As part of my 2013 previews and predictions, I will focus on stocks to watch in the new year. Last year, I chose 7 growth names and 7 value names to focus on. This year, I am upping the number to 10 in each category to try to get a little more diversification and expand on the number of sectors each list can hit. In this article, I will focus on the first half of the value names. To be on this list, the company needs to be a solid dividend paying company. Companies that have a history of raising their dividends are viewed more favorably. I also have looked for companies that either have stock buybacks, or have decent growth forecasts. You don't normally think of a value stock as one that grows fast, which is why if I found a name offering more growth than another name in its space, it receives preference. Here is the first half of the list, five value stocks for 2013.
Philip Morris (PM):
Philip Morris is probably my top value pick for 2013. The cigarette maker has a solid dividend and is buying back $6 billion worth of stock each year. The company also offers some of the best growth in the cigarette space, but it is the dividend and buyback that gives it the most value. Recently, the stock has come down a few dollars, approaching the "sweet spot" where long investors like to accumulate their positions. Even with Wednesday's big rally, the stock is still about $8 off its all-time high.
Not only do you get the 3.92% dividend, $6 billion in buybacks, but you also get industry leading growth. Current forecasts for Philip Morris have revenues rising by 6.1% in 2013 and earnings per share rising by 11.5%. Those numbers are the highest of the five cigarette stocks I follow, as I pointed out in the above article. Philip Morris does trade at a premium to some of the others in the space, but given the extra growth and huge buyback, it is well worth it. Philip Morris is an investor favorite, and I would not be surprised if it hit $100 this year.
The telecom giant boasts one of the highest dividend yields around, 5.14% at the end of Wednesday's close. AT&T is selling the most iPhones of any US telecom name right now, which makes it an attractive investment going forward.
AT&T recently boosted its dividend and announced a huge new infrastructure plan. The penny a quarter increase to $0.45 doesn't seem like much, but it is the 29th consecutive raise for the company. Everyone knows that AT&T and Verizon (VZ) are battling for the top spot, and the article above states the following about AT&T now.
Its plans include expanding its 4G LTE network to 300 million people in the U.S. by the end of 2014, up from its current plans to deploy to 250 million people by year-end 2013.
During the next three years, the company projects per-share earnings growth in the mid-single-digit or better range, with an opportunity for stronger growth going forward, and consolidated margins will expand.
As AT&T continues to improve its network and coverage, it should remain the top dog in terms of iPhone sales. The company is extremely profitable, and the latest dividend raise is great news. The 5.14% yield is more than 200 basis points above the 30-Year Treasury yield currently, which only gets you 3.04%.
People do have to eat, and the fast food giant boasts a nice amount of growth combined with a solid dividend and strong buyback plan. For 2013, analysts are projecting 5% revenue growth and nearly 9% earnings growth. The company is an investor and analyst favorite, with the average price target above $97 currently, forecasting nice growth from the $90 shares currently fetch.
But it is the dividend and buyback that makes this a lovely value stock. During 2012, McDonald's raised its quarterly dividend from $0.70 to $0.77, which gives it a 3.42% yield at the end of Wednesday's trading. Since 2009, the dividend has gone from $0.50 to $0.55 to $0.61, then followed to the $0.70 and $0.77 levels mentioned above. That is solid dividend growth. In addition, the company is buying back billions in stock. The company bought about $600 million back in their most recent quarter, bringing the 9-month total for 2012 to roughly $2.3 billion. According to their 10-Q filing, the company has roughly $9.6 billion left on their current plan, which represents more than 10% of the $90 billion market cap.
The large cap healthcare space has been a great source of dividends, as many of these names ended up on the Morningstar "Ultimate Stock-Pickers Top 10 Dividend List". Pfizer is one of those names, and the company has a solid 3.71% yield as of Wednesday's close.
So what led me to choose Pfizer over some of the others? First, the company recently raised its dividend by more than 9%, from $0.22 to $0.24 per quarter. But the other item that I like with Pfizer is the buyback program. Pfizer has about $4 billion on its outstanding program, with a market cap of $190 billion, but they announced a new $10 billion plan once its nutrition business sale closes. The buyback is good for shareholders and will definitely improve earnings per share. The buyback is one reason why, despite a 1.2% projected decrease in 2013 revenues, analysts see a 6% increase in earnings per share next year. A solid dividend and large buyback make this a great value.
Waste Management (WM):
I know there isn't anything sexy or flashy about waste or garbage collection, but someone has to do it. Waste Management is one of the leading companies that does, and the 4.18% yield is nothing to shy away from. Waste Management was on my list last year, and it returned about 7.65% after dividends. It wasn't a great return given that indices were up more, but this is a low risk company that you won't have to worry about on a day to day basis.
The company usually raises its dividend for its first payment of the year, which occurs in March. Last year, the raise was from $0.34 to $0.355 per quarter. Should they raise it again, the yield will only increase. If they were to raise it to $0.36 per quarter, the yield would rise to 4.23% at the same stock price. If the raise is more, the yield will be even higher. This should be one of the first names this year to raise the dividend, and that bodes well for investors. Waste Management's projected 2% revenue growth for 2013 isn't spectacular, but projected earnings growth of 8.6% is a bit better. Throw in a juicy 4% plus yield, one that could be higher in a few months, and this stock is a good value. Someone has to get rid of all our waste, so why not invest in the company that does?
Additional disclosure: Investors are always reminded that before making any investment, you should do your own proper due diligence on any name directly or indirectly mentioned in this article. Investors should also consider seeking advice from a broker or financial adviser before making any investment decisions. Any material in this article should be considered general information, and not relied on as a formal investment recommendation.