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  • McDonald's Is Still A Cash Machine With An Attractive 3.7% Dividend - Resist The Urge To Sell [View article]
    Here are 3 news items relating to MCD...

    "5 reasons McDonald's won't succeed with a new CEO"

    "McDonald’s, already struggling, now has to fight the government"

    " franchisees to new CEO: back-to-basics, fast"

    ...and this one yesterday from SA:
    "McDonald's quandary: Step forwards or step backwards?"
    A difficult decision is coming for McDonald's (MCD -0.4%) with a new leadership team now in place.

    The restaurant chain has announced an ambitious Create Your Taste program which will allow consumers to customize their orders.

    The costly initiative is aimed at creating a fast-casual feel which will draw in millennials, but at the risk of worsening store execution and creating a mixed message globally.

    If the company sticks with the plan, it might be without the full backing of franchisees.

    There's a growing number of reports indicating that franchisees back a McDonald's strategy of dropping attempts to clone Starbucks or Chipotle to focus on burgers and fries with a smaller menu.
    Jan 31, 2015. 10:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amgen Offers Impressive Upside As A New Product Cycle Begins [View article]
    Alex -- Very interesting details, and your projections are reasonable.

    I note Capital IQ rates AMGN a buy, has FV at $165, a 12-month price target of $187, and projects 3-yr EPS CAGR of 10%.

    I also note your avatar includes a white coat, which might indicate a healthcare related occupation (though none is mentioned in your profile) your pharma knowledge related to your occupation?

    Long: AMGN (plus 10 other healthcare stocks)

    Jan 31, 2015. 10:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Way Johnson & Johnson Can Unlock At Least 25% Upside [View article]
    Yes, there are those who want to split-up GE, the largest conglomerate.

    OTOH, JNJ is not a conglomerate, as the 3 businesses, though in different industries, are all in the healthcare sector.

    Jan 30, 2015. 07:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's Is Still A Cash Machine With An Attractive 3.7% Dividend - Resist The Urge To Sell [View article]
    Agreed, MCD is a $28 billion cash-flow machine. Unfortunately, that does not make it the earnings machine it formerly was. Given its declining image, most would be surprised to know MCD is still profitable. However, its trends are negative, thus those who cannot see improvement in revenues and net income, should forget about buying MCD for its dividends (as its DGR will decline).

    At the same time, the QSR industry is not dying. McDonald's has a serious image problem that is not dogging their competitors.

    IMO, they have the resources, talent, and credit rating to conquer their problems. The change in CEOs is only one step in a multi-quarter effort.

    Like Bob, I have resisted the urge to sell. The change in leadership bought them a grace-period...but it is limited to a few quarters.

    Jan 30, 2015. 02:59 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Way Johnson & Johnson Can Unlock At Least 25% Upside [View article]
    Jon -- Thanks, I was timed-out before I could edit-out the reference "(cockamamie)" reference...which upon reflection was unnecessary. I also indented to add--if JNJ should divest their medical devices business (and IH is not the first to suggest those changes), I would like for them to consider applying the proceeds to acquiring a biotechnology company.

    Jan 30, 2015. 02:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Way Johnson & Johnson Can Unlock At Least 25% Upside [View article]
    Sorry IH, but I cannot support your article (and I normally tend to be very supportive of our female members).

    There are people staying up all night trying to identify companies to split into pieces on the assumption the whole is worth less than is the sum of the pieces...and in a few cases, they are correct. But in more cases than not, their objective is to amass a large position and force the company into paying greenmail for them to go away--so they get richer, and the other shareholders get nothing.

    Much of why JNJ is one of the few 'relatively safe' equity holdings for the long-term SDI is because the company has these parts that do not all pull the stock ahead uniformly, but have somewhat counter-cyclical performance.

    JNJ is one of the very rare remaining AAA-rated companies. JNJ is not always the top performer, but it is a steady-eddy performer--for example, when the S&P's total returns were -37% in 2008, JNJ's -7.6% (and its competitors were -17.9%).

    Thus IMO, it would be unfortunate for shareholders if this (cockamamie) idea should gather momentum.

    Jan 30, 2015. 01:07 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baxter International - A Diversified Healthcare Company For Your Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    gman -- As you did not address the question of how HQH can provide a distribution rate (6.8%) that significantly exceeds the current yield of its portfolio companies, I assume you simply don't know.

    Therefore, I have made an inquiry of the CEF's sponsor, and will advise you and others when I have a reply.

    Jan 30, 2015. 11:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilever's Slower Dividend Growth Could Mean It's Time To Sell [View article]
    I'm long UL (its in my core portfolio).

    UL has many very strong brands in personal care, home care, foods and refreshments. But UL is not as strong in the U.S. as in other markets.

    Top line growth is essential to bottom line growth, as well as dividend growth. One strength of UL is their strong position in developing markets; those markets have slowed recently, and largely account for the above references--but will again have accelerating growth.

    I don't trade in and out of my core positions, or even my opportunistic positions (and only occasionally trim those over-valued). Others are comfortable with different portfolio management practices.

    Jan 30, 2015. 07:42 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yum Brands Looks Like A Solid Dividend Pick [View article]
    I'm long YUM (and MCD). As the author is not a long, I can insure others "Shareholders of Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) have had a tumultuous 2015, after a 2014 that was likewise".

    Most do not realize not only is YUM a larger business in China compared to MCD, its total revenues (and opportunities) are also more dependent upon China. Each China food scare batters YUM more than MCD...we can expect more such scares.

    OTOH, though many Americans and others in developed countries have neutral or jaded views of fast food, there remain many peoples who aspire to the offerings of YUM (and MCD). Thus growth opportunities continue.

    YUM has outperformed MCD for every period--3 mod, 1 yr, 3 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, and 15 yrs; has a lower payout ratio, and higher DGR.

    However, for those considering YUM, the S&P report is an essential item of due diligence.

    Jan 30, 2015. 06:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dover Dealing With A Very Different Reality [View article]
    The GE-haters should take compare its recent performance to that of Dover.
    Jan 29, 2015. 05:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dominion Resources Set To Grow At Better Pace Than Its Peers [View article]
    Thanks EW -- Very interesting. Utes as a sector are presently over-valued.

    In addition, Cove Point will be the only LNG export facility on the East Coast, and closest to Europe, which should be a ready market.

    As you compared D to SO and DUK, I would like to have seen their comparative total returns.

    Long: D, SO, & NEE

    Jan 29, 2015. 05:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shorting Realty Income Is A Bad Idea [View article]
    alg -- You sold O and bought NRF, which has not turned a dime of net income since 2008, and yet has twice the current yield.

    Assuming you understand it, I'm sure everyone here would like for you to explain it to us.

    Jan 29, 2015. 05:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Is An 'Aircraft Carrier', Not A 'Dingy' [View article]
    fsoriano -- I'm not seeing your reference to "highest credit quality".

    According to my search at Moody's (and your link) KMI is rated
    "Baa3 Stable" as of last December. I also checked Standard & Poors, KMI is rated "BBB- Stable" as of last November. (Morningstar's rating is consistent with those.)

    Note: In both cases, those are their LOWEST investment grade ratings, and are post-KMI announced roll-up of their MLPs.

    Jan 29, 2015. 05:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Is An 'Aircraft Carrier', Not A 'Dingy' [View article]
    goose -- YES (only because you asked).

    As recently as last October, KMI has declined below your cost basis.
    KMI's 52-week low is $31.81, or about 13.4% lower than your cost basis.

    Jan 29, 2015. 04:14 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Southern Company: Taking A Pass On This Quality Utility Name [View article]
    GF -- Thanks, well-done. I agree SO is over-valued presently.

    OTOH, I treat my Core positions differently compared to my Opportunistic (cyclical) positions, and am more likely to trim my cyclicals when over-valued.

    Jan 29, 2015. 03:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment