These are the best stable companies I could find with an international market footprint, particularly in the major emerging BRIC markets. These companies offer a solid growth opportunity with a leading market position in the highest growth markets of today.
Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is the largest non alcoholic beverage company in the world, which manufactures, distributes and markets more than 1000 different drinks worldwide. Interestingly, their flagship product Coca-Cola, which is now a household name in more than 200 countries, was originally invented for medicinal purposes. A $162 billion enterprise value company, having a profit margin of 29% provides a dividend yield of 2.71 over the last 5 years (at par with the industry average).
Compared to Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), its closest competitor, which suffered beverage volume falls across the board, Coca Cola has managed to gain volume in the unstable economic conditions, particularly in India, where it achieved a growth of 8%, with a total 7% growth overall. Bear in mind, that a stock with a beta of 0.59, indicating low volatility, has a history of over 2 decades of increasing dividends, free cash flow margins of 68% and a price earnings multiple of only 12 times, compared to over 21 times for the industry.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is the world’s second largest automaker situated in US, doing business in more than 150 companies and more than 7 divisions/brands. After some tough years, GM is back with a bang, reporting first full-year profit since 2004, with the ability to carry forward previous losses to reduce tax liability on earnings. The stock is trading at what I consider is an extreme discount, at a last trade of $22.27 with a price earnings multiple of less than 5.
GM offers an excellent long term buy opportunity for investors. After an extensive bankruptcy restructuring, the balance sheet is chock full of cash with nearly $20 billion. In addition, the company has a solid market position in major emerging markets, particularly India, where it registered a 17.5% growth in sales for September 2011 compared to the same month in the previous year, not to mention the latest US sales number that are up 20%.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) is the largest entertainment company in the world, by revenue, owner of some of the best known entertainment brands ever, including Mickey Mouse and Pixar. It owns and operates Walt Disney Motion Pictures, 14 theme parks and the ABC broadcast television network in US. The company is worth nearly $58 billion in market capitalization with an asset base of nearly $69 billion.
At a price earnings multiple of around 13 times and a dividend payout ratio of 16%, the company offers excellent valuation metrics, considering a 5yr earnings per share growth rate of 11.37%, well above the industry average of just about 6%. Disney has made substantial inroads in major global markets, particularly India, with popular TV channels and motion pictures. With revenues expected to increase at 7.30% for the current year and 6.10% for the next, Disney should be in your portfolio, if it isn’t already.
PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) is the second largest beverage company and a leading snack food manufacturer, known virtually in every part of the world. Formed with merger of Pepsi-Cola and Frito lay in 1965, engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages. Across North America, it is ranked (by net revenue) as the largest food and beverage business.
PEP is a major player in the snack foods business, so much so that it has a leading market share in almost every market it operates in. Frito-Lay, its snack foods division, has a solid market reputation and position in every major international market, particularly Russia, India and China, where it has made significant investments in the recent past, notably in Russia where it purchased WBD, the Russian snack foods leader. In India, it is reportedly adding 2 more bottling plants in India in addition to the 32 existing plants. With a return on equity of 36% (5 year average) and dividend yield of 3.41, the company is an excellent, safe bet.
Kraft Foods (KFT) is the household name globally, in confectionery, food and beverages, marketing its brands in over 150 countries. It owns some of the most popular brands in the world, including Cadbury, Philadelphia and Nabisco, some of them earning over $1 billion worldwide annually. The recent purchase of Cadbury puts Kraft in a serious competitive lead, given Cadbury’s solid market share in Europe and Asia, particularly India, where Cadbury has a long history and loyal customer base.
KFT last traded at $36.30, near the 52 week high of $36.30. The stock has already appreciated by over 6% compared to a month ago, and is trading with a 19 times price earnings multiple, a bargain compared to the industry at nearly 33 times. The dividend yield is 3.5, almost twice the industry average, with a mean rating of outperform and strong buy.
Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) is an often little known company behind a host of restaurant names that make household names in not just North America, but across the world, including leading markets such as China and India. A fortune 500 corporation, it runs KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, among others, worldwide in over 100 countries. The stock trades at just about $42, near the narrow 52 week range of $46.27 - $57.75, with a price earnings multiple of only 19 times, compared to an industry average of 27 times.
With a high debt to equity ratio of nearly 147%, the company has far more leverage than many of its competitors such as McDonalds (NYSE:MCD). However, with a cash balance of $955 million and free cash flow of $593 million for the most recent quarter, YUM is in a good place financially. In addition, it YUM recently announced a hike of 14% in quarterly dividend, which takes the payout to nearly 38%.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.