Sunday, May 6

Week 357 - Dividend Achievers That Support Commodity Production

Situation: Commodities crashed in 2014 but the only S&P industries to be affected were Energy, Industrials (specifically railroads) and Basic Materials. A new Commodity Supercycle began to take hold in early 2017.

Which companies stand to benefit?

Mission: Under the best of circumstances, commodity-related investments are highly speculative. If you gamble at this casino long enough, you’ll lose big and win big. So, let’s confine our attention to “the best of circumstances,” i.e., set up our Standard Spreadsheet to look at companies meeting these requirements: 
   1) S&P credit rating for long-term bonds is BBB+ or better; 
   2) S&P stock rating is B+/M or better; 
   3) Long-term Debt doesn’t exceed 33% of Total Assets; 
   4) Tangible Book Value is a positive number; 
   5) the company is a Dividend Achiever.

Execution: see Table.

Administration: Seven companies meet our requirements. Only the two railroads (UNP, CSX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) meet the key requirement Warren Buffett has for saying that a company enjoys a “Durable Competitive Advantage” (see Week 54), i.e., steady growth in Tangible Book Value exceeding 7%/yr (see Columns AD and AE in the Table). It is also important to note that all areas of commodity production (aside from aquaculture) employ equipment that digs in the dirt. That makes Caterpillar (CAT) a useful barometer, and its stock has done well since the Commodity Crash of 2014-2016.

Bottom Line: If you’ve held shares in any of these 7 companies (see Table) for more than a few years, I commend your perseverance. Stick it out awhile longer and you may be rewarded. A new Commodity Supercycle appears to be starting, and will likely take hold if China stays the course and becomes a Superpower.

Risk Rating: 8 (where 10-Yr US Treasury Notes = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, and gold bullion = 10)

Full Disclosure: I dollar-average into Union Pacific (UNP) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

"The 2 and 8 Club" (CR) 2017 Invest Tune All rights reserved.

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