Viad Corp.: Best Near-Term Specialty Services Stock Buy

Sep. 21, 2022 7:38 PM ETViad Corp (VVI)
Peter F. Way, CFA profile picture
Peter F. Way, CFA
17.6K Followers

Summary

  • Viad Corp. leaps out as a high probability of timely stock price profitability as we scan over 3,000 capital investment alternatives in our every market day comparisons.
  • Viad Corp. is a well-established conductor of corporate meeting or marketing events with little to no competitors.
  • This analysis tells what the best-informed, big-$ investors now think is likely to happen (good and bad) in the next 3+ months to prices of selected stocks.
  • Comparisons are with stock investing alternatives to which they are (or would) commit substantial capital.
  • Then it tells what happened to those stocks all the times in the past 5 years following similar prior expectations, and compares those outcomes as investment results.

Business on Wall Street in Manhattan

Pgiam/iStock via Getty Images

Investment Thesis

21st Century paces of change in technology and rational behavior (not of emotional reactions) seriously disrupt accepted productive investment strategies of the 20th century.

One required change is the shortening of forecast horizons, with a shift from the multi-year passive approach of buy & hold to the active strategy of specific price-change target achievement or time-limit actions, with reinvestment set to new nearer-term targets.

That change avoids the irretrievable loss of invested time spent destructively by failure to recognize shifting evolution like the cases of IBM, Kodak, GM, Xerox, GE and many others.

It recognizes the evolution in medical, communication and information technologies and enjoys their operational benefits already present in extended lifetimes, trade-commission-free investments, and coming in transportation ownership and energy usage.

But it requires the ability to make valid direct comparisons of value between investment reward prospects and risk exposures in the uncertain future. Since uncertainty expands as the future dimension increases, shorter forecast horizons are a means of improving the reward-to-risk comparison.

That shortening is now best attended at the investment entry point with Market-Maker ("MM") expectations for coming prices. When reached they are then reintroduced at the exit/reinvestment point as the term of expectations for the required coming comparisons as decisions step in to move forward.

The MM’s constant presence, extensive global communications and human resources dedicated to monitoring industry-focused competitive evolution sharpens MM price expectations, essential to their risk-avoidance roles.

Their roles requiring firm capital be only temporarily risk-exposed are hedged by derivative-securities deals to avoid undesired price changes. The deals’ prices and contracts provide a window of sorts to MM price expectations.

Information technology via the internet makes investment monitoring and management time and attention efficient despite its increase in frequency.

Once an investment choice is made and buy transaction confirmation is received, the target-price GTC sell order for the confirmed number of shares at the target price or better should be placed. Keeping trade actions entered through the internet on your lap/desktop or cell phone should avoid trade commission charges. Your broker’s internal system should keep you informed of your account’s progress.

Your own private calendar record should be kept of the date 63 market days (or 91 calendar days) beyond the trade’s confirmation date as a time-limit alert to check if the GTC order has not been executed. If not, then start your exit and reinvestment decision process.

The 3 months time limit is what we find to be a good choice, but may be extended some if desired. Beyond 5-6 months time investments start to work against the process and are not recommended.

For investments guided by this article or others by me target prices will always be found as the high price in the MM forecast range.

Description of Equity Subject Company

Viad Corp. (NYSE:VVI) operates as an experiential leisure travel, and live events and marketing services company in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and Iceland. It operates through two segments, Pursuit and GES. The Pursuit segment offers vertically integrated attractions and hospitality in destinations with a collection of attractions, lodges, and sightseeing tours. The GES is a full-service live events company that offers a range of services for exhibitions, conferences, brand experiences, and venues. In addition, the company offers a collection of travel experiences in recreational attractions, food and beverage, retail, and ground transportation services. It serves event organizers and corporate brand marketers directly, as well as through a distribution channel network that include tour operators, tour wholesalers, destination management companies, and retail travel agencies. Viad Corp was founded in 1926 and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.”

Source: Yahoo Finance

street analyst estimates

Yahoo Finance

These growth estimates have been made by and are collected from Wall Street analysts to suggest what conventional methodology currently produces. The typical variations across forecast horizons of different time periods illustrate the difficulty of making value comparisons when the forecast horizon is not clearly defined.

Risk and Reward Balances Among VVI Competitors

Figure 1

MM hedging-implied forecasts

blockdesk.com

(Used with permission.)

The risk dimension is of actual price drawdowns at their most extreme point while being held in previous pursuit of upside rewards similar to the ones currently being seen. They are measured on the red vertical scale. Reward expectations are measured on the green horizontal scale.

Both scales are of percent change from zero to 25%. Any stock or exchange-traded fund ("ETF") whose present risk exposure exceeds its reward prospect will be above the dotted diagonal line. Capital-gain-attractive to-buy issues are in the directions down and to the right.

Our principal interest is in VVI at location [5], on the dotted line due to graphic limitations handling fractional % differences between +9.5% and -8.1%.. A "market index" norm of reward~risk tradeoffs is offered by SPY at [7]. Most appealing by this Figure 1 view for wealth-building investors is IAA, although details of Figure 2 will show why this is a misconception.

Comparing Info Technology Provider competitors

The Figure 1 map provides a good visual comparison of the two most important aspects of every equity investment in the short term. There are other aspects of comparison which this map sometimes does not communicate well, particularly when general market perspectives like those of SPY are involved. Where questions of “how likely’ are present other comparative tables, like Figure 2, may be useful.

Yellow highlighting of the table’s cells emphasize factors important to securities valuations and the security VVI of most promising of near capital gain as ranked in column [R].

Figure 2

detail comparative data

blockdesk.com

(Used with permission.)

Why do all this math?

Figure 2’s purpose is to attempt universally comparable answers, stock by stock, of: a) How BIG the prospective price gain payoff may be; b) how LIKELY the payoff will be a profitable experience; c) how SOON it may happen; and d) what price drawdown RISK may be encountered during its active holding period.

Readers familiar with our analysis methods after a quick examination of Figure 2 may wish to skip to the next section viewing price range forecast trends for VVI.

Column headers for Figure 2 define investment-choice preference elements for each row stock whose symbol appears at the left in column [A]. The elements are derived or calculated separately for each stock, based on the specifics of its situation and current-day MM price-range forecasts. Data in red numerals are negative, usually undesirable to “long” holding positions. Table cells with yellow fills are of data for the stocks of principal interest and of all issues at the ranking column, [R]. Fills of pink warn of conditions not constructive to buys.

The price-range forecast limits of columns [B] and [C] get defined by MM hedging actions to protect firm capital required to be put at risk of price changes from volume trade orders placed by big-$ "institutional" clients.

[E] measures potential upside risks for MM short positions created to fill such orders, and reward potentials for the buy-side positions so created. Prior forecasts like the present provide a history of relevant price draw-down risks for buyers. The most severe ones actually encountered are in [F], during holding periods in an effort to reach [E] gains. Those are where buyers are emotionally most likely to accept losses.

The Range Index [G] tells where today’s price lies relative to the MM community’s forecast of upper and lower limits of coming prices. Its numeric is the percentage proportion of the full low to high forecast seen below the current market price.

[H] tells what proportion of the [L] sample of prior like-balance forecasts have earned gains by either having price reach its [B] target or be above its [D] entry cost at the end of a 3-month max-patience holding period limit. [ I ] gives the net gains-losses of those [L] experiences.

What makes VVI most attractive in the group at this point in time is its ability to produce capital gains most consistently at its present operating balance between share price risk and reward at the Range Index [G]. At a RI of 1, today’s price is at the bottom of its forecast range, with all price expectations only to the upside. Not our expectations, but those of Market-Makers acting in support of Institutional Investment organizations build the values of their typical multi-billion-$ portfolios. Credibility of the [E] upside prospect as evidenced in the [I] payoff at +18% is shown in [N].

Further Reward/Risk tradeoffs involve using the [H] odds for gains with the 100 - H loss odds as weights for N-conditioned [E] and for [F], for a combined-return score [Q]. The typical position holding period [J] on [Q] provides a figure of merit [fom] ranking measure [R] useful in portfolio position preferencing. Figure 2 is row-ranked on [R] among alternative candidate securities, with PPG in top rank.

Along with the candidate-specific stocks these selection considerations are provided for the averages of some 3,000 stocks for which MM price-range forecasts are available today, and 20 of the best-ranked (by fom) of those forecasts, as well as the forecast for S&P500 Index ETF (SPY) as an equity-market proxy.

Current-market index SPY is not competitive as an investment alternative. Its Range Index of 26 indicates 3/4ths of its forecast range is to the upside, but little more than half of previous SPY forecasts at this range index produced profitable outcomes.

As shown in column [T] of figure 2, those levels vary significantly between stocks. What matters is the net gain between investment gains and losses actually achieved following the forecasts, shown in column [I]. The Win Odds of [H] tells what proportion of the Sample RIs of each stock were profitable. Odds below 80% often have proven to lack reliability.

Recent Forecast Trends of the Primary Subject

Figure 3

daily update trends of MM forecasts

blockdesk.com

VVI has declined in price to a point where hedging actions show that coming-price expectations resist further declines, with the current price only 10% above the MM community’s low and 60% of the range to the upside.

Past experiences at this level have produced profitable position outcomes in 6 out of every 8 opportunities, winners 72% of the time. The small image showing the frequency of RIs makes it clear that the bulk of the past 5 years of daily forecasts have been at higher price and price expectation levels.

Current comparison with other competitors ranks VII at the top of the list of such alternative investment prospect candidates.

Conclusion

Viad Corp. currently appears the best Information Technology competitor choice of investors desiring near-term capital gain wealth builders.

This article was written by

Peter F. Way, CFA profile picture
17.6K Followers
Peter Way Associates provides daily updated, near-term (3-month) price range forecasts for over 2,500 widely-held and actively-traded stocks, ETFs and market Indexes. Comprehensive results are available on the SA blog of my name.__These forecasts are derived from the way market professionals protect their own capital placed at risk while helping big-money portfolio managers adjust their holdings in multi-million-dollar "block" transactions.__ They cannot be found elsewhere.__Having these price-change prospects available on a continuous basis encourages individual investors to actively and economically build up the values of their own smaller portfolios. PWA only provides information for individual investors; it no longer manages investments for others.__Rates of portfolio capital growth being achieved by subscribers are at MULTIPLES of the growth in market averages, due to the efficient use of holding period time and the compounding of gains a number of times each year.__Risks of capital loss are protected against by insightful selection guidance and holding-period-limit disciplines. The advantages of good selection and careful timing amply cover a much smaller portion of unavoidable losses.__These Market-maker forecasts have several decades of demonstrated productivity. Earlier in the 20th century they were used by large institutional portfolios, and now in the 21st century they are available only to individual investor wealth-building portfolios. Thousands of day-by-day identifications of specific securities having consistent, odds-on profitable results rule out any likelihood of their exceptional outcomes being due to chance. Peter F. Way is a veteran Chartered Financial Analyst, having taken and passed the CFA Institute’s required 3 examinations in the first years they were given, 50+ years ago. Armed with BS in Economics from the Wharton School and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, he has managed staffs of dozens of Investment Researchers and Quantitative Analysts for the nation’s largest bank, arbitraged index options for NYSE Specialists, and managed portfolios of hundred-million-dollar equity investments for Fortune 100 corporate pension funds and non-profit endowments. He has been elected President of professional Investment Analyst Societies in San Diego and New York City and has served on the editorial boards of the Financial Analysts Journal and the CFA Digest.

Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, but may initiate a beneficial Long position through a purchase of the stock, or the purchase of call options or similar derivatives in VVI over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Additional disclosure: Peter Way and generations of the Way Family are long-term providers of perspective information, earlier helping professional investors and now individual investors, discriminate between wealth-building opportunities in individual stocks and ETFs. We do not manage money for others outside of the family but do provide pro bono consulting for a limited number of not-for-profit organizations.

We firmly believe investors need to maintain skin in their game by actively initiating commitment choices of capital and time investments in their personal portfolios. So our information presents for D-I-Y investor guidance what the arguably best-informed professional investors are thinking. Their insights, revealed through their own self-protective hedging actions, tell what they believe is most likely to happen to the prices of specific issues in coming weeks and months. Evidences of how such prior forecasts have worked out are routinely provided, both on blockdesk.com and on our Seeking Alpha Contributor website. Pls see SA articles numbered 1495621 and 1936131.

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