The floods in Thailand that began in July of 2011 are still being felt today on several levels. On a human scale, it is a tragedy, as over 12 million people were affected and there have been over 600 deaths. It is tragic when innocent people suffer from an environmental disaster.
This terrible event has hit many industries as well. We’ve seen hard drive makers Western Digital Corporation (NYSE/WDC) reduce production due to factories being hit, while firms like Seagate Technology Public Limited Company (NYSE/STX) benefit since they don’t have factories in Thailand. Ford Motor Company (NYSE/F) also announced that the floods prevented the firm’s factories from producing enough vehicles. Seagate is interesting because not only are they not hit by the floods, but they also provide a big dividend yield of almost 3.9%.
As Thailand is a big component maker for large computer firms, the reduction in volume of personal computer (PC) sales has hit Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT), as the firm warned that there would be fewer shipments of PCs than expected. The real question you should ask is: is this a short-term phenomenon or a long-term structural change and will this affect their dividend yield?
The answer is that this is a one-time hiccup for the computer industry, one that long-term investors can benefit from with patience. It will take some time for the supply chains to get back up to 100% efficiency, as some areas in Thailand are still underwater. This disaster will also prompt firms to diversify their supply chains to prevent future occurrences. This could be an excellent buying opportunity to get a great dividend yield and be paid while you wait.
In the meantime, any pullback in Microsoft due to a short-term bump in the road could be a buying opportunity. The company provides an almost three percent dividend yield and are developing their new operating system (early reports are quite positive). This is in addition to their continued expansion in the mobile market.
When you combine a short-term opportunity with a firm providing a solid dividend yield in a growing market, this is usually a recipe for success. One such firm is Intel Corporation (NASDAQ/INTC), which has a dividend yield of 3.27%. The company recently announced a deal to get into the smartphone market with its chips, trying to gain some traction against the market leader for mobile device chips, ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ/ARMH).
Intel has made a multi-year deal with Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE/MMI) in which the new smartphones by Motorola will be made with Intel processors. These will be “Android” devices, running the Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG) developed software.
Not only is Intel the dominant processor maker for PCs, far ahead of second place Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE/AMD), which has no dividend yield, but they are also actively growing in new markets.
When 10 year treasuries are yielding less than two percent, any pullback in companies with dominant market positions providing a healthy dividend yield could be a great buying opportunity. Don’t be one of the sheep frightened by a loud noise. Look past the short-term bumps in the road and see the entire road ahead of you.