Institutional investors are organizations that pool money for the goal of investing. These include mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds. The advantage for a retail investor is that they get access to managers who are more informed and better skilled in their specific category. Retail investors also get the opportunity to place their funds in investments not always open to an individual. Individual investors are also able to get a diversified portfolio more easily, depending on the fund with which they’ve invested.
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
It’s an amazing performance that few people predicted at the beginning of the year—this stock market might just keep on climbing right into the New Year.
Just recently we looked at Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) as it broke a new all-time record high of $77.00 a share. Now, the position has surpassed $80.00 a share, still boasting a 2.4% dividend yield. It was $60.00 a share in January.
The stock market should have experienced a major correction this year, but it consolidated during the summer and reaccelerated instead.
The huge price movements of so many large and mature enterprises are not unusual in the historical performance of the stock market. In the middle of 1998, ADP was $30.00 a share (split adjusted). Two years later, the position hit a new, all-time record-high around $60.00 before correcting with technology stocks.
ADP and so many other positions illustrate the power that monetary policy has on the stock market’s business cycle. Clearly, equities today are overbought, but institutional investors have to be buyers, because investors don’t pay fees to have money sitting in cash.
While I feel that the stock market can close this year out strongly, generally speaking, I am not enthusiastic about investors buying this market. The fundamentals are slowly coming together to support the case for rising equity prices, but all the good news in terms of balance sheets and earnings outlooks are already priced into this market. Anything can happen going forward, but expectations for investment returns have to be extremely low if one is buying a stock market that’s already gone up.
A profound and prolonged correction … 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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