Which Of These 15%-Plus Yielders Should I Buy: SMHD Or SMHB? – Seeking Alpha

Co-produced with PendragonY for High Dividend Opportunities.

UBS ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged US Small Cap High Dividend (SMHD) is a UBS Leveraged Exchange Traded Product that provides exposure to high-yielding stocks with a smaller market cap. By using the Solactive US Small Cap High Dividend Index that tracks 100 individual high yielding small cap stocks, the ETN mitigates the risks from holding any single company. SMHD currently yields 15.2%.

SMHD has the advantage of providing an instant diversification with exposure to 100 of the highest-yielding small cap stocks. We have been long SMHD for a while now and it has been a strong out-performer, returning 86% since we introduced it to our model high-dividend portfolio and recommended it to our investors exactly three years ago.



SMHD Yields 15.2% based on its recent closing price of $16.25 and a distribution of $0.6157 over the last three months.

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2019/3/12/saupload_about-us-ourfirm_thumb1.jpg

Source: Company website

UBS Bank, the issuer of SMHD, announced in October of last year that it was discontinuing the issuance of new SMHD shares. This means that the number of SMHD shares available on the markets will not grow anymore (and could shrink), while demand for the shares has not diminished. This has resulted in SMHD trading at a huge premium to its underlying assets of $2.53, or 18.4%.

With SMHD trading at such a high premium, there can be a significant loss if UBS decides to redeem the shares, since the bank can redeem them at their underlying value, which would result in an immediate loss of 18.4% for investors holding the ETN.

Fortunately, UBS Bank has issued a sister fund to SMHD which is based on exactly the same index. The new fund is called ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged US Small Cap High Dividend ETN Series B (SMHB). SMHB carries a very juicy yield of 18.1%.

The Diversification of The Funds

SMHD and SMHB are based on an index of 100 small-cap stocks that are highly diversified. Note that the index has no allocation to a single stock of more than 4.6% with the vast majority of the allocations (93 out of 100) between 0.1% and 3%. Investors can see many solid names they will recognize if they look into the holdings, which include:

  1. BDC Companies: Main Capital (MAIN), Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC), Prospect Capital (PSEC), TCP Capital Corp (TCPC).
  2. Property REITs: Spirit Realty Capital (SRC), Tanger Factory Outlets (SKT), Geo Group (GEO), Lexington Realty Trust (LXP), Chatham Lodging (CLDT).
  3. Mortgage REITs: Ladder Capital (LADR), Apollo Commercial Real Estate (ARI), Armour Residential (ARR).
  4. Energy: CVR Energy (CVI), Enlink Midstream (ENLK)
  5. Renewable Energy: Pattern Energy (PEGI), TerraForm Power (TERP)
  6. Food: B&G Foods (BGS)
  7. Other sectors: Pitney Bowes (PBI), Covanta Holding (CVA), Jernigan Capital (JCAP).

Why has UBS decided to stop issuing new SMHD shares?

Most of the UBS Products have limits on how many notes (shares) they can issue. The limit for each ETN is listed on the UBS site. You can view these limits by clicking on the UBS ETRACS website, and then go to the press release section. The limits are listed on the press release dated Oct. 8, 2015. If you wish to check the press release page, click HERE.

The maximum number of notes that SMHD can issue is 4 million notes, and UBS Bank reached this limit and stopped issuing new notes. Because UBS Bank is unable to issue new notes, they took action and created a new ETN with a new limit. This is similar to what happened recently with ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN (MORL), another UBS Product.

Below is a table that outlines each UBS security recently recommended along with current number of notes outstanding and the maximum number of notes allowed:

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2019/3/11/16392-15523373559012754.png

Source: Figures of outstanding shares given to me on the phone by UBS management on March 11, 2019

Main Difference Between SMHD and SMHB

There are some slight differences between how SMHD and SMHB function, with the main difference that should be noted relating to the acceleration clause.

The biggest difference between SMHD and SMHB is the base indicative value of each fund. Each SMHB note is 1.53 times the size of each SMHD note. That applies to the indicative value of each note and the distribution it pays. Because UBS is not issuing any more SMHD notes, SMHD can and has been trading at a significant premium to indicative value (or asset value). The case is different with SMHB because UBS Bank has been issuing new notes, and SMHB trades at around its indicative value (or its asset value).

Another difference is that SMHD, the legacy note, had an automatic acceleration mechanism whereby UBS Bank was obligated to buy back the shares in two situations:

  1. First, in case the price (or value) of SMHD fell by 60% from the beginning of the month.
  2. Second in case the price of SMHD fell below $5 a share.

For the new SMHB note, the acceleration mechanism happens only in one situation, whereby the price of SMHB falls below $2 per share. Therefore, SMHB is a much better investment than SMHD because the risks of an acceleration mechanism have been reduced substantially.

How has the premium to NAV for SMHD reached such a high level?

Since the last time we wrote about SMHD and SMHB, the premium that SMHD trades at has increased significantly.



You can see the premium for SMHD increased in the above YChart. Notice that at the end of February and into March, the price of SMHB, which closely tracks 2x the index value, fell. But notice how SMHD’s price was flat during that period. It too should have dropped in price, but because UBS isn’t creating any more SMHD notes, the price didn’t decline as the index did.

This premium can be attributed to two main reasons:

  1. It seems that many investors are still not aware that UBS Bank is not issuing any more SMHD notes and are still buying the note at a Premium.
  2. The website of UBS Bank is somewhat confusing and misleading. UBS Bank has been posting for the past several months both the indicative value and the market value of SMHD as being the same, and therefore this can mislead investors to think that SMHD trades close to its underlying asset value. Just take a look at this snapshot taken from UBS Bank on March 11, 2018.



As you can see on the screen above, the indicative price of SMHD shows up as $13.72 and the market value shows up as $13.54. This is of course confusing because the actual price of SMHD is above $16.00 a share.

During my discussion with a UBS Bank representative, I pointed out that the price of SMHD is not updating. He was appreciative and said that UBS will work on clarifying the situation on their website.



Why Sell SMHD and Buy SMHB?

Based on the latest prices, SMHD recently closed at a price of $16.25 while the indicative value (or the value of the underlying assets) is at $13.72. SMHD currently trades at 18.4% premium.

Its sister fund SMHB trades at $20.93 (as of Friday’s close) which is a 5 cent discount to SMHB’s indicative value.

By switching from SMHD to SMHB investors get the benefit of the following:

  1. Put that 18.4% premium to work generating extra income. Remember that you get the exact same exposure by switching from SMHD to SMHB.
  2. Get a boost in the dividend yield. While SMHD yields 15.2%, SMHB yields 18.1% or 2.9% (290 basis points) more yield in your pocket.
  3. So in effect you are getting 18.4% more income for free.

How Safe is SMHB’s Dividend?

SMHB is based on a highly diversified index with 100 holdings. The dividend reflects the dividends of the underlying 100 stocks (times 2). Even if a couple of the underlying stocks reduce the dividends, it will not have any significant impact on the dividend of SMHB. Due to the diversity of the dividend source, SMHB’s dividend has a pretty high margin of safety.

Note that SMHB has a big advantage that it never pays any return of capital. The fund only pays the dividends that are earned from the underlying stocks.

Risks

  • Investing in leveraged instruments such as SMHD and SMHB carry a higher risk because these are 200% leveraged products. Still, the fact that they hold a large basket of stocks (about 100 stocks) reduces the risk significantly. This is because they do not carry a “single company risk” and investors do not have to worry about an earnings miss or an unexpected dividend cut which can drive a stock price substantially lower. Diversification has huge advantages.
  • SMHD and SMHB are exchange notes issued by the Swiss banking giant UBS (NYSE:UBS). Investing in this security means that investors are holding the credit risk of the underwriter UBS Bank. On the other hand, UBS is considered a solid credit risk.

Non-leveraged versions of SMHD

Unfortunately, there are no non-leveraged versions for either SMHD or SMHB Only these two funds use the Solactive US Small Cap High Dividend Index. So there’s no non-leveraged version for either SMHD or SMHB: High-yield investors are advised in this case to buy a smaller quantity of SMHB (or 50% of their intended allocation) which would result in approximately the same exposure of a non-leveraged version of the fund.

Bottom Line

We have held an investment in SMHD since late 2015 and recommended to our investors to switch to SMHB in December 2018. We plan to continue to hold the same exposure with SMHB as a long-term investment. This exposure has been a highly profitable one returning 80% in a period of three years (between SMHD and the transition to SMHB). We particularly like the idea that with a yield of 18.1%, investors are able to recoup, in form of dividends, the value of the initial investment in a little more than five years (or double the value of the initial investment), without taking into account any potential capital gains. If an investor reinvests the dividends the initial investment will be recouped in little over four years. SMHB remains an attractive investment for income investors, as part of a highly diversified dividend portfolio.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long SMHB. 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.

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Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta will become part of a separate company”},{“title”:”Payless is closing up shop”,”duration”:”01:25″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/02/20/payless-store-closings-retail.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2019/02/20/payless-store-closings-retail.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190215174325-payless-shoe-store-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2019/02/20/payless-store-closings-retail.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Payless ShoeSource is closing hundreds of stores beginning in March. It also plans to shut down its online business.”,”descriptionText”:”Payless ShoeSource is closing hundreds of stores beginning in March. It also plans to shut down its online business.”},{“title”:”How cosmetic brands use virtual makeovers to sell real makeup”,”duration”:”02:13″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/02/14/beauty-cosmetic-makeup-augmented-reality-app-sephora-zw-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2019/02/14/beauty-cosmetic-makeup-augmented-reality-app-sephora-zw-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190214142150-ar-makeup-thumbnail-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2019/02/14/beauty-cosmetic-makeup-augmented-reality-app-sephora-zw-orig.cnn/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Cosmetic companies like Sephora, L’Oreal and Orly are using augmented reality apps to let customers “try on” everything from lipstick to nail polish. CNN tested some of the apps to see how they work.”,”descriptionText”:”Cosmetic companies like Sephora, L’Oreal and Orly are using augmented reality apps to let customers “try on” everything from lipstick to nail polish. CNN tested some of the apps to see how they work.”},{“title”:”You can thank this man for expensive yoga pants”,”duration”:”03:13″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/12/19/lululemon-founder-chip-wilson-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/12/19/lululemon-founder-chip-wilson-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181220093418-lululemon-yoga-pants-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/12/19/lululemon-founder-chip-wilson-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Chip Wilson made a name for himself not just as Lululemon’s founder, but as the guy who said some women’s bodies just weren’t the right type for Lululemon’s yoga pants. He sits down with Vanessa Yurkevich to talk about controversies and the future of retail.”,”descriptionText”:”Chip Wilson made a name for himself not just as Lululemon’s founder, but as the guy who said some women’s bodies just weren’t the right type for Lululemon’s yoga pants. He sits down with Vanessa Yurkevich to talk about controversies and the future of retail.”},{“title”:”Costco is succeeding despite retail woes”,”duration”:”01:52″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/business”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/12/13/costco-success-retail-woes-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/12/13/costco-success-retail-woes-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180628165515-costco-retail-sales-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/12/13/costco-success-retail-woes-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Many retail brands may be struggling, but Costco is thriving thanks to deep discounts and a popular food court.”,”descriptionText”:”Many retail brands may be struggling, but Costco is thriving thanks to deep discounts and a popular food court.”},{“title”:”Retailers in the age of Amazon: Adapt or die”,”duration”:”01:00″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/11/30/romans-retail-rally.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/11/30/romans-retail-rally.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181026130332-01-amazon-packaging-recycling-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/11/30/romans-retail-rally.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”CNN’s Christine Romans breaks down what it takes for big retailers to succeed in the age of Amazon, and the price they’ll pay for sticking to the old ways. “,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Christine Romans breaks down what it takes for big retailers to succeed in the age of Amazon, and the price they’ll pay for sticking to the old ways. “},{“title”:”Lowe’s is closing 47 stores”,”duration”:”00:54″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com/business”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/11/06/lowes-is-closing-stores-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/11/06/lowes-is-closing-stores-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181105115947-lowes-store-facade-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/11/06/lowes-is-closing-stores-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”In the face of a slowing housing market and competition from Home Depot, Lowe’s has announced it will close 47 stores before the end of its fiscal year.”,”descriptionText”:”In the face of a slowing housing market and competition from Home Depot, Lowe’s has announced it will close 47 stores before the end of its fiscal year.”},{“title”:”Believe it or not, Sears once revolutionized retail”,”duration”:”01:52″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/02/sears-history-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/02/sears-history-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181002173716-sears-origin-story-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/02/sears-history-orig.cnn/video/playlists/business-retail/”,”description”:”Sears is now closing thousands of stores and losing billions of dollars. 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Tesla brings back its referral program, sort of – CNBC

Tesla is bringing back its once popular referral program in a new form just months after killing it, the company said.

Elon

The previous program also gave referrers a chance to win a variety of awards, including having a photo launched into space, new wheels, priority access to software updates and vehicles.

An even earlier version of the program offered some buyers free unlimited Supercharging. The new program gives those participants in the program a two chances to win a new vehicles in each period.

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‘Welcome aboard, Mx’: United Airlines now offering non-binary gender options ‘throughout all booking channels’ – Fox News

“Welcome aboard, Mx.”

On Friday, United Airlines announced that it will now be offering non-binary gender options “throughout all booking channels,” allowing travelers to identify as male, female, undisclosed or unspecified, and also providing the option of “Mx.” alongside Mr. and Ms. in user profiles, according to a press release.

The changes come just over a month after several major U.S. carriers confirmed they would conform to a new standard suggested by two trade groups – Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – by June 1.

HAWAII AT A ‘TIPPING POINT’ OF OVERTOURISM, EXPERTS WARN

“United is determined to lead the industry in LGBT inclusivity, and we are so proud to be the first U.S. airline to offer these inclusive booking options for our customers,” said Toby Enqvist, United Airlines’ chief customer officer, in a press release. “United is excited to share with our customers, whether they identify along the binary of male or female or not, that we are taking the steps to exhibit our care for them while also providing additional employee training to make us even more welcoming for all customers and employees.”

United also confirmed its employees are being trained to better serve all passengers, including its LGBTQ travelers, by learning about “preferred pronouns and the persistence of gender norms,” among other issues. The airline worked alongside the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project – the latter of which is an organization that offers crisis intervention services to LGBTQ youth – to design its training initiatives.

“Alongside partner organizations, customers, and employees, United will continue working to build the world’s most inclusive airline,” United’s press release reads.

Airlines for America and IATA’s suggested standard aims to make it easy for airlines to comply with requirements under U.S. and foreign laws that passenger information must match what is on the person’s form of ID used for travel.

United, American, Southwest, Alaska and Delta have already agreed to adopt the new standard, USA Today confirmed in February.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Wall St. gains as tech boost offsets bank losses after Fed stance – Investing.com

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By Amy Caren Daniel and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – Technology shares pushed Wall Street’s main indexes higher on Thursday, offseting losses in U.S. lenders after the Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates this year

In a wholesale shift of their outlook, policymakers said the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate was likely to remain at current levels at least through this year, while flagging an expected slowdown in the economy.

Financials, which are sensitive to interest rates, took the biggest hit and were down 0.72 percent. The banking index fell 1.65 percent.

“Investors are digesting the Fed’s announcement from yesterday. The positives are that rates are low, inflation is low and stimulus is still there. The negative is the Fed wouldn’t be doing this unless they knew things are going to get weaker,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt in Atlanta.

“Growth-type companies and not the interest rate-dependant banks are moving higher today and it shows that the environment is okay.”

Technology stocks rose 1.62 percent on the back of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) and chipmakers.

The iPhone maker’s shares jumped 3.3 percent after analysts said they expected the company’s video service, which launches on Monday, to make a material impact on the company’s earnings in the future.

Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:) jumped 9.25 percent after the company said it sees a recovery in memory chips coming, driving a 2.74 percent gain in the Philadelphia chip index.

Expectations of a largely dovish Fed and hopes of the United States and China reaching a trade resolution have spurred a rally in stocks this year, with the now just 3.3 percent away from its record closing high in September. Investors will now keep a close watch on trade talks between the United States and China as top U.S. officials travel to Beijing to resume negotiations.

At 10:45 a.m. ET the was up 96.28 points, or 0.37 percent, at 25,841.95. The S&P 500 was up 13.26 points, or 0.47 percent, at 2,837.49 and the was up 55.02 points, or 0.71 percent, at 7,783.99.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is set to post its fifth consecutive session of gains.

Among stocks, Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:) tumbled 29 percent and was the biggest drag on the S&P and Nasdaq, after the drugmaker and its partner, Eisai Co Ltd, said they would discontinue two studies testing an Alzheimer’s drug.

Its fall pushed the Nasdaq biotechnology index 2.05 percent lower.

Conagra Brands Inc jumped 10 percent after the food packaging company’s quarterly profit topped estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.48-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.71-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 26 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 44 new highs and 19 new lows.

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