to which he speaks manifests itself in all walks of life, from politics to religion and investing. Today, this concept is termed “confirmation bias” and refers to the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses….

Top Sports, Media & Entertainment Brands: A Focus on ESG Metrics

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION Since 2009, Bloomberg has been uploading key corporate ESG metrics to its database from companies’ own financial and sustainability reports. They have over 800 data points – 10 to 12 are considered key ESG metrics for all companies to disclose to the capital markets.  Sustainability… Read more »

The Cornerstone Capital Strategy Update

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In the April edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking we introduced the Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Model in which we ranked seven of the world’s regions/major economies. At the time, we excluded Australia and Canada but, following client feedback, we are now incorporating those two countries in our model – Australia as a stand-alone country, and Canada as part of the North America region….

The Spin on Spin-Offs

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Time Warner Inc. completed the spin-off of Time Inc. earlier this month. Likewise, CBS Corp. announced that it would split off its remaining shares in CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. It’s clear that tax-free spin-offs continue to be popular transactions for… Read more »

A Perspective on GoDaddy’s IPO

This commentary is co-authored by John Wilson and Janet Pegg. Some recent comments in the media raise concerns about how GoDaddy Inc.’s upcoming initial public offering will be impacted by the original shareholder’s retention of future tax benefits from GoDaddy’s prior tax losses.  However, care should be taken before drawing conclusions about the company’s tax… Read more »

Regional Strategy Update

  In the April edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking we introduced the Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Model in which we ranked seven of the world’s regions/major economies. At the time, we excluded Australia and Canada but, following client feedback, we are now incorporating those two countries in our model –… Read more »

Introducing Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy

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In this note, we introduce the Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy Model.  The model ranks the 10 GICS in the MSCI All Country World Index.  As discussed in detail below, the model employs a quantitative multi-factor methodology to generate sector recommendations based on proprietary measures of valuation and earnings.  The Cornerstone Capital model also takes… Read more »

PIP’n Good

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I’ve been on a mission for close to half my life — to figure out how best to steer individuals toward more socially mindful daily life choices. Because really, from the coffee you brew in the morning to the way you get to work, your everyday decisions have an impact — on the environment, on… Read more »

Where Should “Human Capital” Fit in the Sustainability Agenda?

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ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION  If people are a firm’s “most important asset” – as CEOs repeatedly proclaim – why are they only reported as costs? What are the problems caused by this mismatch, and what would ameliorate them? In light of this, what actions can and… Read more »

Financial Impediments to Job Creation by Start-Ups and Small Firms

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ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION While older firms are important with regard to employment levels, it is new and young businesses (i.e., less than one year old) that are a key source of job growth. The U.S. economy is comprised of more than 6 million establishments with… Read more »

The Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Update

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION In the April edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking we introduced the Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Model. This month there is no change in our regional weightings. We provide a quick update by region. Michael Geraghty is the… Read more »

Going Deep: Measurement Systems at the Product Level

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. In a world of big data, radical transparency for corporations and sustainability reporting on the rise, we should see a major shift in how businesses are tackling the most intractable environmental and social issues, as well as a rapid pace of progress… Read more »

Reimagining Impact, Reimaging ROI

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Co-authored by Bob Harrison, CEO and Bulbul Gupta, Head of Market-Based Approaches at the Clinton Global Initiative If we care about meeting the economic, social, and environmental demands of the 21st century, and growing consumer demand for responsible products, then we need to… Read more »

PIP’n Good

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION I’ve been on a mission for close to half my life — to figure out how best to steer individuals toward more socially mindful daily life choices. Because really, from the coffee you brew in the morning to the way you get… Read more »

Where Angels Fear to Tread: Entrepreneurs Rush In, But Investors Don’t

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION Co-Authored by Robert D. Lamb and Sadika Hameed, Program on Crisis, Conflict and Cooperation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies A teenage girl sews some clothes and sells them to a vendor at the local market, grows her business, and eventually… Read more »

Making the Case for Crowdfunding Rules

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Start-up companies and investors eagerly await SEC final rules implementing the JOBS Act’s crowdfunding provisions. The SEC, however, must ensure investors are adequately protected. Achieving this goal will help validate crowdfunding as a viable investment and capital raising tool. Janet Pegg, CPA,… Read more »

“Exit Left:” A Reflection about VC Investing & Entrepreneurship

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION We have seen this story play out again and again. An entrepreneur hatches an idea, then looks for independent sources of funding to grow and scale the business. Blame the practice of independent venture capital (VC) firms dedicating a lot of focus… Read more »

Introducing Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION We introduce the Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy Model which ranks the 10 GICS in the MSCI All Country World Index. The model employs a quantitative multi-factor methodology to generate sector recommendations based on proprietary measures of valuation and earnings and incorporates… Read more »

Introducing Cornerstone Capital Global Markets Regional Equity Strategy Model

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In this note, we introduce the Cornerstone Capital Global Markets Regional Equity Strategy Model.  As discussed in detail below, the model employs a quantitative multi-factor methodology to generate regional recommendations based on proprietary measures of valuation and earnings.  The Cornerstone Capital model also takes into account corporate governance metrics by region.  We will be updating… Read more »

Smart Grid Infrastructure – Status, Opportunities and Risks

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As we strive towards a system change, replacing linear business models with circular, impact-integrating strategies, network infrastructures are at the core of a major shift. From low-risk, low-return physical assets, they are being transformed into smart grids….

Unleashing Impact Capital into Public Infrastructure and Building Projects

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Our national economy is in a world of hurt when it comes to its very foundation: the public infrastructure and buildings that enable and support economic activity.  Bridges, highways, transit, energy, and environmental infrastructure as well as social infrastructure including healthcare, education… Read more »

Building Sustainable Cities with New Design Processes and Open Data

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. New data and technology advancements in the infrastructure design industry have the potential to revolutionize how finance and banking professionals screen opportunities for impact investments. The design industry is rapidly moving from the practice of drawing lines and circles to an intelligent,… Read more »

Increasing Access to Clean Water in Kenya: The Case for a Social Impact Bond

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. With limited public funding available for socially and environmentally responsible programs, a variety of initiatives have been developed to attract private capital into sustainable development. Although still in their infancy, social impact bonds (SIBs) offer a promising outlook for sustained public-private partnerships…. Read more »

Cornerstone Roundtable Discussion on the Global Pharmaceuticals Industry

The “Biopharma” Industry The lines between the “pharmaceuticals” and “biotechnology” sectors are becoming increasingly blurred. With 35-40% of the earnings of global large cap pharmaceuticals companies coming from biologics, it is probably more accurate to refer to these companies as operating in the “biopharma” industry. Corporate governance has played a key role in the emergence… Read more »

Filling the Infrastructure Data Gap in Impact Investing

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The OECD estimates USD 53 trillion in investment or the equivalent of an annual 2.5% of global GDP by the year 2030, to meet demand for infrastructure investment by 2030. Those numbers are so large and intimidating that most people are tempted… Read more »

CBA-BIM Using Established Tools to Achieve Standard for Infrastructure Project Valuation and Risk Assessment

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is changing the planning, design, building, and operation of infrastructure. When Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is added to BIM investors get both transparency of value and understanding of risks in complex infrastructure projects. CBA-BIM has the potential to… Read more »

New Tools, New Tricks: How Emerging Applications Are Becoming Game-Changers for Impact Investors and Infrastructure Development

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The creation of standardized economic tools that can be used in the context of infrastructure exchanges may enable a new era of impact investing. Investors can use new standardized metrics to shape the definitions of new asset classes, including green bonds and… Read more »

Trinity River Vision Authority Applies Sustainability Rating and Business Case Analysis to Set Stormwater Management Principles

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The financial benefits coupled with the benefits of maintaining the water quality of the lake and canals planned for Panther Island makes a clear case for expanding the use of green infrastructure in North Texas that will benefit the development community and… Read more »

Infrastructure Imperatives Drive Regional Competitiveness

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Today, our urban areas face enormous threats and costs including those associated with the quality, integration and performance of their civil infrastructure systems. Over time, as comprehensive business cases become more common, users will realize additional benefits as projects are regionally bundled… Read more »

WCX Finalizes Project Principles and Standards

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. On January 2nd, the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) released the final version of “Infrastructure Project Certification –Principles and Framework” which was developed by the WCX Business Standards Committee. The principles and project standards are the first-ever attempt by multiple US states… Read more »

Lack of R&D Tax Credit Will Complicate First Quarter Earnings

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Investors should be aware that first quarter earnings could have a little extra “noise” in them this year, and may not be comparable to previous years.  The problem results from Congress not extending the R&D tax credit again.  The credit has a… Read more »

ESG & Credit Risk: New Study Demonstrates a Clear Link

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Using data contributed by RepRisk, a Swiss-based ESG business intelligence provider, the authors examined the effect of CSR-related negative media attention on credit default swap spreads.  According to the study, companies that are criticized in the news for irresponsible ESG practices have… Read more »

Design to Serve the Changing Needs of the Reasonable Investor

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. The reasonable investor of 2014 is not the same as the reasonable investor of 1973. However, investors don’t have information to determine how companies are adapting to this new reality. In this situation, investors need comparable environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data… Read more »

Private Investors Exploring Emerging Asset Classes

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Now that ESG (environment, social, governance) criteria are uncovering sound, long-term investments, private equity, family offices and pension funds are looking even farther afield for more such opportunities.  This new biomimicry asset class is the focus of Ethical Markets research in our… Read more »

Defining Crises: Catalyzing Sustainable Growth

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Oftentimes, the way a corporation responds to a crisis ultimately leads to a binary outcome: the company stumbles and fails to survive or, alternatively, it responds effectively and thrives. As the focus on sustainability continues to grow, it’s likely that corporate crises will increasingly involve ESG issues. While most crises are idiosyncratic in nature, in some instances there are commonalities, both in terms of the precipitating factors and the responses of the companies involved. It’s for this reason that analyzing successful responses to prior crises can be enlightening for managements and investors….

Accounting for Timber – Lack of Convergence Illustrates the Differences between Historical Cost & Fair Value Accounting

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Over the past few years one of the dominant hot topics in investment analysis has been fair value accounting.  After the credit crisis, there was a call by some to require fair value accounting for financial instruments.  The issue of the appropriateness… Read more »

The Makings of a Market Correction?

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2013 was a stellar year for stocks — the S&P 500 reached new highs and finished with a gain of 30%. Other developed markets performed well too — the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) rose 23% — but the MSCI Emerging Markets index fell 3%. As for 2014, we started the year with a dip begging the question of whether a material correction might be in store, as some observers have predicted….

Disclosure Overload: Don’t Throw Investors Out with the Bathwater

Extract from the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking, January 2014 written by Janet Pegg, Head of Accounting & Valuation at Cornerstone Capital Inc. and former Managing Director and Analyst of U.S. Accounting Research at UBS Investment Bank. Janet is an II-ranked Analyst. Subscribers can view the full article in the January edition. Although mandates… Read more »

Big Data in the Social Sector

Extract from the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking, January 2014 written by Sonal Shah, a Senior Fellow at the Case Foundation and a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and Hollie Russon Gilman, a Democracy Fellow at Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School. Subscribers can view the… Read more »

Principles of Responsible Data

Extract from the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking, January 2014 written by Michael Shavel, CFA, a Research & Business Analyst at Cornerstone Capital Inc. and a former Research Analyst on AllianceBernstein’s Global Growth & Thematic team. Subscribers can view the full article in the January edition. While technology has evolved, there still remains the… Read more »

Efficiency Meets Big Data

Extract from the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking, January 2014 written by Ben Dear, Partner at Osmosis Investment Management in the United Kingdom. Subscribers can view the full article in the January edition. Any firm that is therefore able to standardize and use the data to provide objective, comparable efficiency rankings, will be highly… Read more »