Tag Archives: Philip Morris International

The 3 Silliest Company Name Changes Ever

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

The best companies in the world invest huge amounts of money and energy into building name awareness. The right name can be worth tens of billions of dollars to a company, making it all the more important for companies to make the best choice.

Often, though, companies pick what seem on the surface to be ill-considered new names. Inspired by Thursday’s announcement from Coinstar to seek shareholder approval to change its name to Outerwall, here’s a list of five company name changes that earned criticism and even outright mockery when they were first proposed.

2001: Altria
In late 2001, the company then known as Philip Morris made a proposal to change its name to Altria. The origin of the name was founded in the Latin word “altus,” meaning “high,” and was meant to associate the company with peak performance. The “tri” embedded in the name also emphasized the fact that the company at the time had three distinct divisions: domestic tobacco, international tobacco, and its Kraft Foods beverage and food division.

Image copyright Altria Group.

The name change reflected the company’s wish to have consumers and investors see beyond its tobacco business, which at the time was plagued by more substantial legal battles with billions in potential liability hanging in the balance. Shareholders approved the name change in 2002. The irony, of course, is that Altria has since spun off both Kraft and its Philip Morris International global tobacco divisions, leaving Altria holding the old core Philip Morris USA division.

2011: Qwikster
Fortunately, this name change never actually took place, but for the short period that Netflix considered it, Qwikster caused both an uproar among customers and a crisis of confidence for Netflix investors. The idea was to separate out Netflix’s legacy DVD business from its faster-growing, higher-potential video streaming business and rename the DVD-delivery company Qwikster, with the streaming business keeping the Netflix name.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, photographed by user Coolcaesar.

But coming on the heels of a bungled rate-increase announcement that sent costs up as much as 60% for users who wanted to keep both services, the proposed Qwikster name became closely affiliated with the misstep. The stock also plunged, losing half its value — more than $100 per share — in less than a month from the time of the rate increase to the time Netflix backed away from the proposal.

2012: Mondelez International
Kraft has been associated with two different name-change controversies. Last year, the company broke into two parts, with its North American grocery division keeping the legacy Kraft name while its global snack-food business changed its name to Mondelez International . In explaining the change, the company said that Mondelez “is a newly coined word that evokes the idea of a world of ‘delicious products.'”

The company helped come up with the idea by having an

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

These 11 Stocks Spend the Most on Dividends

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Investors want dividend stocks for their solid income, dependable returns, and relative stability in the face of an increasingly shaky stock market. With the S&P 500 near record highs, the fact that dividend stocks can provide some ballast against overall market declines looks more attractive than ever.

But looking at raw dividend yield can mislead you into buying stocks that aren’t as stable as you might think. As a better alternative, let’s instead look at the 11 stalwart blue-chip companies that paid more than $5 billion in dividends to shareholders during 2012, according to figures from S&P Capital IQ.

Rank

Company Name

Amount Paid in Dividends

1

AT&T

$10.24 billion

2

ExxonMobil

$10.09 billion

3

General Electric

$7.19 billion

4

Microsoft 

$6.97 billion

5

Chevron

$6.84 billion

6

Johnson & Johnson 

$6.61 billion

7

Procter & Gamble

$5.88 billion

8

Philip Morris International 

$5.40 billion

9

Wal-Mart

$5.36 billion

10

Verizon

$5.23 billion

11

Merck

$5.12 billion

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Looking at these 11 stocks, you can see some general trends. Certain industries are better represented than others, as their business models lend themselves more to generous dividend payouts than those of other companies. Perhaps the most obvious example is the telecom industry, in which both AT&T and Verizon have spent massive amounts of capital building out their respective wireless networks. Yet despite having to service extremely high levels of debt to repay what they borrowed to build those networks, dependable monthly income from millions of subscribers provides more than enough cash flow both to pay interest and principal on their debt and to return capital to shareholders. As long as their services remain in demand, Verizon and AT&T should remain near the top of this list.

Energy stocks ExxonMobil and Chevron also appear near the top of the list, and although the energy industry involves much different operational aspects from telecom, oil and gas companies have some of the same business-model characteristics. Finding reserves and drilling wells require substantial upfront capital investment, but once production begins, the profits are substantial enough to more than make up for the carrying cost of those upfront capital expenditures. Even with natural gas prices being far from ideal from a profitability standpoint, great conditions in the refining business have helped these integrated oil giants produce even more free cash flow to return to shareholders.

Get your share of dividends
If you want income from your investments today, dividend-paying stocks are your best bet. These stocks pay billions to their investors, and they’re among the most solid prospects in the market. That’s a powerful combination that you should consider closely for your portfolio.

If you’re looking for some more long-term investing ideas …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Has Philip Morris International Become the Perfect Stock?

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Every investor would love to stumble upon the perfect stock. But will you ever really find a stock that provides everything you could possibly want?

One thing’s for sure: You’ll never discover truly great investments unless you actively look for them. Let’s discuss the ideal qualities of a perfect stock, then decide if Philip Morris International fits the bill.

The quest for perfection
Stocks that look great based on one factor may prove horrible elsewhere, making due diligence a crucial part of your investing research. The best stocks excel in many different areas, including these important factors:

  • Growth. Expanding businesses show healthy revenue growth. While past growth is no guarantee that revenue will keep rising, it’s certainly a better sign than a stagnant top line.
  • Margins. Higher sales mean nothing if a company can’t produce profits from them. Strong margins ensure that company can turn revenue into profit.
  • Balance sheet. At debt-laden companies, banks and bondholders compete with shareholders for management’s attention. Companies with strong balance sheets don’t have to worry about the distraction of debt.
  • Money-making opportunities. Return on equity helps measure how well a company is finding opportunities to turn its resources into profitable business endeavors.
  • Valuation. You can’t afford to pay too much for even the best companies. By using normalized figures, you can see how a stock‘s simple earnings multiple fits into a longer-term context.
  • Dividends. For tangible proof of profits, a check to shareholders every three months can’t be beat. Companies with solid dividends and strong commitments to increasing payouts treat shareholders well.

With those factors in mind, let’s take a closer look at Philip Morris International.

Factor

What We Want to See

Actual

Pass or Fail?

Growth

5-year annual revenue growth > 15%

6.6%

Fail

 

1-year revenue growth > 12%

0.9%

Fail

Margins

Gross margin > 35%

66.9%

Pass

 

Net margin > 15%

28%

Pass

Balance sheet

Debt to equity < 50%

NM

NM

 

Current ratio > 1.3

0.97

Fail

Opportunities

Return on equity > 15%

NM

NM

Valuation

Normalized P/E < 20

20.43

Fail

Dividends

Current yield > 2%

3.6%

Pass

 

5-year dividend growth > 10%

13.1%

Pass

       
 

Total score

 

4 out of 8

Source: S&P Capital IQ. NM = not meaningful due to negative shareholder equity. Total score = number of passes. * Four-year growth rate.

Since we looked at Philip Morris International last year, the company has given up three points. Declining shareholder equity was responsible for part of the drop, but a big slowdown in growth, and rising valuations, also contributed. The stock has lagged behind the broader market, gaining just 5% over the past year.

Investors have …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

This Buffett Rule Uncovers the Best-Performing Stock of the Last Half-Century

By Austin Smith and Jeremy Phillips, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Jeremy Phillips asks Austin Smith to outline Smith’s “Warren Buffett Roadmap.” Smith begins by saying that he’ll only invest in companies for which the window of buying opportunity is short. This strategy forces him to buy companies that he’ll be happy holding for the long run. These tend to be companies with pricing power.

Above all, Smith says that brands matter. They allow companies to pass on price increases in good times and bad. Companies such as Coca-Cola , Philip Morris , and Unilever have this ability.

If you follow this rule, you’ll identify the best-performing stock of the last 50 years. The company? Altria , which boasts a chart that’s basically linear. Altria’s products haven’t changed much, but their brands have remained solid. Needless to say, the company has phenomenal pricing power.

Are you looking for the next Altria? Do you have the patience to hold a stock for 50 years?

If you’re looking for some long-term investing ideas, you’re invited to check out The Motley Fool’s brand-new special report, “The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need.” It’s absolutely free, so simply click here now and get your copy today.

The article This Buffett Rule Uncovers the Best-Performing Stock of the Last Half-Century originally appeared on Fool.com.


Austin Smith owns shares of Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Philip Morris International. Jeremy Phillips has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and Unilever. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

(function(c,a){window.mixpanel=a;var b,d,h,e;b=c.createElement(“script”);
b.type=”text/javascript”;b.async=!0;b.src=(“https:”===c.location.protocol?”https:”:”http:”)+
‘//cdn.mxpnl.com/libs/mixpanel-2.2.min.js’;d=c.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._i=[];a.init=function(b,c,f){function d(a,b){
var c=b.split(“.”);2==c.length&&(a=a[c[0]],b=c[1]);a[b]=function(){a.push([b].concat(
Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments,0)))}}var g=a;”undefined”!==typeof f?g=a[f]=[]:
f=”mixpanel”;g.people=g.people||[];h=[‘disable’,’track’,’track_pageview’,’track_links’,
‘track_forms’,’register’,’register_once’,’unregister’,’identify’,’alias’,’name_tag’,
‘set_config’,’people.set’,’people.increment’];for(e=0;e<h.length;e++)d(g,h[e]);
a._i.push([b,c,f])};a.__SV=1.2;})(document,window.mixpanel||[]);
mixpanel.init("9659875b92ba8fa639ba476aedbb73b9");

function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){
if (obj.addEventListener){
obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);
return true;
} else if (obj.attachEvent){
var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);
return r;
}
}

addEvent(window, "load", function(){new FoolVisualSciences();})
addEvent(window, "load", function(){new PickAd();})

var themeName = 'dailyfinance.com';
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

1 Weird Trick to Become a Buffett Investor

By Jeremy Phillips and Austin Smith, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Austin Smith talks to Jeremy Phillips about one weird trick investors can use to emulate Warren Buffett.

Phillips reminds us that Buffett has said that people should invest as if the market were only open for one day every five years. Phillips advises investors to work toward buying stocks only one day, or maybe one week, per year, spending the remaining 51 weeks on research.

Asked for his opinion, Smith chimes in and says he loves this idea, which forces investors to think before they act and to buy for the long run. He admits, however, that this method may result in buying a great company at a slightly overvalued price, but he feels doing so is still a good move for the long term.

Phillips goes on to tell us that Zynga and Groupon won’t work with this strategy, because their businesses are changing rapidly. In contrast, Colgate-Palmolive does work using this model. Occupying an “extreme position of strength,” it’s been paying a dividend since 1895, and increasing it for the last 40+ years.

Saying that Colgate is one of his favorite personal investments, Smith adds Unilever  and Philip Morris to the mix, pitching them as companies that help him sleep well at night. He says they make sense for the same reason that Colgate does.

In short, Smith reminds investors to evaluate companies as companies, and not as moving stock prices. If there’s one lesson to learn, it’s this: Be patient.

Now, are you looking for more Buffett-esque ideas?

The Motley Fool’s chief investment officer has selected his own Buffett stock stock for this year. Find out which stock it is in the brand-new free repor “The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2013.” Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

The article 1 Weird Trick to Become a Buffett Investor originally appeared on Fool.com.


Austin Smith owns shares of Unilever, Philip Morris International, Colgate-Palmolive, Colgate-Palmolive, and Colgate-Palmolive. Jeremy Phillips owns shares of Colgate-Palmolive. The Motley Fool recommends Unilever. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

(function(c,a){window.mixpanel=a;var b,d,h,e;b=c.createElement(“script”);
b.type=”text/javascript”;b.async=!0;b.src=(“https:”===c.location.protocol?”https:”:”http:”)+
‘//cdn.mxpnl.com/libs/mixpanel-2.2.min.js’;d=c.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._i=[];a.init=function(b,c,f){function d(a,b){
var c=b.split(“.”);2==c.length&&(a=a[c[0]],b=c[1]);a[b]=function(){a.push([b].concat(
Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments,0)))}}var g=a;”undefined”!==typeof f?g=a[f]=[]:
f=”mixpanel”;g.people=g.people||[];h=[‘disable’,’track’,’track_pageview’,’track_links’,
‘track_forms’,’register’,’register_once’,’unregister’,’identify’,’alias’,’name_tag’,
‘set_config’,’people.set’,’people.increment’];for(e=0;e<h.length;e++)d(g,h[e]);
a._i.push([b,c,f])};a.__SV=1.2;})(document,window.mixpanel||[]);
mixpanel.init("9659875b92ba8fa639ba476aedbb73b9");
…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

What Happens to Stocks When the Fed Bids Farewell?

By Morgan Housel and Austin Smith, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Last week, the Federal Reserve reassured investors that it will keep its foot on the monetary gas pedal. This is good news for stocks — for the time being.

But what happens when the Fed decides to let up, reining in its super-loose money policies of the last five years?

investors naturally fear a big market pullback. And that may be what occurs. But in this video, Fool analysts Morgan Housel and Austin Smith discuss the other side of the story and why an end to easy money doesn’t necessarily mean the end of stocks.

The Motley Fool’s chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock it is in the brand-new free report “The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2013.” Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

The article What Happens to Stocks When the Fed Bids Farewell? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Morgan Housel owns shares of Altria Group, Procter & Gamble, and Philip Morris International. Austin Smith owns shares of Philip Morris International and Colgate-Palmolive. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

(function(c,a){window.mixpanel=a;var b,d,h,e;b=c.createElement(“script”);
b.type=”text/javascript”;b.async=!0;b.src=(“https:”===c.location.protocol?”https:”:”http:”)+
‘//cdn.mxpnl.com/libs/mixpanel-2.2.min.js’;d=c.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._i=[];a.init=function(b,c,f){function d(a,b){
var c=b.split(“.”);2==c.length&&(a=a[c[0]],b=c[1]);a[b]=function(){a.push([b].concat(
Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments,0)))}}var g=a;”undefined”!==typeof f?g=a[f]=[]:
f=”mixpanel”;g.people=g.people||[];h=[‘disable’,’track’,’track_pageview’,’track_links’,
‘track_forms’,’register’,’register_once’,’unregister’,’identify’,’alias’,’name_tag’,
‘set_config’,’people.set’,’people.increment’];for(e=0;e<h.length;e++)d(g,h[e]);
a._i.push([b,c,f])};a.__SV=1.2;})(document,window.mixpanel||[]);
mixpanel.init("9659875b92ba8fa639ba476aedbb73b9");

function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){
if (obj.addEventListener){
obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);
return true;
} else if (obj.attachEvent){
var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);
return r;
}
}

addEvent(window, "load", function(){new FoolVisualSciences();})
addEvent(window, "load", function(){new PickAd();})

var themeName = 'dailyfinance.com';
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-24928199-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

(function () {

var ga = document.createElement('script');
ga.type = 'text/javascript';
ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';

var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

<p style="clear: both;padding: …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

1 Simple Way Bernanke Beat Buffett

By Austin Smith and Jeremy Phillips, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Warren Buffett has one of the best track records in the investing world, if not the best. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do better. In the following video, Austin Smith and Jeremy Phillips discuss the fact that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once had only one stock in his portfolio — dividend rock star Altria. Although we don’t know how long Bernanke held this position, over the long run Altria has been one of the exceptionally rare stocks whose compound annual growth rate is superior to Warren Buffett‘s own measure of Berkshire’s performance, if only narrowly so.

But this isn’t a lesson in putting all your eggs in one basket and praying for Buffett-like performance, instead, it’s a lesson in pricing power. Altria has it, as do many of Buffett’s best investments. With this in mind, Jeremy and Austin reveal a few companies today that could be the Buffett-beaters of tomorrow.

If you’re on the lookout for more high-yielding stocks like Altria, The Motley Fool has compiled a special free report outlining our nine top dependable dividend-paying stocks. It’s called “Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks.” You can access your copy today at no cost! Just click here.

The article 1 Simple Way Bernanke Beat Buffett originally appeared on Fool.com.


Austin Smith owns shares of Philip Morris International and and Colgate-Palmolive. Jeremy Phillips owns shares of Colgate-Palmolive. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble and owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

(function(c,a){window.mixpanel=a;var b,d,h,e;b=c.createElement(“script”);
b.type=”text/javascript”;b.async=!0;b.src=(“https:”===c.location.protocol?”https:”:”http:”)+
‘//cdn.mxpnl.com/libs/mixpanel-2.2.min.js’;d=c.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._i=[];a.init=function(b,c,f){function d(a,b){
var c=b.split(“.”);2==c.length&&(a=a[c[0]],b=c[1]);a[b]=function(){a.push([b].concat(
Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments,0)))}}var g=a;”undefined”!==typeof f?g=a[f]=[]:
f=”mixpanel”;g.people=g.people||[];h=[‘disable’,’track’,’track_pageview’,’track_links’,
‘track_forms’,’register’,’register_once’,’unregister’,’identify’,’alias’,’name_tag’,
‘set_config’,’people.set’,’people.increment’];for(e=0;e<h.length;e++)d(g,h[e]);
a._i.push([b,c,f])};a.__SV=1.2;})(document,window.mixpanel||[]);
mixpanel.init("9659875b92ba8fa639ba476aedbb73b9");

function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){
if (obj.addEventListener){
obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);
return true;
} else if (obj.attachEvent){
var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);
return r;
}
}

addEvent(window, "load", function(){new FoolVisualSciences();})
addEvent(window, "load", function(){new PickAd();})

var themeName = 'dailyfinance.com';
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-24928199-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

(function () {

…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Is Philip Morris International Destined for Greatness?

By Alex Planes, The Motley Fool

PM Total Return Price Chart

Filed under:

Investors love stocks that consistently beat the Street without getting ahead of their fundamentals and risking a meltdown. The best stocks offer sustainable market-beating gains, with robust and improving financial metrics that support strong price growth. Does Philip Morris International fit the bill? Let’s look at what its recent results tell us about its potential for future gains.

What we’re looking for
The graphs you’re about to see tell Philip Morris‘ story, and we’ll be grading the quality of that story in several ways:

  • Growth: are profits, margins, and free cash flow all increasing?
  • Valuation: is share price growing in line with earnings per share?
  • Opportunities: is return on equity increasing while debt to equity declines?
  • Dividends: are dividends consistently growing in a sustainable way?

What the numbers tell you
Now, let’s look at Philip Morris‘ key statistics:

PM Total Return Price data by YCharts.

Passing Criteria

3-Year* Change 

Grade

Revenue growth > 30%

24.7%

Fail

Improving profit margin

17.9%

Pass

Free cash flow growth > Net income growth

16.7% vs. 38.0%

Fail

Improving EPS

59.6%

Pass

Stock growth (+ 15%) < EPS growth

114.0% vs. 59.6%

Fail

Improving return on equity

Negative Equity 

Fail

Declining debt to equity

Negative Equity

Fail

Dividend growth > 25%

46.6% 

Pass

Free cash flow payout ratio < 50%

64.6%

Fail

Source: YCharts.
*Period begins at end of Q4 2009.

How we got here and where we’re going
Despite frequent mentions as the best tobacco stock on the market, Philip Morris manages only three out of nine possible passing grades. This is a problem shared by its American counterpart, Altria , which earned only two passing grades when it went through the same examination. In fact, smaller domestic tobacco stocks Reynolds American and Lorillard both seemed to be better on a fundamental basis late last year than these two halves of the longtime Philip Morris empire.

Philip Morris carries a much larger debt load (nearly $23 billion) than Altria, and this number has been steadily rising in recent years — since Philip Morris‘ spinoff, its debt load has grown 200%. That’s actually better than the growth in Altria’s debt, which is up nearly 600% over the same time frame. The cost of maintaining a high dividend yield can undermine a company’s long-term financial health, but Philip Morris has some wiggle room, should it decide that it’s time to pay down its obligations.

Philip Morris does enjoy some opportunities that its American peers don’t, but it also faces some drawbacks in countries that are even more progressive on anti-tobacco legislation than the United States. For example, Australia has mandated the elimination of packaging graphics, which eliminated Philip Morris‘ brand strength in that country. Russia is also looking into stricter regulations, and other countries may follow in the near future.

Out of the many possible elements of its business that are ultimately out of its hands, one of the most frustrating …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Profit From Items We All Need to Buy

By Selena Maranjian, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you’d like to add some consumer-staple stocks to your portfolio, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which companies will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.

The basics
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The SPDR ETF’s expense ratio — its annual fee — is a very low 0.18 %. It recently yielded 2.8%, too.

This ETF has performed well, beating the world market over the past three, five, and 10 years. As with most investments, of course, we can’t expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.

Why consumer staples?
By definition, staples are items that we tend to buy no matter what the economy is doing. That makes companies making or selling staples attractive, as they add a defensive element to a portfolio, bolstering it in downturns.

More than a handful of consumer-staple companies had solid performances over the past year. Purchases of cigarettes are non-optional to most smokers, as they’re addicted to them, and that helped Altria and Philip Morris International advance 18% and 11%, respectively. (The stocks yield 5.2% and 3.7%, respectively, too.) The latter is a spin-off of the former, focusing on sales outside the U.S., where the growth potential is higher and regulations and restrictions often lower. In the U.S., Altria faces a shrinking base of smokers and various other challenges such as anti-smoking campaigns and a possible ban of menthol cigarettes. Still, it’s been growing.

Philip Morris has a new CEO, and one of its recent promising developments is news that tobacco might be used in flu vaccines. Meanwhile, though, it’s being hurt by a strong dollar but should eventually get a boost from a recovering Europe.

Sysco , leading in the delivery of food products to restaurants and other institutions, gained 18%, for example, and recently yielded 3.3%. The stock is near its 52-week high, despite challenges from weak restaurant traffic and rising food costs, but our improving economy should help. Meanwhile, it’s a dividend titan and has been able to maintain its profit margins while cutting costs. It’s planning to expand internationally, too. Sysco isn’t likely to be a rapid grower, but it can be a relatively steady performer for you.

Mondelez International , spun off from Kraft to focus on the international arena, gained 14%. It’s able to grow faster than its North American counterpart, as many foreign economies are developing and more dynamic than the established first world. The company recently announced plans to buy back up to $1.2 billion worth of shares, though that …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Philip Morris International Declares Its First Dividend of 2013

By Eric Volkman, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Philip Morris International has declared its latest quarterly dividend, and its first for 2013, and it will be keeping its payout steady. The company will dispense $0.85 per share of its common stock on April 12 to shareholders of record as of March 28. That matches the company’s last two payments, which were handed out in September and December. Before that, the cigarette producer paid $0.77 per share.

The company has been a habitual dividend payer over the past few years, typically raising its disbursement once every four quarters. 

The current dividend annualizes to $3.40 per share. That yields 3.8% at Philip Morris‘ most recent closing stock price of $90.55.

The article Philip Morris International Declares Its First Dividend of 2013 originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Philip Morris International. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

(function(c,a){window.mixpanel=a;var b,d,h,e;b=c.createElement(“script”);
b.type=”text/javascript”;b.async=!0;b.src=(“https:”===c.location.protocol?”https:”:”http:”)+
‘//cdn.mxpnl.com/libs/mixpanel-2.2.min.js’;d=c.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._i=[];a.init=function(b,c,f){function d(a,b){
var c=b.split(“.”);2==c.length&&(a=a[c[0]],b=c[1]);a[b]=function(){a.push([b].concat(
Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments,0)))}}var g=a;”undefined”!==typeof f?g=a[f]=[]:
f=”mixpanel”;g.people=g.people||[];h=[‘disable’,’track’,’track_pageview’,’track_links’,
‘track_forms’,’register’,’register_once’,’unregister’,’identify’,’alias’,’name_tag’,
‘set_config’,’people.set’,’people.increment’];for(e=0;e<h.length;e++)d(g,h[e]);
a._i.push([b,c,f])};a.__SV=1.2;})(document,window.mixpanel||[]);
mixpanel.init("9659875b92ba8fa639ba476aedbb73b9");

function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){
if (obj.addEventListener){
obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);
return true;
} else if (obj.attachEvent){
var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);
return r;
}
}

addEvent(window, "load", function(){new FoolVisualSciences();})
addEvent(window, "load", function(){new PickAd();})

var themeName = 'dailyfinance.com';
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-24928199-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

(function () {

var ga = document.createElement('script');
ga.type = 'text/javascript';
ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';

var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments

…read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Philip Morris International Names New CEO

By Rich Smith, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Philip Morris International Chief Operating Officer Andre Calantzopoulos is taking over as chief executive officer of the company effective May 8, immediately following the company’s annual meeting of shareholders, PMI announced Wednesday. Calantzopoulos will be taking the place of current Chairman and CEO Louis Camilleri, who will remain chairman but give up the CEO‘s chair on that date.

Calantzopoulos was previously president and CEO of PMI at the time when it was still a division of parent company Altria . He has worked, variously for PMI and for Altria, since 1985.

According to SEC filings, Calantzopoulos received total compensation of $15,208,950 from PMI in 2011, while Camilleri received $21,630,117. In its filing announcing the change in management , PMI advised that Calantzopoulos’ and Camilleri’s compensation in their new roles “will be determined by the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee of the Board of Directors at a later date and promptly announced at that time.”

Shareholders are not reacting particularly well to the news today, bidding down PMI shares 0.3% to $90.55.

The article Philip Morris International Names New CEO originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

(function(c,a){window.mixpanel=a;var b,d,h,e;b=c.createElement(“script”);
b.type=”text/javascript”;b.async=!0;b.src=(“https:”===c.location.protocol?”https:”:”http:”)+
‘//cdn.mxpnl.com/libs/mixpanel-2.2.min.js’;d=c.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];
d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._i=[];a.init=function(b,c,f){function d(a,b){
var c=b.split(“.”);2==c.length&&(a=a[c[0]],b=c[1]);a[b]=function(){a.push([b].concat(
Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments,0)))}}var g=a;”undefined”!==typeof f?g=a[f]=[]:
f=”mixpanel”;g.people=g.people||[];h=[‘disable’,’track’,’track_pageview’,’track_links’,
‘track_forms’,’register’,’register_once’,’unregister’,’identify’,’alias’,’name_tag’,
‘set_config’,’people.set’,’people.increment’];for(e=0;e<h.length;e++)d(g,h[e]);
a._i.push([b,c,f])};a.__SV=1.2;})(document,window.mixpanel||[]);
mixpanel.init("9659875b92ba8fa639ba476aedbb73b9");

function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){
if (obj.addEventListener){
obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);
return true;
} else if (obj.attachEvent){
var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);
return r;
}
}

addEvent(window, "load", function(){new FoolVisualSciences();})
addEvent(window, "load", function(){new PickAd();})

var themeName = 'dailyfinance.com';
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-24928199-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

(function () {

var ga = document.createElement('script');
ga.type = 'text/javascript';
ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';

var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

<p style="clear: both;padding: 8px …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

The World's Best Dividend Portfolio

By James Royal, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

In June 2011 I invested my money equally in a selection of 10 high-yield dividend stocks. With a year of success behind me, in July 2012, I added even more money to the portfolio. Those names offer triple the yield of the average S&P 500 stock. You can read all the details here. Now let’s check out the results so far.

Company

Cost Basis

Shares

Yield

Total Value

Return

Southern

$39.71

25.0818

4.3%

$1,138.46

14.3%

Exelon

$41.36

28.818

6.6%

$916.99

(23.1%)

National Grid

$48.90

20.3693

5.7%

$1,123.98

12.8%

Philip Morris International

$68.49

14.5429

3.7%

$1,335.18

34%

Annaly Capital

$17.79

72.5

13.4%

$1,109.98

(13.9%)

Frontier Communications

$7.88

126.4243

9.9%

$517.08

(48.1%)

Plum Creek Timber

$38.42

26

3.4%

$1,274.52

27.6%

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners

$26.12

38.2825

4.4%

$1,491.87

49.2%

Vodafone

$26.52

37.5566

6%

$1,012.90

1.7%

Seaspan

$15.24

95

0.8%

$1,900.00

31.3%

AT&T

$35.20

28.4

5%

$1,033.48

3.4%

Retail Opportunity Investments

$12.20

81.95

4.5%

$1,071.09

7.1%

Annaly Preferred C

$25.98

38.5

7.5%

$980.60

(1.7%)

Cash

     

$234.66

 

Dividends Receivable

     

$47.45

 

Original Investment

     

$12,983.97

 

Total Portfolio

     

$15,188.22

17%

Investment in SPY (Including Dividends)

       

18.7%

Relative Performance (Percentage Points)

       

(1.7)

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor’s.

The portfolio is up 17%, since we began this experiment, and we’re trailing the S&P by 1.7 percentage points. That might not be surprising given the massive run the market‘s been on over the past few months. Remember, we expect to outperform in down markets and underperform in up markets. We have a load of new cash in our pocket, which we could deploy soon, and several other significant portfolio changes to make.

I’m selling my stake in Frontier. The company continues to see shrinking free cash flow — now projected at $875 million (midpoint) for 2013. While that solidly covers the dividend, free cash flow just continues to shrink. I’ll be rolling over those proceeds into Vodafone. The rumors continue to swirl that Verizon wants Vodafone’s 45% stake in their joint venture, Verizon Wireless. Estimates I’ve seen of the value of that stake equal nearly all of Vodafone’s market cap today. And with …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

A Close Look at Two Industries That Changed the World

By Alex Planes, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

On this day in economic and financial history…

Spanish physician Francisco Fernandes became the first known European to introduce tobacco to the Old World on March 5, 1558. Christopher Columbus had known of the plant, and a member of his crew had returned with a small personal supply. However, Fernandes was the first to return with live plants and seeds after a journey to Mexico. Tobacco soon made its way around the continent. A year later, French ambassador Jean Nicot sent a supply of seeds to the French queen, who rewarded him by naming the plant after him: nicotiana, which you should recognize as the linguistic progenitor of nicotine. By the 17th century, tobacco smoking was a fashionable pastime, and demand for its cultivation soon led to the rise of plantation culture in the early American South, particularly in Virginian colonies. Today, American tobacco farming is centered in Kentucky and North Carolina, which together account for 71% of the tobacco grown in the United States.

Today, tobacco is both a hugely successful global industry and a deadly global health problem. The Tobacco Atlas, a joint publication of the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation (no friends of the industry), notes that the industry earned $35 billion in profit and caused nearly 6 million related deaths in 2010, with 1.2 million of those deaths occurring in China. Philip Morris International was the leading manufacturer by volume and the most profitable publicly traded tobacco company in the world that year, but the state-owned China National Tobacco earned more than twice Philip Morris‘ profit on just 35% more revenue. Controlling the monopoly on addiction in a country with more than a billion people can easily create incredibly profit.

Tobacco companies have been under siege in the U.S. for decades as waves of litigation, regulation, and antismoking campaigns have given the industry a black eye. Yet Philip Morris International focuses on overseas markets, where business prospects generally look brighter. Investors have been happy with its stock‘s performance, but is Philip Morris still a buy? Find out in The Motley Fool’s premium research report on the company, which includes in-depth analysis of its opportunities and challenges ahead. To claim your report, along with a year’s worth of analyst updates covering key developments, just click here now.

Traveling the path to profit
Travelers is the result of the merger of two old insurance companies: St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance and Travelers itself. St. Paul, the elder of the two companies, was founded on March 5, 1853, in the city that gave it its name. There was little competition in the Minnesota Territory (it did not become a state until 1858) when territorial secretary Alexander Wilkin brought 16 other businessmen together to found the company, and in fact there was relatively little risk in the business — it would be two years before …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Cola Wars in the Bond Market

By Russ Krull, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

New issues in U.S. corporate bond markets topped $36 billion last week, with multibillion-dollar issues accounting for much of the borrowing.

Leading the borrowing brigade was Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold , with $6.5 billion spread over five-, seven-, 10-, and 30-year paper. The mining giant is using the money to fund its acquisitions of McMoRan Oil & Gas and Plains Exploration & Production.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola and Pepsi served up $2.5 billion each of new notes. Coca-Cola is using the money to redeem about $1.3 billion of higher-coupon paper. The debt service on the new notes will be about $40 million per year less than the old paper, and Coca-Cola should have more than a billion dollars left after redeeming the old paper. If the deal weren’t already sweet enough, the new three-year, floating-rate note is pegged two basis points below LIBOR.

Pepsi didn’t get quite as good a deal. Its three-year, floating-rate note bubbles up to 21 basis points above LIBOR, and the 10-year piece sports a 2.75% coupon versus 2.5% for Coca-Cola. Pepsi will be using the new money “for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of commercial paper.”

UnitedHealth joined the multibillion borrowers club with prescriptions for 1.5-, six-, 10-, and 30-year notes totaling $2.25 billion. The “use of proceeds” section in the SEC filing listed general corporate purposes among the list of nearly every general corporate purpose conceivable.

Philip Morris International just made multibillion borrowing by rolling out $1.85 billion over two-, 10-, and 30-year tranches. Whoever prepared the SEC filing must have done the same for UnitedHealth, as the list of uses for the money is nearly identical in the two filings. 

Companies continue to have access to low-rate borrowing in the bond markets. Of the companies profiled above, Freeport McMoRan, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Philip Morris International all issued 10-year paper with coupon rates below their respective dividend yields.

Learn more about Coca-Cola
There is no question that Coca-Cola has been great to long-term shareholders, but the company faces some new threats to its continued market dominance. We’ve recently compiled a premium research report containing everything you need to know about Coca-Cola. If you own or are considering owning shares in the company, you’ll want to click here now and get started!

var FoolAnalyticsData = FoolAnalyticsData || []; FoolAnalyticsData.push({ eventType: “TickerReportPitch”, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Corporate debt: Philip Morris shops benchmark bond sale as maturities loom

By Gayatri Iyer, Contributor

Facing an imminent debt maturity, Philip Morris International is in the market with a public benchmark offering of two-year, floating-rate notes, along with 10- and 30-year fixed-rate tranches, sources said. Active bookrunners for the issue, which has an expected A2/A profile, are Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Societe Generale, along with passive bookrunners Barclays and Citi. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest