There has been a lot going on these days due to the dead-end in Europe. The global markets are dependable on Europe's problems, and I have been trying to offer stocks resistant to downturns. As investors, our priority is to find profitable stocks that will not bungee jump once they see the darkening horizon. While the Tuesday rally was promising, you will never know what will happen next in Europe. Therefore, I have screened for the toughest stocks that will hold their ground in any recession while reserving their juicy dividends. Moreover, they are priced with acceptably low P/E ratios and have significantly high return-on equity. I have analyzed all of them from a fundamental perspective, and added my O-Metrix Grading System, where possible. Here is an analysis of five dividend stocks for strong income in 2012. (Data from Finviz / Morningstar, and current as of December 20. You can download you O-Metrix calculator, here.):
Altria Group (MO)
Altria will distribute a $0.41 quarterly dividend per share on January 10 of the next year. It shows a trailing P/E ratio of 17.5, and a forward P/E ratio of 13.4. Analysts estimate a 6.5% annualized EPS growth for the next five years. With a profit margin of 21.2%, and a dividend of 5.59%, Altria is an enjoyable play for dividend lovers.
Altria is one of the oldest companies in the U.S., which has a lower-than-average O-Metrix score of 3.91. Things seem relatively fine since the Lehman disaster. Altria gets a massive cash flow from tobacco business, which attracts investors along with its extremely low Beta value and stability. However, at a price of $29, Altria is slightly overpriced. I suggest picking this stock at $26-27. As a long-term investment, Altria is one of the most healthy and stable plays. Just wait for a pullback.
Eli Lilly (LLY)
Eli Lilly will declare its financial guidance for the next year on January 5. The drug manufacturer is trading at a single-digit P/E ratio of 9.7, and a forward P/E ratio of 11.3. Five-year annual EPS growth forecast is -3.0%. Profit margin (19.1%) is higher than the industry average of 16.7%, while it pays a robust dividend of 4.81%.
Eli Lilly has some admirable indicators like a 0.71 Beta value, a stable dividend history, an AA- rated balance sheet, a nice earnings-per share [ttm] history, and a debt-to equity ratio of 0.4, below the industry average of 0.8. Eli Lilly can double its share price if its experimental Alzheimer drug succeeds. If the company can sustain its P/E ratio which is only 9 times trailing earnings, it will lead to a 40% discount to its 5-year average. With these solid fundamentals, I find its EPS growth estimate quite harsh. Eli Lilly is next to the overbought territory with a Relative Strength Index of 65.79%. I can't say that I don't expect a pullback, but you may regret if Eli Lilly breasts the tape with that Alzheimer drug. As always, I will suggest taking a conservative stand, and buying this stock should it fall to $37-38.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)
Freeport's Indonesia unit delayed the plan to end a strike and go back to work. The company has a respectable P/E ratio of 6.2, and a forward P/E ratio of 7.6. Analysts expect the company to have a 6.4% annual EPS growth in the next five years. It sports a 2.80% dividend, and the profit margin is 24.5%.
The company has been dealing with multiple strikes for some time. Surely that is having effects on stock's performance, but pros outweigh cons. The company is a great bargain as it is selling 6 times trailing earnings. Since September 2009, earnings-per share [ttm] has come from -16.5 to 5.7. Revenue and cash flow are strong. After the strikes comes to an end, Freeport's production will regain its momentum, which will make a positive effect on revenue. Current price is okay to jump in. Based on these numbers, Freeport has an O-Metrix score of 6.66.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Lockheed Martin has won the Japan fighter jet deal. Lockheed has a P/E ratio of 9.5, and a forward P/E ratio of 9.9. Estimated annual EPS growth for the next five years is 7.4%. Profit margin (6.3%) is slightly lower than the industry average of 6.6%, while it boasts a 5.21% dividend.
Lockheed Martin has two other contracts from the U.S. Armed Forces. After Kim Jong Il's death, and especially after North Korea's testing of short-range missiles hours after, Asian nations will tend to increase their military presence in the region. China is already trying to keep North Korea under its influence, and Japan is no mollycoddle. Therefore, an expansion of their F-35 contract is even possible. Even if not, Lockheed Martin is capable of offering safe returns for decades with its long-term agreements. Current price offers a good entry point to this nice dividend payer. Lockheed Martin has a B Grade O-Metrix score of 6.5.
Philip Morris (PM)
Philip Morris is fighting the Australian government over a logo ban on cigarette packs. The cigarette company shows a trailing P/E ratio of 16.1, and a forward P/E ratio of 14.6. Analysts estimate a 10.0% annualized EPS growth for the next five years. With a profit margin of 27.8%, and a dividend of 4.04%, Philip Morris is an attractive play for dividend lovers.
Philip Morris is one of the most stable companies that will almost never let you down. The company has been quite an outperformer since January. Earnings per share [ttm] is going straight up for some time. The company generates a solid cash flow due to its global field operations. However, the stock is trading near my target price, so holding should do all right for now. The company has an O-Metrix score of 4.57.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.