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ConocoPhillips - Dividend Is Safe, For Now
- ConocoPhillips has pledged that dividends are priority number one.
- At the same time, cash flow neutrality should be achieved by 2017.
- Currently I estimate a cash flow shortfall of $6 billion per year at current levels, despite a renewed cutback in capital spending.
- Unless oil prices recover significantly this year, something will have to give at some point in 2016.
Ingredion Has All The Ingredients For Long-Term Returns
- Ingredion posts disappointing results on the back of pricing and adverse currencies moves, both factors being largely outside of the company's control.
- Underlying volume growth remains solid, as the long-term growth potential remains following the strategic focus on specialty ingredients.
- A fairly cheap valuation combined with smart dealmaking, long-term growth and shareholder payouts make shares appealing in my eyes.
Swift Transportation - Above-Average Risk Requires A Bigger Margin Of Safety
- Swift Transportation reports solid results, and issues a comforting outlook for 2015.
- Shares fall as the company does warn on tightness on the market for truck drivers, creating potential risks to margins later in 2015.
- Given the leverage employed, a 15 times forward non-GAAP multiple seems fair enough.
- Investors should remember that Swift is not comparable to UPS or FedEx, as it has more cyclical and leverage exposure.
Gentex - Appeal Continues, Despite A Softer Quarter
- Gentex reports soft results, with sales hurt by the strong dollar and inventory de-stocking.
- 2015 will see solid growth, although analysts have hoped for more.
- The strong product portfolio, continued growth, strong balance sheet and fair valuation all drive appeal.
Varian Medical - Great Growth Prospects At A Fair Price
- Varian Medical reports solid results and maintains its outlook, despite severe currency headwinds.
- This just shows that the business is performing very well on an operational basis.
- The company operates well in long-term growing markets, which, combined with a relatively contained valuation, offers appeal.
- Promising proton therapy developments can only provide long-term icing on the cake.
BOK Financial - Track Record And Dividend Yield Outweigh Energy Exposure Concerns
- BOK Financial reports disappointing results with earnings being hurt by mark-to-market fluctuations in mortgage servicing rights.
- The bank reports solid loan and deposit growth, and has an excellent long-term track record and dividend yield.
- Shares have plunged by a fifth in recent months on worries about falling interest margins as well as the large exposure to the energy sector.
- Despite the concerns about the energy exposure, I believe the risk management and allowances are solid enough to make it through the current turmoil.
Parker Hannifin - True Dividend Aristocrat At A Nice Price
- Parker Hannifin posted relatively solid results as organic growth offset currency headwinds.
- The company has an amazing dividend track record with the yield currently coming in at 2%, while trading at an attractive price.
- The long-term performance, stability and prospects make shares attractive.
Praxair - Look Beyond The Currency Impact To Steady Growth And Stable Margins
- Praxair reports soft results driven by one-time items and currency headwinds.
- Currency headwinds will continue to be the theme of 2015, as 50% of sales are being generated abroad.
- Relative stability, solid margins, steady growth and a fair dividend yield make shares a preferential investment compared to many bonds.
Zions Bancorp - Soft Earnings Add To Worries, Tangible Book Value Provides Support
- Zions' earnings are disappointing as the company is no longer releasing loan loss provisions.
- This combined with worries about energy loan exposure and below-average profitability is causing anxiety among investors.
- After a difficult year, shares now trade below the tangible book value.
- This should provide support for shares at current levels, as investors can await better days.
W.W. Grainger - Add This Excellent Operator With Solid Prospects On Dips
- W.W. Grainger has seen a modest correction after releasing soft results and cutting the 2015 outlook.
- The company is facing pressure from dollar strength, a weak Canadian economy and currency, as well as slower international growth.
- The valuation remains appealing, as the company pays out a fair dividend and operates with a solid balance sheet, as future growth opportunities remain abundant.
Roper Industries - Excellent Operator, More Than Fairly Valued
- Roper Industries reports results which meet expectations, and issues a comforting outlook.
- The company continues to operate with great operational excellence, delivering solid organic growth and superior margins.
- Despite the great results I am fairly cautious following elevated earnings multiples and a lack of compelling risk-reward opportunity at current levels.
M&T Bank - A Neutral Stance After Weighing The Pros And Cons
- M&T Bank delivers solid results with revenues being pressured by compression in net interest margins.
- The company anticipates some headwinds on this front in 2015, as pending deal uncertainty creates additional headwinds.
- This is offset by strong historical growth and solid operational loan growth, which is already applauded by a premium valuation.
- Weighing the pros and cons, I am fairly neutral on the prospects for the shares.
Hexcel: Long-Term Guidance Offers Support And Appeal
- Hexcel's shares rise to new highs following solid results, and a promising multi-year outlook.
- I like the shares given the high visibility of the business and significant anticipated earnings improvements.
- This makes shares worthwhile at dips despite a premium valuation on current earnings.
Alaska Airlines - Momentum Run Continues, But I Am Cautious
- Alaska Airlines ends 2014 on a strong note.
- Solid growth, high earnings and moderate multiples appear to create a nice opportunity.
- The shares have already reflected a great deal of good news in recent months and years.
- Little competition and low oil prices create fat margins now, something which I do not anticipate will be sustainable.
- While I am very optimistic about the long-term potential of the company, I am only a buyer on significant dips following the momentum run seen already.
Huntington Bancshares - After A Relatively Strong Quarter, The Bank Is Fairly Valued
- Huntington shows relatively strong growth, with past growth being aided by dealmaking.
- Shares have recovered in recent years, now trading at a premium to their book value on hopes for strong returns on equity.
- While this appears attractive, I am not too impressed with the bank. Long-term shareholders have still suffered a lot following disastrous dilution during the financial crisis.
- Given the fairly aggressive strategy of the bank to grow the business I am worried about the performance of the bank in a future recession.
Kansas City Southern - Great Growth And Potential, Wait For A Better Entry Level
- Kansas City Southern reports relatively soft fourth quarter results.
- The railroad has grown revenues and earnings at an aggressive pace in recent years.
- While the prospects for future growth remain great, a lot of good news has already been priced into the shares.
- For these reasons I am only a buyer on significant dips going forwards.
Rockwell Collins: Great Long-Term Investment; Wait For A Pullback
- Rockwell Collins reports solid first-quarter results.
- The company benefits from the retro-active extension of R&D tax credits.
- Shares offer long-term appeal. Despite this, I would be cautious to buy shares at current levels.
- Recent momentum amidst a strengthening dollar is the main reason for the caution.
BB&T - Despite Solid Deals Appeal Is Limited Unless Interest Rates Start To Rise
- BB&T reports solid results, driven by cost savings and modest compression in net interest margins.
- The bank is focusing on growth again after it made a few important deals in 2014.
- Shares trade at a modest premium now, raising expectations.
- I feel appeal only becomes apparent in case net interest margins start to increase again.
Kimberly-Clark - Lots Of Headwinds, Dividend Provides Support
- Kimberly-Clark reports soft results, and issues a disappointing 2015 outlook.
- The strong dollar hurts the business a great deal, while Huggies faces a lot of pressure at home.
- While the valuation is very high, I continue to believe shares will be supported by the world-class dividend.
- The 3.0% dividend yield, with a further dividend hikes anticipated in 2015, looks attractive given the low interest rates.
SanDisk - More Weakness Ahead, Don't Pull The Buy Trigger Yet
- SanDisk reports very soft fourth quarter results, as has been pre-announced.
- The weakness is now seen for the current quarter and for 2015 as well.
- Investors therefore took another hit, after shares have lost 25% of their value in just a month's time.
- With more pain anticipated in the coming year, I think it is still too early to buy into the shares now.
eBay - Mixed Results And News Show, Shareholder Value Creation Is Uncertain
- eBay's results were solid, as the outlook is weak driven by the headwinds resulting from dollar strength and weakness at the marketplace business.
- PayPal continues to perform well, as the company is cutting costs and aiming to sell the enterprise business unit.
- I like the orientation on shareholder value creation, although I am uncertain how much value can really be created for shareholders.
Fifth Third Bancorp - Little Long-Term Appeal, Even At Book Value
- Fifth Third Bank suffers like the rest of the sector from narrowing interest margins.
- Unlike many competitors the cost of deposits is creeping up, so are loan loss provisions.
- The average performance and poor track record in risk management, makes me cautious despite the fact that shares trade at their book value.
U.S. Bancorp - Best-Of-Breed, Long-Term Value Creator
- U.S. Bancorp has reported solid earnings, as net interest margin compression was not as bad as was feared.
- The bank is an excellent operator and a great risk manager.
- This values shares at a big premium compared to the book value, unlike the vast majority of its peers.
- Given the strong performance and cash flows returned to investors, I would prefer the bank over any peer.
- That said, the shares are no screaming buy at all, although they could still be held in the long run.
Baker Hughes - Strong Quarter, Reconfirms Solid Risk/Reward Opportunity
- Baker Hughes ends 2014 on a very strong note.
- 2015 looks to become a difficult year, with US rig count expected to drop 15% on a sequential basis.
- The strong execution, pro-active job cuts and potential huge break-up fee limit the downside in case the Halliburton deal falls apart, while upside remains.
Cree - Optimistic Undertone Is Supportive For The Shares
- Cree reported a small earnings beat on low expectations.
- A cautious optimistic undertone, somewhat comforting outlook and share buybacks create enthusiasm among investors.
- A long term investment can pay off given the industry growth; just realize that an investment carries above-average risks.
Jarden: Premium Valuation And Leverage Limits Appeal
- Jarden reports strong preliminary results for the final quarter of 2014.
- While the strong historical growth is attractive, the acquisition trajectory has resulted in high leverage.
- Given the premium valuation following the multi-year run up, the leverage and lack of dividends, I would not touch shares at these levels.
Lennar - Another Homebuilder To Warn About The Housing Recovery In 2015
- Lennar posts solid results for the fourth quarter of 2014.
- These results were aided by higher purchase incentives, as the company warns for its gross margins in 2015 after competitor KB Home did the same thing.
- Following aggressive inventory lots built up, the company has essentially used its balance sheet to bet on the housing recovery.
- Given the leverage employed and dire consequences of a housing downturn, I continue to shun investing in the housing sector and Lennar.
Comerica - Worries About Texas And Long Interest Exposure Creates Long Term Opportunities
- Comerica reports fourth quarter results which are in line with expectations.
- The bank which has significant operations in Texas does not see a big impact from falling oil prices, reassuring investors.
- A return to higher net interest margins and higher dividend payouts could improve the valuation of the stock which only trades at its book value.
- Don't expect a quick rebound amidst narrowing net interest margins and still low dividend payouts.
Smith & Wesson: A Large Jump Following A Modest Guidance Hike
- Smith & Wesson surprises the market by raising its full year guidance.
- The raise in the guidance mostly reflects on the current third quarter, with the fourth quarter guidance being relatively untouched.
- Given the big jump in the shares, the fair valuation multiples and high usage of debt, I am cautious and will stay neutral at current levels.
Goldman Sachs - Transformation Efforts Should Be Awarded In The Long Run
- Goldman's revenues take a hit across the board.
- The strong cost control and shareholder returns limit the fall in earnings per share.
- The bank becomes less risky, focusing on less volatile and less capital intensive businesses.
- This could result in a re-rating of the stock in the long term as the market starts to award this shift.
SunTrust Banks - Solid Results, Few Triggers Ahead
- SunTrust reports solid earnings results, driven by strong cost control.
- Narrowing net interest margins are offset by loan growth, resulting in flattish revenues.
- Despite fair multiples, I am neutral on the shares as I see few triggers ahead.
PPG Industries: Caution As All The Good News Has Already Been Priced In
- PPG continues to show solid growth, partially masked by a stronger dollar.
- Lower oil prices and a focused strategy allows for higher margins going forwards.
- Shares have already priced in all the good news, and some more.