Posts Tagged ‘dividends’
Lots of companies are still reporting their financial results, and there are a lot of unique stories out there that are worth following.
AAON, Inc. (AAON) reports this week. We’ve looked at this enterprise several times before in this publication. Company management has an impressive track record of generating consistent growth.
It will be interesting to see if the company can keep its operational momentum. (See “Why This Company Should Be a Case Study in Business Schools.”) Over the medium- to long-term, it’s proven unwise to bet against this well-managed business.
Last year in these pages, we briefly highlighted a very interesting medical device company called Globus Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ/GMED). Based out of Audubon, Pennsylvania, the company specializes in the treatment of spinal disorders and is building its business in a very consistent and methodical way.
The stock stumbled in the fourth quarter of 2012 but has been moving solidly higher as management delivers modest but consistent growth in revenues and earnings.
The company’s two-year stock chart is featured below:
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Stocks with consistent share price performance are golden, and it comes on the back of consistent operational growth. It doesn’t have to be runaway growth or even double-digit growth; institutional investors love medical device stocks, and they will bid them as long as a company delivers on expectations.
Any stock can break down at any time for a multitude of reasons, but I’ve seen so many consistently returning stocks produce better capital gains (over a longer period of time, of course) than many high-flyers.
It’s not that high-flying trades aren’t worth pursuing; rather, within … Read More
A good amount of speculative fervor has come out of this market so far this year, but there’s still quite a bit of valuation froth around.
Across the board, 3D-printer stocks have come back. 3D Systems Corporation (DDD) still boasts a trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 150.
Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) is still going strong. It’s one of few super-hyped stocks that made a strong recovery in January after a material sell-off months before. (See “Buy High, Sell Higher: Top Investment Strategy for Buoyant Markets?”) The position just bounced off $265.00 per share. Next year, Wall Street estimates the company will do more than $5.0 billion in sales.
Looking at the stock market currently, there’s a lot of indecisiveness and geopolitical events are overshadowing the action.
Watch large-cap biotechnology stocks (or the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index) for their trading action specifically. This group of stocks reaccelerated strongly in February and is very much overdue for a material correction.
I’ve noticed several key momentum stocks within the group have started rolling over. This should be a strong contributing indicator to the short-term action unrelated to specific events happening in Ukraine.
Gold is holding up well with the geopolitical tensions, and oil prices are too, but to a lesser degree.
Stocks are due for a break. What looked like the makings of a material correction in January, equities reversed direction after the Federal Reserve, once again, reiterated its willingness to be highly accommodative to capital markets.
This kind of market (after such a strong 2013 for stocks) warrants a significant degree of caution. I wouldn’t be jumping onto any bandwagons. … Read More
Among blue chips, 3M Company (MMM) is getting a lot of increased earnings estimates from analysts. For such a mature company, 3M’s been doing very well on the stock market, and it looks to be well-positioned for more capital gains.
At the end of 2013, 3M had approximately 89,000 employees (full-time equivalent), of which 60% were based abroad. The company spends a lot on new research and development, and while many blue chips have been doing everything they can to squeeze costs, 3M keeps spending on new scientific and technology development ($1.57 billion in 2011, $1.63 billion in 2012, and $1.72 billion in 2013).
The largest component of the company’s sales is its industrial business, which makes a lot of product for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the automotive aftermarket. Products like tapes, sealants, ceramics, vinyl, polyester, and adhesives are sold to this market, but they’re also sold to electronics, appliance, food and beverage, construction, and paper and printing customers.
Thanks to the acquisition of Ceradyne Inc. in the fourth quarter of 2012, 3M is now one of the top manufacturers of advanced ceramics used for solar, electronics, and defense applications.
The company’s industrial business was 34% of last year’s total sales, growing the most over other operating divisions at 6.5% in U.S. dollars comparatively.
3M has paid a dividend to stockholders since 1914 and just recently increased its first-quarter dividend 34.6% to $0.855 per share, representing the 56th consecutive year of dividend increases. (See “The Six Things I Look for in a Company Before Buying Its Stock.”)
No wonder this stock is doing well. Its … Read More
The NASDAQ Composite index sold off significantly in January to around 4,000. Then it recovered to its current level at 4,300, which is a pretty substantial move.
For a number of months now, the NASDAQ has been outperforming both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. This relative outperformance continues to be a positive overall sign regarding sentiment.
I don’t really expect much from stocks this year, although the prospect of rising dividends still remains very good in the bottom half. 2013’s stock market performance was so exceptional and so substantial, especially among blue chips, that it’s time for earnings to catch up with share prices.
Not to be excluded, the performance of the Russell 2000 index has also been relatively strong compared to larger-caps. But this index still can’t quite keep up to the outperformance of the NASDAQ.
Stock market leadership from large-cap technology stocks is always a good thing. And a lot of it has been from older brand-name companies, the kind of former fast-growing stocks that are now almost income plays.
Oracle Corporation (ORCL) has been on the comeback trail after several quarters of disappointing results. This position has been treading water since the beginning of 2011, and its recent breakout on the stock market is not immaterial. The company’s five-year stock chart is featured below:
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Following a similar trading pattern over the last several years, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) has recently been strong. The stock is up $10.00 a share over the last 12 months, and Wall Street earnings estimates have been going up across the board for this fiscal year and … Read More
The single greatest certainty capital markets are looking for is policy stability from the Federal Reserve, and Janet Yellen, the new Chair of the Federal Reserve, delivered the goods for Wall Street.
With certainty in regards to short-term interest rates and the expectation that quantitative easing will continue to be reduced over the coming quarters, the fundamental backdrop for the stock market remains positive.
Many companies sold off after reporting earnings results that basically met consensus. This was well-deserved, especially in a market that has not experienced a meaningful correction for a number of quarters.
Particularly for large-caps, corporate earnings results in the last quarter of 2013 were decent and corporate outlooks for 2014 were also relatively positive, considering the current state of things.
Add in the high likelihood of rising dividends from blue chips in the bottom half of the year, and you have the makings of another decent year for stocks.
Corporate balance sheets are in top-notch condition, and the cost of capital is cheap. From the corporate perspective, this is the perfect backdrop for greater growth, and sales growth translates to the bottom line.
For the last couple of quarters, I’ve been reticent about investors buying this stock market. Long investors benefitted tremendously in 2013, even by owning blue chips. While the expectation has been for a major stock market correction (or collapse), one has yet to transpire. Instead, we are getting meaningful price consolidation, which is happening again.
The lack of a meaningful double-digit price correction in the stock market illustrates the continued underlying fervor that institutional investors have to be buyers. With continued certainty from … Read More
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) powered ahead after announcing earnings results that handily beat Wall Street consensus.
The company’s diluted earnings per share increased a substantial 34% from $0.77 to $1.03. Sales for the quarter ended December 28, 2013 grew nine percent to $12.3 billion on a strong performance from studio entertainment and the commercial success of Frozen and Thor: The Dark World.
Once again, the company’s cash position improved materially. Several firms boosted their price targets on the stock and earnings estimates for future periods.
Disney has an uncanny ability to generate growth in an otherwise lackluster environment, illustrating the relative outperformance of media networks, movies, and related consumer products.
The company experienced double-digit comparable growth in studio entertainment, consumer products, and its interactive businesses. This past December, Disney boosted its annual cash dividend by 15% to $0.86 per share. (See “Large-Cap Stocks the Place to Be in 2014?”)
Disney seems to have continued operating momentum on its side, as its theme park business is growing. This division is the second-largest in terms of revenue contribution after media networks.
In terms of blue chips, Disney is not the stock with the highest yield in the marketplace. Its current yield is approximately 1.2%.
It’s not a position worth chasing, but it is worthy of consideration when it’s down or when the stock market is going through periods of poor investor sentiment.
Stocks have been bouncing around, quite trendless since the beginning of the year. Investor sentiment has been shaken by emerging market action and currency movements. Economic data has also been all over the map. Some … Read More
As evidence of the fervor that corporations have to try to keep shareholders happy, 3M Company (MMM) just announced that its board of directors authorized another major share repurchase program.
The company bought back $5.2 billion worth of its own shares in 2013 and can now repurchase up to $12.0 billion.
Stock buybacks are an old-school business strategy. Excess cash that management feels isn’t worth investing in new businesses, plant, equipment, and employees is simply allocated back to shareholders.
And whatever the endgame is for company management—to boost a falling share price, pay for dividends, meet earnings guidance or simply because it’s the easiest thing to do—share repurchases work for investors.
The stock market is a secondary market where share prices reflect relative values until a company becomes non-public (i.e. is taken private).
Some view share buyback programs as a tool a public company can use to prop up its earnings results, but in the large-cap space, this isn’t the case. The fact of the matter is that big business generates a lot of cash and cash management has been and will continue to be one of the main operations (usually part of the executive branch) of a company.
Earnings results might be managed on a quarterly basis, but corporations typically take a longer view regarding interest rates and debt requirements. When rates are extremely low, as they are right now, debt financing makes a lot of sense. Corporations can and do “bulk up” on capital when market conditions warrant. (See “Pullback in Stock Prices Makes These Dividend Payers Attractive Again.”)
Regardless of the motive, the marketplace likes … Read More
This choppy trading action in stocks is here to stay for a while, and it could even be more pronounced once fourth-quarter earnings season ends.
The numbers continue to pour in, but the unease in investor sentiment is obvious, and it’s partially due to the fact that stocks didn’t experience a meaningful correction last year. Whatever the reason or catalyst, further retrenchment in share prices is an eventuality that’s easily in the cards this year.
While companies, especially large-cap corporations, are able to manipulate adjusted earnings and fully diluted earnings per share, the numbers are still only mediocre at best. And share prices came up so tremendously in the Fed-induced reflation that today’s earnings results aren’t making the case for buyers.
In the large-cap space, The Clorox Company (CLX) perfectly illustrates the numbers being presented by countless blue chips.
The company beat on revenues but missed on earnings. Fiscal second-quarter sales were flat at $1.33 billion. Net earnings were down to $115 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, as compared to earnings of $123 million, or $0.93 per diluted share last year. Currency translation had a material effect on U.S. dollar sales.
The company delivered one percent in total volume growth in the most recent quarter, which is quite anemic, even for a mature blue chip consumer company.
Fiscal 2014 total sales growth is expected to be between one and two percent. Diluted earnings per share should be between $4.40 and $4.55, but management specifically cited unfavorable currency rates as a red flag.
Nothing is as troublesome in global capital markets than currency movements. The devaluation of emerging market currencies … Read More
When it comes specifically to dealing with stocks, creating a portfolio does not need to be complicated.
Depending on your goals, any equity market portfolio is well served by a handful of anchor positions. These are stocks representing underlying businesses with long track records of wealth creation. Preferably, they pay dividends, and those dividends can be reinvested into new shares if the income is not required.
All stocks are volatile and inherently risky securities (The Procter & Gamble Company [PG] had an earnings miss in 2000 and took six full years to recover).
While buying and selling stocks are business decisions, the stock market is an emotionally driven secondary market of corporate ownership. Within it, however, investment risk can be managed through diversification and the quality of the underlying businesses themselves.
Choosing five core anchor positions is a good way to start. I’m a huge believer in dividend income; and if that income isn’t required, dividend reinvestment compounds your returns and is a solid path to genuine wealth creation from the equity market.
The following are five examples of stocks that may be considered as core positions.
1. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): With more than 50 years of consecutive dividend increases, Johnson & Johnson is a dividend-paying blue chip with three main business lines, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. The company typically announces a quarterly dividend increase in the second quarter of the year.
2. Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL): A well-known producer of toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and dog food, Colgate-Palmolive is a consistent grower of diluted earnings per share and dividends, and a consumer products favorite.
4. 3M … Read More
Why owning blue chips makes so much sense in a slow-growth environment: they have the cash and they are willing to spend it to keep shareholders happy—and that’s just one of the reasons.
Take Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), for example. This company is experiencing slow business conditions, because the mining industry is in its own recession.
The company can’t manufacture sales, but it can keep buying back its own shares. Management allocated $1.7 billion for share repurchases in this quarter alone. Last year, the company spent a total of $2.0 billion buying its own shares.
Caterpillar’s recent financial results surprised Wall Street. Even though sales were down comparatively, 2013 fourth-quarter revenues beat consensus by $1.0 billion and consensus earnings by $0.26 per share.
Caterpillar is a global benchmark and an enterprise worth following. The company offers a lot of industry and global economic information to investors. (See “A Must-Read for Long-Term Equity Investors.”)
Big corporations have the cash, and while capital expenditures on plant, equipment, and employees are restrained, shareholders are the beneficiaries of such strong balance sheets.
United Technologies Corporation (UTX) reported fourth-quarter revenues below Wall Street consensus, but earnings were better than expected. The company plans to buy back $1.0 billion of its own shares this year after spending $1.2 billion in 2013.
Share repurchases help shareholders and corporate executives on a short-term basis, but if there is a drawback to them, it’s the opportunity cost of new business investment; excess cash could be invested in new research and development, expansion, acquisition, and innovation. A company that chooses to buy back its own shares is one that’s … Read More
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