Sunday, September 28

Week 169 - Barron’s 500 “Industrials” That Are Dividend Achievers With Good Credit Ratings

Situation: There is increasing evidence that the US economy is moving away from the deflationary effects brought about by chronic trade deficits. This translates most directly into a recovery of the manufacturing sector, which we’re already starting to see. But emerging markets are the driver of industrial equipment sales, and those markets remain in a state of flux). Let’s take a closer look at what S&P classifies as “industrial” companies, since 11% of the S&P 500 Index consists of stocks issued by companies in that industry. 

We’ve taken the Barron’s 500 List and pulled out the 16 “industrial” companies that are Dividend Achievers with good S&P bond ratings (Table). Of those 16 companies, 12 are manufacturers. Five are either defense companies, such as Lockheed-Martin (LMT), Northrop Grumman (NOC), and General Dynamics (GD), or they manufacture and service equipment for the aerospace industry, i.e., United Technologies (UTX) and Parker-Hannifin (PH). Two build agriculture, construction and mining equipment, Deere (DE) and Caterpillar (CAT). The 5 remaining companies are niche operators, Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), Illinois Tool Works (ITW), 3M (MMM), Dover (DOV) and Emerson Electric (EMR).

What about the other 4, the ones that don’t build stuff? Well, that’s the same story you’ve heard since the California Gold Rush days, namely that gold miners didn’t make nearly as much money as their suppliers, who made a lot. Industrial companies that supply and distribute parts (WW Grainger, GWW), transport manufactured goods (Norfolk Southern, NSC) or clean up messes (Waste Management, WM and Republic Services, RSC) do quite well.

Bottom Line: The US trade balance looks to be improving, which means our manufacturing sector is seeing an uptrend in exports. These “industrial” companies endured a hard decade to start the 21st century but are now in recovery mode, steady but slow.

Risk Rating: 6

Full Disclosure: I own shares of UTX, DE and MMM.

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1 comment:

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