As an investor, it pays to follow the cash. If you figure out how a company moves its money, you might eventually find some of that cash flowing into your pockets.
In this series, we'll highlight four companies in an industry, and compare their "cash king margins" over time, trying to determine which has the greatest likelihood of putting cash back in your pocket. After all, a company can pay dividends and buy back stock only after it's actually received cash -- not just when it books those accounting figments known as "profits."
Today, let's look at Merck (NYSE: MRK ) and three of its peers.
The cash king margin
Looking at a company's cash flow statement can help you determine whether its free cash flow actually backs up its reported profit. Companies that can create 10% or more free cash flow from their revenue can be powerful compounding machines for your portfolio. A sustained high cash king margin can be a good predictor of long-term stock returns.
Top 5 Mid Cap Stocks For 2015: People's United Financial Inc.(PBCT)
People?s United Financial, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for People?s United Bank that provides commercial banking, retail and business banking, and wealth management services to individual, corporate, and municipal customers. Its Commercial Banking segment provides commercial and industrial lending, commercial real estate lending, and commercial deposit gathering services, as well as equipment financing, cash management, correspondent banking, and municipal banking services. The company?s Retail and Business Banking segment offers consumer and business deposit gathering services; consumer lending products, including residential mortgage, home equity, and indirect auto lending; business lending; and merchant services. Its Wealth Management segment provides trust services, corporate trust, brokerage, financial advisory services, investment management services, and life insurance and other insurance services, as well as private banking services. The company also offers online and telephone banking, and investment trading services, and automated teller machine (ATM) services. As of March 31, 2011, it operated a network of approximately 341 branches, including full-service supermarket branches, investment and brokerage offices, and commercial banking offices, as well as approximately 518 automated teller machines in Connecticut, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1842 and is headquartered in Bridgeport, Connecticut.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rick Munarriz]
1. People's United Financial will close lower on the week
Earnings season for bankers began on Friday, and the two financial-services titans that reported closed lower on the day. Many of their rivals will report in the week ahead, and that includes People's United Financial (NASDAQ: PBCT ) .
- [By Dividends4Life]
Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of People's United Financial Inc. (PBCT). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:
- [By David Fried]
People's United Financial (PBCT) is the bank holding company for People's United Bank, which provides commercial banking, retail and business banking, and wealth management services to individual, corporate, and municipal customers.
- [By Dividends4Life]
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Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Own For 2014: SuperValu Inc.(SVU)
SUPERVALU INC., together with its subsidiaries, operates retail food stores in the United States. Its stores offer grocery, general merchandise, health and beauty care, pharmacy, and fuel products. The company operates stores under the Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher?s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw?s, Shop ?n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, and Star Market banners, as well as in-store pharmacies under the Osco and Sav-on banners. It operates approximately 2,394 traditional and hard-discount retail food stores, including 899 licensed Save-A-Lot stores. The company also offers supply chain services, which include wholesale distribution of products to independent retailers, including single and multiple grocery store independent operators, regional and national chains, mass merchants, and the military customers, as well as provides logistics support services. SUPERVALU was founded in 1871 and is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Selena Maranjian]
More than a handful of small-cap companies�had strong performances over the past year. SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU ) surged 200%. The company has suspended its dividend, in order to cut costs and more effectively compete in its low-margin industry, where it also faces growing competition from Wal-Mart�and other discounters. Some rivals such as Whole Foods Market�have been able to maintain higher margins by offering organic produce and higher-end products. SUPERVALU has been reshaping itself and selling off some brands, and apparently many investors are hopeful.
- [By Caroline Bennett]
Grocery store chain SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU ) has appointed Bruce Besanko to be its new executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective as of Aug. 7.
Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Own For 2014: National CineMedia Inc.(NCMI)
National CineMedia, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates a digital in-theatre network in North America. It develops, produces, sells, and distributes various versions of a branded, pre-feature entertainment, and advertising program called ?FirstLook? on theatre screens and advertising programming on its lobby entertainment network; and sells various forms of advertising and promotions in theatre lobbies. The company distributes Fathom business and consumer entertainment events through digital content network and live digital broadcast network utilizing its proprietary digital content software. It also facilitates business meetings, church services, and corporate marketing/communication events in the movie theatres throughout its theatre network; and distributes entertainment programming products, which include live and pre-recorded concerts, opera, symphony, concert and DVD product releases, theatrical premieres, Broadway plays, and other music events, as well as live sports and other special events. In addition, the company provides its services to third-party theatre circuits through network affiliate agreements. As of August 4, 2011, its advertising network had approximately 18,100 digital screens. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Centennial, Colorado.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lisa Levin]
National CineMedia (NASDAQ: NCMI) shares climbed 7.15% to $13.33. The volume of National CineMedia shares traded was 1705% higher than normal. National CineMedia reported Q3 net income of $4.8 million on revenue of $100.8 million. MKM Partners downgraded National CineMedia from Buy to Neutral and lowered the price target from $20.00 to $13.00.
Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Own For 2014: Pepsico Inc.(PEP)
PepsiCo, Inc. engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. The company operates in four divisions: PepsiCo Americas Foods (PAF); PepsiCo Americas Beverages (PAB); PepsiCo Europe; and PepsiCo Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA). The PAF division offers Lay?s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and dips, Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, Fritos corn chips, Quaker Chewy granola bars, and SunChips multigrain snacks in North America; Quaker oatmeal, Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, Cap?n Crunch cereal, Quaker grits, and Life cereal, as well as Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, and Near East side dishes in North America; and various snack foods under Doritos, Marias Gamesa, Cheetos, Ruffles, Emperador, Saladitas, Sabritas, and Lay?s brands in Latin America. The PAB division provides carbonated soft drinks, beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, 7UP, Tropicana Pure Premium, Electropura, Sierra Mist, Epura, and Mirinda brands; ready-to-drink tea, coffee, and water products through joint ventures with Unilever and Starbucks; and sells concentrate to authorized bottlers, and branded finished goods directly to independent distributors and retailers. This division also manufactures third-party brands, such as Dr Pepper, Crush, Rock Star, and Muscle Milk. The PepsiCo Europe division offers Frito Lay Snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices, and Quaker foods in Europe. The AMEA division provides snack food under the Lay?s, Kurkure, Chipsy, Doritos, Smith?s, Cheetos, Red Rock Deli, and Ruffles brands; Quaker-brand cereals and snacks; and beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under the Pepsi, Mirinda, 7UP, and Mountain Dew brands. PepsiCo, Inc. was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) , which reported earnings�results last week, said carbonated soft drink sales declined by middle single-digit rates in the fourth quarter. We're waiting on Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) to report its numbers, but last quarter the company admitted Diet Coke sales were "under pressure," without giving specifics. And, of course, Dr Pepper said its carbonated soft drinks were down 2% by volume and 4% by sales, with the Core 4 Ten brands falling 2% as well, done in once again with middle single-digit declines from 7Up and Sunkist. If nothing else, the Canada Dry brand continues to perform, growing by middle single-digits.
- [By Heather Ingrassia]
On Friday, August 30, it was announced that Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading, the local producer and distributor of PepsiCo's (PEP) global beverage and snack brands in Thailand, has increased production capacity to meet growing demand for its products, with the US-based parent seeing Thailand as a high-potential market with a positive business outlook in the long run. The three additional production lines at PepsiCo's beverage plant located within the Amata City Industrial Estate will increase its maximum beverage production capacity by 81%. In the wake of Friday's announcement, I wanted to take a closer look at a number of fundamental catalysts behind my decision to remain bullish on the parent company's stock.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Du Pont isn’t the only company Trian is pressuring for a split. PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) is also on the investment firm’s radar. Back in 2014, the company began calling for Pepsi to split its snack foods and beverages businesses, saying it would increase shareholder value.
Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Own For 2014: Illinois Tool Works Inc.(ITW)
Illinois Tool Works Inc. manufactures a range of industrial products and equipment worldwide. The company?s Transportation segment offers metal and plastic components, fasteners, and assemblies; fluids and polymers; fillers and putties; polyester coatings, and patch and repair products; and truck remanufacturing and related parts and service. Its Industrial Packaging segment offers steel and plastic strapping and related tools and equipment; plastic stretch film and related equipment; paper and plastic products that protect goods in transit; and metal jacketing products. The company?s Food Equipment segment provides warewashing, cooking, refrigeration, and food processing equipment; and kitchen exhaust, ventilation, and pollution control systems. Its Power Systems & Electronics segment provides arc welding equipment; metal arc welding consumables; metal solder materials for PC board fabrication; equipment and services for microelectronics assembly; electronic components an d component packaging; and airport ground support equipment. The company?s Construction Products segment offers anchors, fasteners, and related fastening tools for wood, metal, and concrete applications; metal plate truss components, and related equipment and software; and packaged hardware and other products for retail. Its Polymers & Fluids segment provides adhesives, chemical fluids, epoxy and resin-based coating products, hand wipes and cleaners, and pressure-sensitive adhesives and components. The company?s Decorative Surfaces segment offers laminate for furniture, office and retail space, and countertops; and laminate flooring and worktops. In addition, the company offers plastic reclosable packages and bags, and consumables; plastic and metal fasteners, and components; foil and film products; product coding and marking, paint spray, and static and contamination control equipment; and swabs and mats. The company was founded in 1912 and is based in Glenview, Illinois. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By The Part-time Investor]
The following stocks met the criteria in January of 2008 and were put into the initial portfolio:Abbot Labs (ABT)Advanced data processing (ADP)Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC)Bank of America (BAC)BB&T Corp. (BBT)Bemis Company (BMS)Anheuser Busch (BUD)The Chubb Corporation (CB)Clorox (CLX)Comerica Inc. (CMA)Diebold Inc. (DBD)Emerson Electronics (EMR)First Dollar Corp. (FDO)First Third BanCorp. (FITB)Gannett Co, Inc. (GCI)General Electric (GE)Hershey (HSY)Illinois Tools Works (ITW)Johnson and Johnson (JNJ)Leggett and Platt (LEG)Eli Lilly (LLY)La-Z-Boy (LZB)McDonald's (MCD)Marsh and Ilsley (MI)M&T Bancorp (MTB)PepsiCo (PEP)Pfizer (PFE)Procter & Gamble (PG)Pentair Ltd. (PNR)Regions Financial Corp. (RF)Rohm and Haas (ROH)RPM International (RPM)Sherwin Williams (SHW)Sysco Corp. (SYY)UDR Inc. (UDR)
Historical quotes were taken from Yahoo Finance. $10,000 was put into each position, to the nearest whole share, so a total of $349,262.89 was invested. From 1/15/08 through 5/16/13 all dividends were reinvested back into the stock that paid them. If a dividend cut was announced, that stock was sold on the ex-div date of the new, lower dividend.
- [By Nicole Seghetti]
3. Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW )
This maker of industrial products and equipment like fasteners, coatings, and plastic stretch films has increased its dividend for 49 consecutive years. Even though the stock suffered badly in 2008 when the construction and transportation industries it depends on were hit hard, Illinois Tool Works is greatly benefiting from the current economic recovery.
- [By Nicole Seghetti]
Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW )
This Illinois-based manufacturer will likely benefit as spending ramps up in transportation and construction, two industries that make up a healthy portion of the company's revenue. Illinois Tool Works holds nearly 20,000 patents, indicating a successful history of innovation. The century-old company boasts a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13 and a 2.5% dividend yield.�
Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Own For 2014: Sempra Energy(SRE)
Sempra Energy, together with its subsidiaries, develops new energy infrastructure, operates utilities, and provides energy-related products and services worldwide. It operates in six segments: SDG&E, SoCalGas, Sempra Generation, Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra LNG (liquefied natural gas), and Sempra Commodities. The SDG&E segment has electric and natural gas franchises that locate, operate, and maintain facilities for the transmission and distribution of electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, street and highway lighting, and direct access customers. The SoCalGas segment has natural gas franchises that locate, operate, and maintain facilities for the transmission and distribution of natural gas to electric generation, wholesale, large commercial, industrial, and enhanced oil recovery customers. The Sempra Generation segment involves in the generation and wholesale distribution of electricity through a fleet of natural gas-fired power generati on facilities in Arizona, Nevada, and Indiana, as well as Mexico with a total capacity of 2,513 megawatts. The Sempra Pipelines & Storage segment operates 1,883 miles of distribution pipelines, 224 miles of transmission pipelines, and 3 compressor stations in Mexico; operates Mobile Gas, a natural gas distribution utility located in Mobile and Baldwin counties in Alabama; and operates natural gas storage facilities in Washington County of Alabama and Simpson County of Mississippi. The Sempra LNG segment involves in the receipt, storage, and vaporization of LNG, as well as the purchase and sale of natural gas. It operates Energia Costa Azul LNG receipt terminal in Baja California, Mexico, as well as Cameron LNG receipt terminal in Hackberry, Louisiana. The Sempra Commodities segment engages in the commodities-marketing business. Sempra Energy has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered i n San Diego, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By David Dittman]
PG&E Corp (NYSE: PCG), Edison International (NYSE: EIX) and Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) are the parent entities of California’s investor-owned utilities.
- [By Richard Stavros]
Created with YCharts
In addition to beating the market since the beginning of the year, diversified energy utilities, such as MDU Resources Group Inc (NYSE: MDU), Dominion Resources Inc (NYSE: D) and Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), significantly outperformed pure-play or predominantly all-electric utilities, such as Duke Energy Corp (NYSE: DUK) and Entergy Corp (NYSE: ETR), by as much as several percentage points (See Chart B).
Interestingly, among top performers, there was no dominant strategy for exploiting natural gas demand, as these firms were involved in all aspects of the value chain–from exploration and production to distribution and storage. These companies have not only been benefiting from a natural gas surplus, but also from the pressing need to expand US energy infrastructure to deliver this newfound bounty to businesses and households.
Chart B: Diversified Energy Utilities Outperformed Electric-Only Peers
Top 10 Dividend Stocks To Own For 2014: Nicor Inc. (GAS)
Nicor Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in natural gas distribution business in the United States. The company distributes natural gas to approximately 2.2 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in northern Illinois. It also provides natural gas storage and transmission-related services to marketers and other gas distribution companies. The company?s gas distribution, transmission, and storage network includes approximately 34,000 miles of steel, plastic, and cast iron main; approximately 2.0 million steel, plastic/aluminum composite, plastic, and copper services connecting the mains to customers? premises; and 8 underground storage fields. In addition, Nicor offers shipping services, including the transportation of containerized freight between Florida, the eastern coast of Canada, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean region. It transports building materials, and food and other necessities for developers, manufacturers, and residents in the Caribbean an d the Bahamas; tourist-related shipments intended for use in hotels and resorts, and on cruise ships; and interisland shipments and northbound shipments of apparel and agricultural products, as well as provides inland transportation and cargo insurance services. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated a fleet of 11 owned vessels and 4 chartered vessels with a container capacity totaling approximately 5,270 Twenty-foot equivalent units. Further, it owns and/or leases containers, container-handling equipment, chassis, and other equipment. Additionally, Nicor involves in the marketing of energy-related products and services, including warranty and maintenance contracts, as well as repair and installation services of heating, air conditioning and indoor air-quality equipment, and customer move connection services for other utilities; and wholesale marketing of natural gas supply services. The company was founded in 1953 and is based in Naperville, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
Up first is AGL Resources (GAS), a $6.5 billion natural gas utility. Utility stocks have been quietly working their way higher in recent months, showing better relative strength than any other sector in November And AGL Resources is no exception: it's up 15% since the calendar flipped to January.
But don't worry if you missed the move year-to-date -- shares are flirting with an important breakout level this week.
GAS has spent the last few months forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish price setup that's formed by horizontal resistance above shares at $55 and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as GAS bounces in between those two technical levels, it's been getting squeezed closer to a breakout above that $55 price ceiling. When that happens, we've got our buy signal -- and we're very close at the start of today's session.
How about that relative strength I mentioned a moment ago? It looks stellar in GAS -- in fact, this stock's relative strength line has held its uptrend since the start of the year, an indication that GAS is outperforming the rest of the market in good times and bad ones. As long as that relative strength uptrend remains intact, shares of GAS should keep outperforming.
If you decide to buy the next material move above $55, the 200-day moving average is a logical place to park a protective stop.
Must Read: 5 Stocks Insiders Love Right Now
- [By Vanin Aegea]
Investors are very often turned off by a cyclical business. Nonetheless, such behavior gives investors the chance to take a position in a profitable business model at a low entry price. With a recent boom in the U.S. market, prices are not expected to be in the low end. Let us look at AGL Resources (GAS) and Suburban Propane (SPH) to see whether any of them offer a profitable business model at a low entry price.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Energy services holding company AGL Resources (GAS) raised its quarterly dividend 4.3% to 49 cents per share, payable on Mar. 1 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 14.
GAS Dividend Yield: 4.23%
- [By Corinne Gretler]
Gas Natural SDG SA (GAS), Spain�� biggest gas supplier, advanced 4 percent to 15.45 euros and Enagas SA, the operator of the nation�� natural-gas pipelines, gained 1.1 percent to 18.24 euros. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised both stocks to buy from neutral, citing the impending review of gas regulation in Spain as positive for both companies.