In this article I will analyze five stocks that are a great addition to a diversified portfolio. They are good investments on their own but owning a single company or a handful can be quite stressful. The first company is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that has an extra-large dividend yield and attractive valuation. Following that are four companies that are well-known names that are good investments at current prices compared with peers and the market in general. Consider these five stocks as buy and hold opportunities for 2012.
Timing in investing is important. Chimera Investment (CIM) went public in November of 2007 at a price of around $15 per share and at the time of this writing, a little over four years later, the stock is trading around $3 per share, has a 52-week trading range of $2.38 to $4.34 per share, pays a dividend of $0.11 per quarter per share for an annual dividend yield of 14.7%, and has 1.03 billion shares outstanding for a market capitalization of $3.1 billion. Chimera's valuation is relatively cheap with a price to earnings of 5.8 compared with a price to earnings of 14.1 for the S&P 500 (SPY). It also has a low price-to-book-value ratio of 0.9 (a price-to-book-value ratio of less than one signifies an undervalued asset). Recently, I discussed Annaly Capital Management, which is similar to Chimera and owns the investment adviser that manages Chimera's portfolio. I still believe that low interest rates and the efforts by the current administration to help homeowners stay in their homes bode well for investors in residential mortgage backed securities and Chimera is well positioned to benefit from a stabilization in the housing market.
Comcast (CMCSA) is trading around $27 per share almost at its 52-week high of $27.17 per share (the low was $19.19 per share), has 2.7 billion shares outstanding for a market capitalization of $72 billion and pays a quarterly dividend of $0.113 per share for an annual dividend yield of 1.7%. Comcast has a very low price-to-book-value ratio of 1.56 compared with 7.6 and 4.4 for the industry and the S&P 500, respectively. The company has a strong cash flow and generated $10.2 billion of cash from operating activities during the first nine months of 2011. Comcast is benefiting from its recent joint venture (pdf) with General Electric (GE) [51% Comcast and 49% GE] to split ownership in NBCUniversal because of economies of scales and access to one of the best known companies in the media and entertainment industry as well as Universal Studios theme parks and a 32% interest in hulu.com, the popular online TV shows and movies website. I recommend Comcast as a buy.
ConocoPhillips (COP) recently traded around $70 per share with a 52-week trading range between $58.65 and $81.80 per share, has 1.3 billion shares outstanding for a market capitalization of $92.8 billion, and pays a quarterly dividend of $0.66 per share for an annual yield of 3.8%. ConocoPhillips generated $19.6 billion in cash from operating activities in 2011 and also repurchased $11 billion worth of its common shares. In 2012, ConocoPhillips is expected to benefit from strong oil prices as well as from its restructuring expected in the second quarter of 2012. The restructuring, which was announced on July 14, 2011, will result in two independent companies - ConocoPhilips (exploration and production) and Phillips 66 (refining and marketing). In 2011, its exploration and production business had earnings of $8.2 billion and the refining and marketing business of $4.2 billion. The oil and gas industry (integrated) price-to-earnings ratio is about 10 while the marketing and refining industry price-to-earnings ratio is about 15. Clearly, over time shareholders will benefit as an independent Phillips 66 will have higher valuation than the current price-to-earnings ratio of the combined ConocoPhillips of about nine. Buying shares of ConocoPhillips before the split should provide a higher return to risk investment opportunity. It is interesting to note that Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) spun off its refinery and marketing business into a separate publicly trading company on July 1, 2011, for $20.70 per share and the shares of the spun off company, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), are trading now at around $44, or more than doubling in value since the spin-off.
Dell (DELL) is trading over $17 per share near its 52-week high (the low was $13.29 per share) and has 1.8 billion shares outstanding for a market capitalization of $31.7 billion. Dell has a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.1, which is under the industry average of 12.5 and the S&P 500 of 14.2. Dell's balance sheet is rock solid with $11.1 billion of cash and just $6.4 billion of long-term debt as of October 28, 2011. Also, Dell has repurchased shares worth $2.15 billion and generated $3.69 billion of cash from operations year to date as of October 28, 2011. In November of 2009, Dell completed the acquisition of Perot Systems, which broadened Dell's expansion into IT services. Overall, Dell is well positioned to benefit from a pick up in consumer and business spending in technology in the developed as well as emerging markets. Given its current valuation, the stock is a good buying opportunity.
Dow Chemical (DOW) traded around $34 per share at the time of this writing, has a 52-week trading range of $20.61 to $42.23 per share, pays a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share for an annual yield of 2.9%, and has 1.2 billion shares outstanding for a market capitalization of $40.4 billion. Dow had sales in the amount of $60 billion ($19 billion from emerging markets or 32%) in 2011 for a relatively low price-to-sales ratio of 0.67 and generated cash from operating of $4 billion or more than enough to cover its dividend payments and long-term debt payments due within a year ($1.2 billion and $2.75 billion, respectively). Its earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITD) were $7.8 billion during 2011 for a price to EBITD of 5.2, which is under the industry average of 6.1. Dow Chemical pays a stable dividend of $1 per share annually for a yield of almost 3%, is valued attractively and has diverse products and markets. Dow shareholders should also benefit from the company's investment in research and development ($1.65 billion in 2011) as well as a pick up in the global economy.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.