A company that is well-known and that has been established over a number of years is considered a blue-chip stock. They have been through the boom times and recessions, giving investors confidence that they will remain a viable entity in the future. Blue-chips are usually less volatile than other stocks, as they have a steadier stream of predictable income and usually have extensive ownership by institutions, which can hold shares for a longer period of time than individual investors. Blue-chips are usually the market leader in their respective sectors.
Wall Street analysts are warming up to Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), and it’s understandable why. I’ve been bullish on this stock for some time now. The company has strong earnings visibility going into next year, and management recently bumped its quarterly dividend payment significantly higher.
Even though the stock is up about 50% over the last 12 months to a new record high, the company’s 16% dividend increase and new $3.65-billion share buyback program is exactly what institutional investors want. Earnings expectations for Johnson Controls are increasing across the board. (See “If You Don’t Want to Leave This Market, Stick with These Proven Winners.”)
One of the most prolific trends in the stock market over the last few years has been the strong performance of dividend-paying blue chips. Many brand-name, old economy companies have been trading like fast-growing technology stocks.
The marketplace has craved the relative safety, earnings stability, and dividends from corporations whose balance sheets were only getting stronger. It’s a trend that I think is far from over, and it’s why I’m a fan of existing winners. Johnson Controls’ two-year stock chart is featured below:
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Any Wall Street enthusiasm for this company is based on a solid earnings outlook and the continued strong performance in automobile manufacturing.
Johnson Controls manufactures seats, doors, instrument panels, and all kinds of vehicle electronics. Management is thinking about selling its electronics business that’s related to the automotive market. This business segment is relatively small compared to the company’s manufacturing of seating components.
In its 2009 fiscal year, the company paid dividends of $0.52 per share; … Read More
There are lots of companies but very few stocks I like in this stock market, because stocks have already gone up in value so tremendously.
Countless large-caps provided excellent returns this year, and many of them are old brands that still offer meaningful dividend yields. What’s transpired with the equity market this year has been truly amazing and practically, I don’t think the run is over just yet.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL) has a 52-week trading range of $60.07 to $118.44 and a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 18.46, according to Thomson Reuters. And guess where the stock is now—right at its all-time record high, up approximately 84% (not including dividends) since this time last year. All this from a mature restaurant brand.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), one of my key benchmark stocks and the kind of company that’s welcome in any long-term equity market portfolio, has had a really good year. Its capital appreciation is reminiscent of its performance in the late 90s.
Many blue chips trade similarly to Cracker Barrel and Johnson & Johnson: they go through long periods of consolidation providing minimal capital gains, and then they explode in trading action, typically associated with technology stocks. (See “Why I Like This Blue Chip So Much [55th Dividend Increase Just Announced].”)
So with the huge price moves, the case for a major retrenchment/correction/consolidation in the equity market is very solid. But there needs to be a catalyst for this to happen. The equity market is overbought and looking tired, but there is still a strong willingness on the part of institutional investors to … Read More
As evidence of the fervor to which institutional investors are bidding this market, Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) jumped five percent on the day the company announced a new $3.65-billion share buyback program and a 16% increase to its dividends.
These are good times for corporations and equity investors. Companies can borrow on the cheap, and they are keeping shareholders happy with rising dividends and share buybacks.
Johnson Controls is based in Milwaukee and sells a great deal of equipment to the automobile and the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industries.
The company’s dividends have been rising consistently, and for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, earnings per share grew an impressive 32%.
Not surprisingly, the stock’s been doing extremely well. At the beginning of the year, it was trading around $31.00 a share; now, it’s around $50.00.
This kind of capital gain has been very common among countless blue chips. It is a highly unusual and monetary policy-fueled rise. In my view, in the case of Johnson Controls, the company’s share price is overvalued, even with the recent news regarding its dividends.
While there is certainly a lot of liquidity in the stock market now—and there is good action to be had, generally speaking—I’m very reticent to be a buyer. At the very least, it is difficult finding attractive stocks to buy that haven’t already gone up tremendously.
I view equities as one big hold right now, and I do think that share prices will be able to finish out the year strongly, given current information.
Looking at the financial results of countless large-cap corporations, there is … Read More
For a company with just one operating division that’s generating meaningful growth, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD) seems to have an uncanny ability to appreciate in value on the stock market.
DuPont is a big player in the agriculture sector, and this operating division is somewhat of a proxy on the sell-side industry.
Last quarter, the company reported sales growth of five percent to $7.7 billion. The company’s agricultural division experienced the best gain, with a 15% hike in sales to $1.6 billion.
If institutional investors buy the stock market based on improving balance sheets, DuPont’s fits the bill. The company’s third-quarter cash position soared from $4.3 billion to $7.0 billion.
The stock was trading around $45.00 a share at the beginning of the year, and it is currently trading at approximately $62.00 with a 2.9% dividend yield. For such a mature enterprise, an impressive capital gain like this is indicative of a monetary policy-induced stock market, where even slow-growth enterprises have been bid significantly.
Across the board, Wall Street has been increasing DuPont’s earnings estimates for this year and next. For 2013, total sales are expected to grow approximately three percent, accelerating to 6.3% in 2014.
Current earnings growth consensus for 2014 is approximately 12%, and with a three percent dividend yield, a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) of 14 isn’t unreasonable. (See “My Six Favorite Growing Dividend Payers.”)
These big, brand-name corporations can really pay, but usually only after a major correction or shock that provides a good entry point into the stock market.
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