While high-yield dividend stocks are often considered defensive investments, low-yield stocks can be just as valuable if they offer increases in share price over the time a person has them. For investors who already have a stable portfolio of high-dividend holdings, five low-yield stocks to consider are Agilent Technologies Inc (A), Perrigo Co (PRGO), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Danaher Corp (DHR) and News Corporation (NWSA).
Agilent Technologies Inc
Agilent is a high-tech manufacturer of bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions. These products are sold worldwide to companies in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company has capitalization of $15.6 billion, and its stock is currently trading at almost $45 per share, just above the midpoint of its 52-week range ($28.67 - $55.33). The stock has risen nearly 30% since early December, and it is expected to continue climbing on the way to its one-year target of nearly $49 per share.
In 2011, the company issued its first annual dividend of $0.40 for a yield of 0.9%. While its yield is unlikely to sway many investors, it is higher than competitors such as the 0.2% paid by Danaher, and the lack of dividend for Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO), and Teradyne (TER). With a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.74, a quarterly revenue growth of 9.6% and levered free cash flow of $2.24 billion, Agilent looks to be an excellent stock to consider at this time.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Perrigo Co is another low-yield stock that investors should consider. The $8.7 billion company is trading at just over $93 per share, and its price is in the upper end of its 52-week range of $70.94 - $104.70. Although its dividend is a paltry $0.32 and its yield only 30%, it does have a one-year target of $105.50, which would push the top of its range.
Although those statistics sound good, there are some reasons to be concerned about the company. Perrigo has announced plans to lay off 175 workers at its warehouse in South Florida, and there are concerns because the company has more than $2 billion of goodwill on its balance sheet. While it has a quarterly revenue growth of over 13% and hefty potential earnings, there is a feeling that an underlying stress could affect the stock, creating a negative trend. Until it can show improvement on its balance sheet, it is probably best to avoid new positions in the company.
Pioneer Natural Resources
A big player in the exploration and production of oil and gas, Pioneer Natural Resources has operations in the United States, Tunisia and South Africa. Although the company is only paying a $0.08 divided (good for a yield of 0.10%), the current share price of nearly $14.50 per share is expected to reach almost to $119 per share this year, surpassing its 52-week range of $ 58.63 - $106.07. The stock has gained over 11% so far in 2012, and some analysts are talking about how Pioneer represents a strong source of profitability.
The numbers seem to back up this sentiment. Pioneer's price-to-earnings ratio is a solid 12.27, and its quarterly revenue growth soared by an excellent 214%. The company has increased its sale to assets ratio (up to 0.09 from 0.06) its assets/equity dropped from 2.30 to 2.17. With the uncertainty surrounding the Middle East oil supply, Pioneer could benefit from its American and Africa production facilities, making the company an even better purchase for investors.
Another member of the bio-analytical and electronic measurement industry, Danaher Corp competes against Agilent in growth markets like diagnostics, life sciences, and water quality. The $36.3 billion company has been an active stock, trading on a 10-day average volume of 3.6 million, up about 15% over its 3-month average of 3.15 million. The stock is currently trading at around $52.75 per share, in the upper portion of its 52-week range of $39.34 - $56.09, and is expected to push through, based on its one-year target of $58.40. Danaher has an annual dividend of $0.10, good for a yield of 0.2%.
While the company's quarterly revenue is up 46% over the previous year, its earnings plunged, dropping 19%. While much of the company's recent growth has come from acquisitions, investors are taking note that Danaher realized 6% growth in life sciences and 5% in environmental. With a 14.37 price-to-earnings ratio and nearly $1 billion in levered free cash flow, investors who don't move on Agilent may want to consider taking a position in Danaher instead.
News Corporation is a diversified media company, operating in movies, sports, entertainment and general news primarily in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The current share price for the $48.6 billion company is around $19 per share, in the upper half of its 52-week range of $13.38 - $19.79, and it has a one-year target estimate of over $21. The company is paying a $0.19 dividend, which calculates to a 1% yield.
Although it continues to make money, News Corp has seen its profits decline the past three quarters. The company's price-to-earnings ratio stands at almost 19, and its year-to-year earnings declined by nearly 5 percent. While the company continues to make money, there is enough stability present for investors to consider holding any current position and investing in other companies instead.
Finding High Value in Low Yield Stocks
Although many people shy away from low-dividend stocks in favor of ones with high yields, these companies can often provide a nice boost with increasing share prices. From this list, investors should consider Agilent Technologies Inc, Pioneer Natural Resources and Danaher Corp for new purchases at this time. Waiting for more information before purchasing Perrigo Co and News Corporation may be the best plan.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.