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Our government is shut down for all intents and purposes, with the exception of key services to keep our country protected. With all the bickering taking place this week in the nation's capital, the stock market was a bit schizophrenic, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index posting a loss of 1.22% on the week, S&P500 was flat at -0.07%, and the Nasdaq actually gained 0.69% for the week. Yes I believe this shutdown will get resolved soon, but not without it hurting the economy.

With earnings season kicking off this week, I guarantee that we will hear at least a CEO or two use the shutdown as a scapegoat for future guidance purposes, guiding down. I maintain that it is still difficult to find good stocks these days, and that's why I'm highlighting a select set of excellent value companies which have had ex-dividend dates or paid out a dividend during this past week or early next week; people should place these on their radar.

JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)

JP Morgan is a financial holding company and is engaged in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small business, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. On 12 Jul13, JP Morgan reported second quarter 2013 earnings of $1.60 per share. This result beat the $1.44 consensus of the 26 analysts covering the company and beat last year's second quarter results by 46.79%. JP Morgan's PE ratio is among the lowest of any stock in the money center banks industry and signals that investors have not been willing to pay a premium for this company's business prospects, making it a value story.

Additionally, during the past year, earnings growth has outpaced its historical five year growth rate. The stock is up 30.11% in the past year compared to the S&P500's 17.33% gain. The company went ex-dividend on 02Oct13 with a $0.38 per share dividend which will be paid on 31Oct13 for a yield of 2.89%. This dividend marks an increase of 26% over the prior $0.30 dividend. During the week, the company saw its third quarter earnings estimates slashed to $1.40 from $1.42 by Evercore analyst Andrew Marquardt. It was also found out that Jaime Dimon stepped down as chairman of the company's deposit and consumer banking operations back in July.

Siena, a city in Italy, wants to prosecute the bank for obstructing regulators in an investigation of an acquisition involving Banca Antonveneta and Banca Monte dei Paschi. Let's take a quick look at the technicals here to see if it can be bought at these levels or if a pullback is coming. As we can see, the relative strength index is in middle ground territory with a current value of 54.74, while the MACD chart below shows the black line starting to cross over the red line, meaning there is upward pressure on the stock. I anticipate the stock to run upwards going into earnings, which should come later this week. I want to see how the company reports, and then I will analyze again.

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Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP)

Union Pacific Corporation owns transportation companies, of which its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, connects 23 states in the western 66% of the United States. On 18Jul13, Union Pacific reported second quarter 2013 earnings of $2.37 per share. This beat the consensus of the 26 analysts following the company by $0.02 and beat last year's second quarter results by 12.86%. Union Pacific's PE ratio is below the railroad industry average and signals that investors are not willing to pay a premium for this stock, making it a value stock.

Additionally, during the past year, earnings growth has outpaced its historical five year growth rate. The stock is up 25.98% in the past year compared to the S&P500's 17.33% gain. The company went ex-dividend on 28Aug13 with a $0.79 per share dividend which was paid on 01Oct13 for a yield of 2.05%. This dividend marks an increase of 14.5% over the prior $0.69 dividend. The company has been raising its dividend for the past seven years at a 5-year dividend growth rate of 29.8%. During the week. the company issued third quarter earnings and revenue guidance below expectations, citing weather conditions and uncertainty in the economy.

Let's take a quick look at the technicals here to see if it can be bought at these levels or if a pullback is coming. As we can see, the relative strength index is approaching oversold territory with a current value of 40.24 and downward trajectory while the MACD chart below shows the black line under the red line meaning there is downward pressure on the stock. I anticipate the stock to continue to the downside going into earnings which should come on 17Oct13. I want to see how the company reports relative the downward issued guidance, and then I will analyze again.

(click to enlarge)

Covidien (NYSE:COV)

Covidien is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings. On 01Aug13, Covidien reported fiscal third quarter 2013 earnings of $0.84 per share. This result missed the $0.89 consensus expectations of the 18 analysts following the company and missed last year's third quarter results by 21.50%. Covidien's PE ratio is among the lowest of any stock in the medical equipment and supplies industry and signals that investors have not been willing to pay a premium for this company's business prospects, making it a value story.

The company goes ex-dividend on 08Oct13 with a $0.32 per share dividend which will be paid on 05Nov13 for a yield of 2.12%. This dividend marks an increase of 23.1% over the prior $0.26 dividend. The company has been raising its dividend for the past seven years at a 5-year dividend growth rate of 42.3%. Nothing really happened by way of news for the company during the week. Let's take a quick look at the technicals here to see if it can be bought at these levels or if a pullback is coming. As we can see, the relative strength index is approaching oversold territory with a current value of 40.92 and downward trajectory, while the MACD chart below shows the black line under the red line meaning there is downward pressure on the stock. I anticipate the stock to continue to the downside for now. I will wait a couple more weeks before evaluating the stock again to see if I can get in at a good time.

(click to enlarge)

Conclusion

I've highlighted these names, because they have all raised their dividend within the past year and are poised to do so again in the coming years. It is important in this market to be able to hold onto companies which raise their dividend rates, because it is a sign that the underlying company is doing well financially. The importance of these stocks I've highlighted is that they are value plays while the broader market is getting choppy. I believe we are at a point in the market where we have to look for value.

Disclaimer: These are only my personal opinions and you should do your own homework. Only you are responsible for what you trade and happy investing.

Source: JP Morgan And 2 Others Raised Dividends By Double Digits: Put Them On Your Radar