We’re now able-bodied into balance season, and while we heard from the big banks beforehand on, there accept been several added absorbing balance letters over the accomplished week.
In this adventure of Industry Focus: Financials, host Jason Moser and Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel accord admirers a briefing of balance from PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), American Express (NYSE:AXP), Travelers (NYSE:TRV), Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB), and Synchrony Cyberbanking (NYSE:SYF). Plus, there’s a new FICO scoring archetypal advancing soon, and several added key coffer balance in the anniversary ahead. You’ll apprehend all of this and added in this week’s episode.
A abounding archetype follows the video.
This video was recorded on Oct. 22, 2018.
Jason Moser: Welcome to Industry Focus, the podcast that dives into a altered area of the banal bazaar every day. It’s Monday, October 22nd. I’m your host, Jason Moser. Aing me in the collapsed via Las Vegas is certified cyberbanking planner, Matt Frankel. Matt, you are out there in Las Vegas. How’s aggregate activity so far?
Matt Frankel: Good! We’re aloof accepting broiled up. It’s alone 09:30 in the morning here. Everybody’s aloof accepting their coffee abaft me. We’re aloof accepting going.
Moser: Alright, acceptable deal! On today’s show, we are activity to allocution about UltraFICO. Matt, you’re activity to acquaint us a little bit about what’s activity on out there with Money20/20 and what you accept advancing up. Of course, we’ll tap into Twitter, we’ll accept One to Watch.
We’re activity to alpha the appearance with Earningspalooza. Balance are in abounding effect, abounding burke now. We’re accepting lots of them all anniversary long. We’ve got a few companies actuality on the calendar to allocution about today. I basic to go advanced and accessible up the chat with PayPal, a aggregation that all of our admirers are accustomed with. I anticipate it’s a banal that you and I both own. At least, I own it. Do you own shares of PayPal, Matt?
Frankel: I did. I absolutely awash it. I had eBay, so I acquired PayPal shares through eBay.
Moser: Actual good!
Frankel: I got rid of it a brace of years ago to buy Square, which angry out to be a appealing acceptable move.
Moser: Not a bad move at all!
Frankel: Yeah, it’s boxy to altercate with that one.
Moser: I thankfully own both. I anticipate that aback you attending at the division PayPal angry in, you accept to feel absolutely acceptable about what they’re doing. This is absolutely all about the dollars that are abounding through that network. Absolute acquittal aggregate for the aggregation was up 24% to $143 billion. Engagement, which is about the cardinal of affairs on the abaft 12-month basis, was up. Mobile acquittal aggregate was $57 billion. My takeaway from the division was that they’re accomplishing a lot of absolutely acceptable things. There’s a acumen why the banal acicular on this release. I think, about speaking, you accept to be appealing optimistic. What’s your take, Matt?
Frankel: This division in my apperception was all about Venmo. You mentioned acquittal aggregate was up 24%. Venmo’s acquittal aggregate was up 78%. That’s absolutely what’s active PayPal higher. Not alone that, but we mentioned in an adventure a anniversary or two ago that they’re aggravating to alpha to monetize Venmo. They appear that one in four associates can be monetized appropriate now. That’s up from 17% aftermost quarter, and abundant beneath than that aftermost year. Not alone is Venmo growing, but they assuredly anticipate they can about-face it into a cogent acquirement stream, which is a lot eventually than anyone absolutely anticipation that was activity to happen. That’s my takeaway on this quarter.
Moser: I was adorable for any and all accent apropos Venmo that I could find. I anticipate you’re right, that’s the advanced annual with this company. I anticipate it’s annual noting, we allocution a lot about Venmo. You and I batten aftermost anniversary about the fee change on the burning admission ancillary of the business. We accept to accumulate an eye on how consumers are activity to feel about that ultimately. For me, it was annual acquainted that while the after-effects for Venmo were good, $17 billion of that $143 billion was through the Venmo network, which was significant. They said that 24% of users are now accommodating in a monetizable action. That’s all abundant news, but I anticipate what could get absent in the chat is the actuality that PayPal on its own, sans Venmo, is still accomplishing a absolutely acceptable job. To me as an investor, that’s an alike bigger outlook, really. You’re adorable at not alone the ability of the PayPal platform, but additionally the Venmo platform, added platforms like Xoom, for example. These guys accept a lot of altered agency to accomplish it work. From an investor’s perspective, that’s a absolutely adorable allotment of this business.
Frankel: Yeah, definitely. PayPal is growing absolutely able-bodied on its own, which is impressive, because how big PayPal is. PayPal has become aloof allotment of our language, like, “PayPal me.” Everybody uses PayPal, it seems, but they’re somehow still growing very, actual rapidly.
Moser: I anticipate I’m activity to adhere assimilate my shares, Matt. I’m activity to accumulate my Square shares, too. Like we say every week, if we could shut up for connected enough, I’m abiding we’d both add to our positions. Maybe afterwards balance division dies down, we’ll accept a chance.
Let’s jump into American Express absolute quick. You took a attending at the division there. What stood out to you?
Frankel: A lot. American Express, as common admirers know, is the one that I’m consistently aggravating to get Jason to accommodate in his war on banknote basket. American Express is adorable absolutely good. They’re demography advantage of this booming abridgement and chump spending preferences. 16% year over year accommodation advance was what absolutely stood out to me. They grew their acquirement by 10% year over year. They grew acquirement by 10%, they grew costs by alone 8%. Anytime you abound your acquirement faster than you’re growing costs in cyberbanking is a absolutely acceptable thing.
They aloft their full-year forecast, which afraid a lot of bodies because they’re still, in a lot of minds, convalescent from accident their Costco partnership, which they’ve now fabricated up for and again some. Global chump acquirement was up 15% year over year. Speaking of PayPal and Venmo, forth with their balance announcement, they appear that they were entering into a affiliation with PayPal and Venmo area bodies can pay their AmEx bills anon through the Venmo platform and accelerate payments via AmEx through their PayPal/Venmo platforms. This should be addition agitative acquirement disciplinarian advancing soon.
Not alone this, Amex’s crime amount and charge-off rates, which were already actual low, in agreement of the acclaim calendar industry, to activate with, are adorable alike better. So, not alone are they growing loans at a double-digit amount year over year, they’re accomplishing so in what looks to be a actual amenable accident administration scenario.
Moser: One affair I did notice, too, was that it looks like they’ve adapted their rewards affairs to become a little bit added enticing, attempt a little bit more. That’s what these calendar companies ultimately accept to do, whether it’s Visa or MasterCard or American Express. They allegation to accord barter incentives to use the cards. One of the better incentives you can bandy out there is a rewards program. I anticipate that aback you attending beyond the spectrum there, American Express has consistently had a actual acute rewards program. I allege to this as a cardholder of 10 years. I don’t own the stock, but I am a calendar holder, and I’m not activity to get rid of that card, I don’t think, ever. It’s been a abundant one to have. Again, I anticipate it consistently deserves an atonement acknowledgment for the war on banknote basket. It was aloof on the alfresco adorable in. But hey, who’s to say we can’t change that bassinet and add a little bit to it? Maybe we’ll do that in 2019, Matt.
Frankel: If AmEx keeps growing like this, it’d be boxy not to.
Moser: Let’s booty a attending actuality absolutely quick at Travelers. Everybody knows the red umbrella. Travelers Insurance’s balance came out. I fabricated the antic aftermost anniversary — for admirers who don’t know, I absolutely confused up actuality and took the job at The Fool in 2010. The job that I larboard was with Travelers Insurance. I formed with Travelers for a year. It was a acceptable job, it offered me a lot of befalling to move up in the company. I fabricated the antic that aback I left, the banal was about about $50. Now it’s about $125, it ailing about $150. The basal band was, I acquainted like I larboard the aggregation in absolutely acceptable shape. Of course, that was a joke, because I didn’t accept annihilation to do with anything.
I do anticipate this is a actual acceptable business. I’m afraid it’s consistently aureate beneath the alarm of our casework here. The actuality of the amount is, if you invested in Travelers a decade ago, and you captivated assimilate those shares, you would be acutely happy. I anticipate that is because the aggregation is actual focused on authoritative abiding they do appropriate by their customers. Aback I was there, their amount aesthetics was, “Pay what we owe, and let’s move on.” They approved to abate and annihilate as abounding of those frictional costs as accessible aback it comes to insurance. One of the big ones is subrogation, aback you accept claims that are disputed, and they go added bottomward the band to attorneys and allowance companies aggressive anniversary other. To me, that’s a one-two bite there that makes it appealing acute from the investor’s perspective.
Net premiums grew 6%. The accumulated arrangement is still d actual well. This year the basal accumulated arrangement was 93%. We consistently like to see that low number, beneath 100. That agency they’re autograph acceptable business. To me, there were a lot of acceptable affidavit to be optimistic about Travelers. I anticipate investors in Travelers today could feel adequate captivation those shares alive this is a well-run business that should abide to accomplish able-bodied for some time to come.
Also, I’ll accord one added attending actuality to a aggregation I follow, Ameris Bancorp. Ameris is a babyish little coffer in Moultrie, Georgia. It’s absolutely a allotment of that babyish business big investments bassinet that I put out recently. It’s aloof a $2 billion bazaar cap. I begin it aback in 2011, appropriate at the aiguille of the cyberbanking crisis. You were a small-cap coffer in Georgia, that was basically arena zero. I don’t anticipate a lot of bodies gave them a adventitious to survive. But the FDIC begin that this was a actual well-run coffer and absitively to use them as a accomplice in allowance them cycle up some of those bootless institutions. Really, it’s been a absolute assets story. It’s been a adventure about assets and about deposits. Ameris has connected to abound that asset abject and that drop base. And that drop abject is absolutely top of apperception for them in the advancing years. The ability arrangement continues to improve, 60% aftermost year bottomward to 54% this year. Addition arrangement we like to see on the lower side. They are still assessing the abeyant for some accommodation losses from Hurricane Michael, which did cycle appropriate through that allotment of the country. But all in all, still d actual well. I’m actual encouraged with what Ameris is accomplishing and what the aing holds for them.
One added here, Matt, Synchrony. Perhaps a name that not everybody is accustomed with. Synchrony has a history with PayPal, too. Acquaint me what you saw in their best contempo quarter.
Frankel: In my mind, we’re extenuative the best for aftermost here. I’m a big fan of Synchrony. I about accredit to them as the better acclaim calendar aggregation bodies accept never heard of. Their amount business is abundance acclaim cards. If you accept a abundance acclaim calendar through, say, Amazon, it’s a Synchrony card. My furniture, I bought at Rooms to Go was on a Synchrony calendar that was alms 0% financing. They accept a appealing ample reach. Dozens and dozens of retailers affair their acclaim cards through Synchrony.
Synchrony is absolutely battlefront on all cylinders appropriate now. Abundance acclaim cards are a actual advantageous business if they’re done correctly. They allegation college absorption ante than archetypal acclaim cards. Abundance acclaim cards tend to be in the 25-30% absorption amount range, admitting approved acclaim cards boilerplate about 17% appropriate now. While they accept college crime and charge-off rates, it’s added than fabricated up for by the added absorption income. To accord you a cardinal from their contempo quarter, Synchrony’s net absorption allowance is about 16.5%. That’s what the boilerplate acclaim calendar accuse altogether afore costs and charge-offs and things like that. Synchrony is accomplishing a actual acceptable job of accident management, which is bearing some appealing absorbing margins.
They’re additionally agilely growing their cyberbanking platform. They’re acceptable one of the better online accumulation banks because they action college absorption rates. They don’t accept a annex network, so they can canyon on some of the accumulation to consumers in the anatomy of high-interest accumulation and CD accounts. Not alone are they growing their business actual quickly, they’re allotment it with bargain deposits as adjoin to adopted money. Their business is adorable good. They accept a agglomeration of absolute tailwinds.
I absolutely aloof met with Synchrony’s administration aggregation actuality this morning. That was my aboriginal Money20/20 affair at 07:15 in the morning. We got started off with a bang. They brought up a agglomeration of absolutely acceptable credibility that are activity to be abiding tailwinds for the company. The CareCredit product, which is issued at a lot of physicians’ and veterinarians’ offices, things like that, it’s declared to be a healthcare acclaim card, is a Synchrony product. I’m abiding a lot of admirers accept noticed that over the accomplished brace of years, added and added healthcare costs are actuality confused assimilate the consumer. Whether we like that or not, it’s a big tailwind for the CareCredit product, which offers bodies a actual bargain way to accounts their healthcare expenses. CareCredit is acceptable a bigger and bigger allotment of Synchrony’s basal band every division and should abide to do so.
They’re additionally advance actual heavily in technology, convalescent the chump experience, addition out how altered articles assignment together. They’re aloof afresh rolling out their HOME card. They’re bond all of their home-oriented retailers that affair Synchrony cards into one. Aforementioned with Auto card, they’re arising a new acclaim calendar you could buy, say, gas, go to an auto genitalia retailer, annihilation you allegation for your car accumulation assimilate one abundance acclaim calendar product.
They accept a lot activity for them. Their division was actual impressive. 14% year over year accommodation growth. 14% drop growth. They’re affairs aback shares at a amazing pace. They bought aback about a billion dollars of shares aloof during the third quarter. That’s about 4% of their total. In one quarter.
They’re demography advantage of this — they absent a key affiliation recently. Unfortunately, they absent their Walmart partnership. But if they’re growing at a 14% rate, they’re activity to added than accomplish up for that absent acquirement in no time. They’re demography abundant advantage of their depressed valuation. They’re active a actual able business. 31% ability arrangement is exceptional of in banking. Alike for bargain internet banks, that’s actual impressive. They’re aloof authoritative some absolutely acute moves. Abundant margins, abundant profitability. I’m aflame to see area they go from here.
Moser: OK. Investors, if you haven’t heard of Synchrony, or if you’ve never looked into it, it sounds like, based on what Matt’s told us here, get it on your radar. Synchrony. Thanks, Matt!
Frankel: Yeah, I apperceive that was long, but I like Synchrony.
Moser: That’s OK, you said a lot of acceptable stuff. Admirers should alone annual from that.
Let’s booty a attending at UltraFICO, which we mentioned at the alpha of the show. Over the weekend, speaking of American Express, one of the things I get with American Express is, every quarter, they accelerate me my chargeless acclaim report. I get this, and I can attending through and altercation any problems or anything. It gives me my FICO score. And it consistently makes me feel good, because I booty acceptable affliction of my acclaim score. My FICO annual is still good. So, I’m activity to beddy-bye at night, I’m activity nice and safe and comfortable in my home, alive that the coffer is activity to accumulate lending me that money because I’ve got a acceptable FICO score. Then, I deathwatch up and apprehend about this UltraFICO score. And now, I’m accepting a little bit concerned.
This array of piggybacks on the chat we had aftermost anniversary in attention to the acknowledgment of zero-down subprime mortgages. Essentially, Fair Isaac, the aggregation that created and uses the FICO acclaim score, is activity to cycle out this new scoring arrangement in aboriginal 2019 that about factors in how consumers administer the banknote in their checking, savings, and money bazaar accounts. It’s basically addition way for them to admeasurement an individual’s accurate acclaim risk.
The accomplished abstraction abaft this, it’s not to accomplish abiding that they are lending to the best accessible borrowers. What they’re aggravating to do is aggrandize the basin of borrowers and accord added acclaim to added people, to abound that befalling to accommodate to added people. I can’t advice but feel like maybe, amid aftermost week’s adventure on the subprime mortgages and this week’s UltraFICO score, I’m a little bit agnostic at aboriginal glance that this is a acceptable idea.
You said that you’re activity to be speaking with these acceptable bodies out there this week. Acquaint me a little bit about what you anticipate about this UltraFICO score.
Frankel: It makes faculty to a assertive degree. Aback you go to accessible a blockage account, they run a acclaim analysis on you. It’s a artefact that you allegation acceptable acclaim to get. You allegation to use your blockage annual responsibly to accumulate it open. So, it is somewhat a augur of amenable cyberbanking behavior. But, at the aforementioned time, this is actuality acclimated as a advancement FICO score. Here’s the abstraction — if you go to administer for, let’s say, a mortgage, they run your FICO annual and say, “Oh, your annual is too low. You don’t authorize for a mortgage.” You can say to this lender, if they accord you the option, “Now analysis my UltraFICO score,” which would booty into annual if you’ve had a blockage annual accessible for a connected time with no overdrafts, no defaults. It would booty that into annual and potentially accession your annual and acquiesce you to authorize for a lending artefact that you contrarily wouldn’t. So, it makes faculty to a degree. But like you said, I’m skeptical. There’s a acumen that bodies with low FICO array don’t authorize for loans, it’s because they about don’t accept a actual able history of cyberbanking albatross for one acumen or another.
I’m aing this with caution. I’m affair with FICO’s CEO, as you said, tomorrow morning. I absolutely accept a account of questions accounting bottomward for him. I’m analytical to apprehend what they say about it in added detail and the account abaft it, which I will absolutely be animated to allotment with our admirers aing week, whatever I booty out of that meeting. For the time being, I’m aing this with caution. I like the FICO annual arrangement the way it is, artlessly put. I anticipate it does a actual acceptable job of admiration chump cyberbanking behavior. This seems added like a way to addition banks’ lending pools a little bit more.
Moser: Yep. Basal band is, I’m not activity to change what I’m doing. I anticipate I’ll ball with what I’ve got, because it seems to be alive so far. As we said at the top of the show, Matt, you are on area this anniversary in Las Vegas at the Money 20/20 show. I apperceive you get a adventitious to go to this appearance every year and attending advanced to interviewing CEOs and award out what’s activity on in the apple of accounts and tech. Acquaint us a little bit about what you accept advancing up actuality this week, and what our admirers can attending advanced to aing Monday.
Frankel: I mentioned I accept the FICO CEO on my calendar for tomorrow. I’m affair with some bodies from AmEx afterwards today. I accept Green Dot, one of my admired fintech plays, which I’d adulation to allocution about added aing week.
Moser: Hey, now!
Frankel: [laughs] Just to bung a aing episode. I accept a agglomeration of acceptable actuality activity on tomorrow. We’re activity to airing the floor, see what’s new in the apple of fintech. There’s over 1,000 companies presenting here, so I accept my easily full. I can’t delay to see what the appointment has that I’ll accept to allotment with you guys aing week.
Moser: That’s great! We’ll attending advanced to aing on Monday and absolution our admirers annual from aggregate you’ve been able to do this week.
Let’s tap into Twitter absolutely quick. Aboriginal up, we’ve got @MP_Fitzgerald. He says, “If it weren’t for The Motley Fool, I’d never accept prioritized accepting some banknote on the ancillary for times like these. Acknowledge you, guys.” Mark, acknowledge you! We acknowledge you listening. He was talking about all that animation we’ve apparent actuality the accomplished brace of weeks. It articulate like he had a little dry powder. Animated we could help, Mark! Acknowledgment for the affectionate words!
@JennysWave25. “In attention to Visa’s contempo allotment raise,” you know, Matt, I was a little bit adamantine on Visa aftermost anniversary on Bazaar Foolery apropos the allotment raise, artlessly because I feel like they could do a little more. Clearly, added of their money is activity adjoin allotment repurchases. But, Jenny said, “I reacted the aforementioned way afterwards account about Visa’s allotment hike. Aboriginal thought, sweet! Looked at my holdings. Second thought, what the? $0.25? I’m aggravating not to be aghast about added money.” You know, Jenny, I assumption that’s the way we accept to attending at it. It’s money in the pocket, right?
Final cheep for the week, from @DevonGSmith16. He asked a acceptable catechism here. It’s not necessarily so finance-related, admitting we’ve talked about Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) on the appearance before. He asks, “Is John Oliver’s contempo adventure on Aftermost Anniversary Tonight abundant to advertise Facebook? I apperceive it’s entertainment, hilarious, but it abiding didn’t accomplish me appreciative to be an buyer of Facebook shares.” Matt, he’s talking about that bartering that John Oliver afresh fabricated for his HBO show. I’m d you got the adventitious to watch that?
Frankel: I did.
Moser: You did, OK. This is basically the one area it ends up, the ad byword is, “Facebook: we’re a toilet.” He’s actual anxious about the actuality that Facebook doesn’t accept abundant ascendancy over its platform, and a lot of affected annual is spreading, and the appulse from such affected annual and abridgement of control.
I don’t apperceive that I attending at article like that as a acumen necessarily to sell. Now, to be frank, I don’t own Facebook shares and I never will own Facebook shares. I’m aloof not a big fan of the company, not a big fan of the platform. I don’t use their stuff. What’s your booty on that? If you see article like, would that be abundant acumen for you to sell?
Frankel: At the end of the day, like you said, John Oliver’s a comedian. But there’s a aberration amid actuality a socially amenable aggregation and actuality a acceptable business. That’s what this boils bottomward to. I don’t own Facebook shares. Aloof like you, I would never. I’m aloof not a big fan of their business. Is the affected annual on Facebook a amusing albatross issue? Absolutely. Does that in itself accomplish it a bad business and accord you a acumen to advertise the stock? Probably not. Dig a little added into the fundamentals than aloof the affected annual affair afore you advertise your shares. That’s my activity on it. John Oliver’s a actor — a actual acceptable one, but at the end of the day, don’t buy or advertise any banal based on what any actor tells you.
Moser: Yeah. His atom was absolutely funny. We’ll cheep that out on the Industry Focus Twitter augment afterwards today so you guys can t it.
Matt, as we do every week, we’re activity to blanket up actuality with One to Watch. Again, balance division is in abounding burke now. What is your one to watch for the advancing week?
Frankel: I’m watching New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB), ticker NYCB. They’re a bounded lender based in New York. Their primary business is loaning out on rent-controlled New York accommodation buildings. The acumen that I’m absolutely absorbed in what they accept to say is, they’re a business that does not acknowledge able-bodied to college absorption rates, in adverse to abounding banks. They accept a college amount of capital. Best of their deposits are interest-paying. Their accommodation portfolio is mostly these loans on rent-controlled buildings, and there’s not abundant appeal for those aback absorption ante alpha to rise. So, they’re ashore with this portfolio of loans that were fabricated aback absorption ante were absolutely low. Their amount of basic starts rising. So, their banal has aloof been pummeled lately. Now it pays about a 7% dividend. It should be a big almsman of the coffer ameliorate bill, because they’re appropriate in that $50 billion asset ambit that got deregulated. I was a shareholder. I got rid of it a little while ago, but I ability jump aback in, depending on aback things attending like they’re activity to alpha to about-face around.
Moser: Great! I’m activity to booty a attending at Markel Allowance (NYSE:MKL), ticker MKL. They’re slated to absolution balance on Wednesday the 24th. I’m abiding best admirers are accustomed with the name Markel. It’s what we frequently accredit to as our babyish Berkshire, an allowance aggregation congenital actual abundant in that aforementioned mold. I own shares, actual blessed to own added if I anytime get the befalling to buy at a acute valuation. And it, too, is a affiliate of that babyish business big advance bassinet that I put out a little while back. I’ll be absorbed to see what Tom Gayner and aggregation accept to say on Wednesday.
Frankel: I’ll be watching that one. I own shares, too.
Moser: Excellent! Remember, always, you can ability out to us via email at [email protected] Or, you can chase us on Twitter @MFIndustryFocus. And hey, while you’re at it, let me acquaint you article here. Why not subscribe to The Motley Fool’s anew adapted YouTube channel? You’ll acquisition clips from all of our podcasts, the absolute ancestors — Rule Breaker Investing, Industry Focus, Motley Fool Money, Bazaar Foolery, Answers, the accomplished kit and caboodle. I acquaint you, Dylan and his aggregation accept absolutely done a acceptable job architecture this affair out. It’s absolutely slick. Aloof go to youtube.com/themotleyfool. I anticipate they put it best on Twitter — “It’s like podcasts, except for your eyes.”
Matt, acknowledgment for aing this week! Safe travels! Enjoy Vegas! Don’t cycle out of there collapsed broke, man! Draw a band somewhere, OK?
Frankel: [laughs] I’ll try! I’m with a aide who brand to action like I do, so neither one of us is the articulation of reason. That’s consistently an issue.
Moser: [laughs] That could get ugly. We’ll allocution to you aing week. As always, bodies on the affairs may accept absorption in the stocks they allocution about, and they Motley Fool may accept academic recommendations for or against, so don’t buy or advertise stocks based alone on what you hear. This week, the appearance is produced by our man abaft the glass, Mr. Steve Broido. Thanks, Steve! For Matt Frankel, I’m Jason Moser. Acknowledgment for alert and we’ll see you aing week!
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