June 16, 2010
In an April blog, we talked about how we liked the industrial stocks, and in particular, Illinois Tool Works (ITW). Yesterday, management came out with some positive comments for their May results. They are guiding the low end of street estimates upward ($.74 to $.80) for the 2nd quarter. There have been some doubters out there for a less than robust 2nd quarter earnings season but it looks like economic strength will continue. Company reported accelerated revenue growth in all 8 reporting segments. the top 3 were transportation, industrial packaging, polymers and fluids. Stock is off 11% from it’s high of $47 and is a good buying opportunity in here.
April 28, 2010
Today we applaud IBM for raising its dividend 18%. Stock sold off last week on what some would say was mixed results. 1st quarter numbers came in $.04 above consensus at $1.97 while revenues were flat year over year. We continue to like the stock for the long term and view the sell off as a buying opportunity. Here’s what we like about IBM:
1. Margins continue to improve.
2. Revenues should show improvement as the year progresses.
3. Cash flow continues to be robust (i.e., dividend hike)
4. We believe the stock is currently undervalued. Historically, IBM has traded on average at a market multiple. Using a 15x multiple and management’s 2010e of $11.20 our target is $168.
April 22, 2010
Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)
Here’s a company that has increased its dividend for 53 consecutive years. With $2.07 in free cash flow, we expect this trend to continue. Company reports on 5/4, $.54e versus $.53. This will be the first quarter of positive year over year gains. While this company is geared more towards later cycle investments, they are thriving in a very difficult environment:
1. Strong balance sheet.
2. Excellent cost controls .
3. Positive momentum in the auto sector and climate business.
April 21, 2010
1. On 4/20, ITW reported 1st qtr eps of .58 versus a $.21 in 2009 (from continuing operations). Consensus was looking for $.57.
2. Most importantly, revenues were up 14.6% from last year’s quarter. I was impressed to see that North America’s base revenues were up 7.1%, lending credibility to the fact that we are in a recovery phase in the U.S.
3. Operating margins increased 1050 basis points to 13.4%.
Two industries we have been talking about in our blog, autos and PCs, were strong drivers for the quarters eps. Transportation +35.6%, PC board fabrication business +89.4%!
Now, for the words we all want to hear, management is raising guidance for 2nd qtr to a range of $.74 to $.86. Full year is being guided upwards to $2.72 to $3.08.
We continue to like this stock.
March 31, 2010
Yes, cash is king, but it certainly does no good under the mattress! One of the most cash rich sectors out their are the industrial. This is an over-weighted sector for us and one of our favorite names is Illinois Tool Works (ITW). In addition to it’s 2.6% dividend yield, this cash rich company ($2.53 free cash flow/sh)has been a master at cutting costs in the downturn and is on it’s way to positive revenue growth in 2010. Even though companies have been keeping lean inventories, at some point they will have to do restocking. GM has recently reported a sales increase of 11.5% in February with some new products selling out! ITW will benefit from all of this. Even if interest rates do move up and cramp economic growth, you have a cash rich company paying you a dividend while you wait. As long term investors, our minimum time horizon is 12-18 months. Our target price is 15x 2012e of $4 or $60. that’s a 20% upside plus the 2.6% dividend yield.