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SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (SPLG) May Dashboard


Data analytics report and key performance indicators on information dashboard for Business strategy and business intelligence.

Worawut Prasuwan/iStock via Getty Images

About SPLG

This monthly article series reports sector metrics in the S&P 500 index. It is also a top-down review of all funds tracking it. Among them, the SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPLG), launched in November 2005, is less popular than the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY). However, it has a lower expense ratio (0.03% vs. 0.09%) and a lower share price offering more flexibility to investors who can’t trade fractional shares. It has $11.7B of assets under management and an average daily volume of about 5.7 million shares/day. SPLG pays quarterly dividends.

Shortcut

The next two paragraphs in italic describe the dashboard methodology. They are necessary for new readers to understand the metrics. If you are used to this series or if you are short of time, you can skip them and go to the charts.

Base Metrics

I calculate the median value of five fundamental ratios in every sector: Earnings Yield (“EY”), Sales Yield (“SY”), Free Cash Flow Yield (“FY”), Return on Equity (“ROE”), Gross Margin (“GM”). All are calculated on trailing 12 months. For all these ratios, higher is better and negative is bad. EY, SY and FY are medians of the inverse of Price/Earnings, Price/Sales and Price/Free Cash Flow. They are better for statistical studies than price-to-something ratios, which are unusable when the “something” is close to zero or negative (for example, companies with negative earnings). I also calculate two momentum metrics for each group: the median monthly return (RetM) and the median annual return (RetY).

I prefer medians rather than averages because a median splits a set in a good half and a bad half. Capital-weighted averages are skewed by extreme values and the largest companies. As a consequence, these metrics are designed for stock-picking rather than index investing.

Value and Quality Scores

Historical baselines are calculated as the averages on a look-back period of 11 years for all metrics. They are noted respectively EYh, SYh, FYh, ROEh, GMh. For example, the value of EYh for technology in the table below is the 11-year average of the median Earnings Yield of S&P 500 tech companies.

The Value Score “VS” is the average difference in % between the three valuation ratios (EY, SY, FY) and their baselines (EYh, SYh, FYh). The same way, the Quality Score “QS” is the average difference between the two quality ratios (ROE, GM) and their baselines (ROEh, GMh).

VS may be interpreted as the percentage of undervaluation or overvaluation relative to the baseline (positive is good, negative is bad). This interpretation must be taken with caution: the baseline is an arbitrary reference, not a supposed fair value. The formula assumes that the three valuation metrics are of equal importance, except in energy and utilities where the Free Cash Flow Yield is ignored to avoid some inconsistencies. A floor of -100 is set for VS and QS when the calculation goes below this value. It may happen when metrics in a sector are very bad.

Current data

The next table shows the metrics and scores as of last week’s closing. Columns stand for all the data defined above.

VS

QS

EY

SY

FY

ROE

GM

EYh

SYh

FYh

ROEh

GMh

RetM

RetY

All

-14.33

15.54

0.0420

0.3314

0.0282

18.45

48.72

0.0457

0.4580

0.0304

14.80

45.76

-7.51%

0.47%

Cs. Discretionary

-11.32

11.92

0.0466

0.5402

0.0277

26.79

34.95

0.0470

0.6725

0.0320

20.88

36.58

-8.09%

-11.51%

Cs. Staples

-16.94

-0.83

0.0374

0.4215

0.0193

25.62

36.75

0.0450

0.5085

0.0232

23.50

41.14

3.64%

8.38%

Energy

84.73

100*

0.0488

0.4234

0.0379

13.99

47.37

0.0168

0.5361

-0.0176

4.76

42.29

-3.95%

59.40%

Financials

-4.39

24.31

0.0925

0.3534

0.0535

14.33

81.04

0.0680

0.4627

0.0719

10.46

72.61

-10.22%

-3.18%

Healthcare

-14.30

13.84

0.0358

0.2256

0.0342

20.00

65.28

0.0382

0.3094

0.0378

16.24

62.46

-7.10%

0.09%

Industrials

-24.37

15.37

0.0391

0.3708

0.0243

26.19

37.46

0.0475

0.5935

0.0296

20.26

36.91

-7.98%

-2.70%

Technology

-23.80

18.63

0.0335

0.1942

0.0308

27.59

64.31

0.0411

0.2931

0.0381

20.53

62.51

-11.32%

-2.41%

Communication

19.16

-7.37

0.0575

0.6632

0.0453

15.17

51.58

0.0492

0.5266

0.0395

16.68

54.70

-11.92%

-25.27%

Materials

1.35

13.25

0.0493

0.5230

0.0280

20.64

36.63

0.0446

0.6281

0.0254

16.59

35.88

-3.93%

-1.66%

Utilities

-29.20

3.68

0.0430

0.3341

-0.0635

9.58

42.28

0.0520

0.5672

-0.0447

9.71

38.88

-1.36%

12.37%

Real Estate

0.89

27.29

0.0268

0.0884

0.0062

9.24

65.17

0.0200

0.1161

0.0067

5.96

65.45

-6.01%

12.62%

Score charts

The next chart plots the Value and Quality Scores by sector (higher is better).

Value and quality in the S&P 500

Value and quality in the S&P 500 (Chart: author; data: Portfolio123)

Score variations since last month:

S&P 500 Variations in value and quality

Variations in value and quality (Chart: author; data: Portfolio123)

Momentum chart:

Momentum in the S&P 500

Momentum in the S&P 500 (Chart: author; data: Portfolio123)

Interpretation

A hypothetical S&P 500 “median” company is overvalued by about 14.3% relative to average valuation metrics since 2011. Its quality score is about 15.5% above the baseline. We can translate median yields in their inverse ratios:

Price/Earnings: 23.81 – Price/Sales: 3.02 – Price/Free Cash Flow: 35.46

Energy has the highest value, quality and 12-month momentum scores. Communication services are undervalued by about 19% relative to historical averages, and they are slightly below the quality baseline. Materials, financials, and real estate are close to the baseline in value, and above it in quality. Usual fundamental ratios are less meaningful in financials and real estate but comparing aggregate metrics to their own historical averages makes sense. Other sectors are overvalued by 11% (consumer discretionary) to 29% (utilities). Overvaluation may be partly justified by good quality scores, except for consumer staples and utilities.

SPLG is flat in 12 months (total return with dividends), the median return of the S&P 500 is 0.47% and the equal-weight average is 0.54% (measured on RSP). The three numbers are very close, which means market performance was not skewed by mega caps.

We use the table above to calculate value and quality scores. It may also be used in a stock-picking process to check how companies stand among their peers. For example, the EY column tells that a large consumer staples company with an Earnings Yield above 0.0374 (or price/earnings below 26.74) is in the better half of the sector regarding this metric. A Dashboard List is sent every month to Quantitative Risk & Value subscribers with the most profitable companies standing in the better half among their peers regarding the three valuation metrics at the same time.



Read More: SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (SPLG) May Dashboard

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