Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Earnings Commentary: Colgate-Palmolive (CL)

Adjusted closing price per share on 07/24/13 (before earnings announcement): $58.47
Adjusted closing price per share on 07/25/13 (after earnings): $59.62
Current Price per share: $60.39

I purchased some shares of Colgate a few months ago in my search for another “quality stock” to add to my portfolio (can you see a trend here?!). I was tracking a series of different companies on my handy-dandy excel spreadsheet and one day I took the plunge and decided Colgate would be the new addition and it has not let me down!

I purchased the stock about a month before their 2:1 stock split which took place on 05/16/2013. What the heck is a stock split?! Corporations sometimes decide to “split” the stock price in order to make it more affordable to investors to buy the shares and gain new investors, among other reasons.

So, for example, let’s say that before the split you had 6 shares of CL at $115 each. After the 2:1 split, you will have a total of 12 shares showing a purchase price of $57.5 each. A company can do a reverse stock split too, and is the same idea. So, do not fear splits. Your position with the company doesn’t change.

So anyways, that’s what happened with CL a couple of months ago.

Earnings for second quarter 2013 were reported this past Thursday July 25 and let’s just say they made me a very happy shareholder. Colgate is an amazing company with incredible management whom cares about the growth of the company and remaining competitive. Some may feel that a company that has been around for as long as Colgate may not have much room to grow but their earnings call proved that’s not the case. The Colgate team continuously strives to bring new products to market-- enticing more sales and market share growth.  Here are some highlights:
·         Worldwide net sale of $4,346 million in second quarter 2013, an increase of 2.0% versus second quarter 2012.

·         Organic sales grew 5.5% (net sales excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and investments).

·         Net income in second quarter 2013 was $662 million, an increase of 3% versus second quarter 2012.

·         Gross profit margin was 58.3% versus 57.7% in the same quarter a year ago.

·         Selling, general and administrative expenses were 35.1% of net sales in second quarter 2013 V. 34.4% in second quarter 2012.

·         Operating profit decreased 8% to $906 million in second quarter 2013 compared to $982 million in second quarter 2012. Excluding special items in both periods (outlined in the full earnings report) operating profit increased 3% to $1,032 million.

·         Net cash provided by operations year to date increased 11% t0 $1325 million. As per the CEO Ian Cook: “For the fifth consecutive quarter, gross profit margin, operating profit margin and net income as a percentage of sales all increased versus the year ago period”.

·         Colgate’s market share of the global toothpaste market strengthened to 45.4% year to date. This is an increase of 0.1 share points in comparison to a year ago. In the CEOs own words: “looking forward, we expect our growth momentum to continue as we progress through the year. We are pleased that our global restructuring program is on track and proceeding smoothly. We also continue to be sharply focused on our aggressive funding-the-growth programs and our strategic worldwide pricing initiative...”
One way Colgate increases market share? Through advertising! Simply sit down to watch TV for an hour or even less and I can guarantee you that you’ll see a Colgate commercial. This is what they had to say about advertising expenses: “Advertising investment increased versus a year ago, both absolutely and as a percentage of sales, and we continue to plan for higher levels of commercial investment in the balance of the year in support of a very full pipeline of new products worldwide!”

 The earnings report goes on to specify earnings and market share performance world-wide including North America, Latin America, Europe/South pacific and Greater Asia/Africa—all of which reported notably positive results!

Also, did you know that Colgate has a pet-nutrition subdivision called “Hill’s Pet Nutrition”?! As per the report, net sales increased 3.5% during second quarter 2013. Unit volume increased 2.5%, pricing increased 3% and foreign exchange was negative at 2%. There were volume gains in the U.S, Russia, Korea, Germany, France and Brazil. Meanwhile, some volume declines were experienced in Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Organic sales for Hill’s increased 5.5%.
For the official summary of Colgate’s earnings report check out their Investor’s Relations page.

Dividend Information: And you guessed it—if something is in my portfolio it more than likely pays dividends. Current annual dividend yield is 2.25% which translates in to a payout of $1.36 per share! (which translates in to 0.34 cents per share every 3 months).

Fun Fact: You may think it would be obvious to see whether a product in your home is made by Colgate. However, they have acquired many companies through the years and operate under multiple different brands including the following: Mennen, Speed Stick, Lady Speed Stick, SoftSoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, elmex, Tom’s of Maine, Ajax, Fabuloso, Suavitel among others.

Look around your home—how many Colgate-Palmolive products can you identify?

Disclosure: I currently hold shares of CL

This is not a recommendation to purchase CL stock. Do not invest or cease to invest solely on the information provided on this post.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Earnings Commentary: 3M (MMM)

*Price per share info*
Adjusted closing price night before earnings call (07/24): $116.33
Adjusted closing price night AFTER earnings announcement: $116.55
Current price (as I type this): $116.91

Have you ever used a post-it before? Yeah, a post-it:

Well, when I first ever heard about 3M corporation that is the very first thing that came to mind (and that's usually what still comes to mind). However, as I did more research and listened to analysts commentaries about the company I realized how powerful the 3M Corporation really is. They have multiple segments which tailor products to an extensive amount of industries at an international level. Click here for a brief summary on Yahoo! Finance about what this company is all about.

I purchased 3M as I was putting together a quality dividend-focused portfolio for my sister (Hi! Marlenne!! ). We bought a few stocks at around $90 per share less than a year ago and it has gone up over 20% since then!

3M announced earnings this past Thursday July 25th. And here is a general overview:
  • Second-quarter earnings of $1.71 per share, an increase of 3.0 percent in comparison to second quarter of 2012. 
  • Sales growth of 2.9 percent year-on-year to a record $7.8 billion. Organic local-currency sales grew 2.3 percent and acquisitions added 1.9 percent to sales. 
  • The impact of currency exchanged rates reduced sales by 1.3 percent year-on-year.
  • Operating income was $1.7 billion, second-quarter net income was $1.2 billion and free cash flow was $1.3 billion.
  • The company paid $436 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $1.2 billion of its own shares during the quarter.
  • Organic local-currency sales growth was 5.7 percent in Health Care, 3.3 percent in Industrial, 2.9 percent in Consumer and 2.0 percent in Safety and Graphics; Electronics and Energy declined 2.1 percent year-on-year. (Quick Concept Lesson: Organic sales growth refers to the growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing production of products and enhancing sales of said products. "organic growth" excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. It is a solid measure that can help us understand how well the company is performing internally, its core competency, and how well management is using internal resources to increase sales!)
  • Geographically, organic local-currency sales also presented significant growth. 8.5 percent growth in Latin America/Canada, 2.2 percent in Asia Pacific, 1.9 percent in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 0.8 percent in the U.S.
 One thing I really enjoyed hearing in their conference call is that any minor losses they may have had were already anticipated and mentioned in the previous conference call to investor. It shows the company has a solid management team that is forward thinking in terms of any weaknesses they may encounter, lets the investors know, and shows they are well prepared to weather the storm, even if minor. 

DIVIDEND INFO: By the way, 3M has a dividend yield of 2.17% which translates in to anual dividend payout of $2.54 per share. They have been paying and increasing dividends at least once per year since 1959!(source: dividend.com).

So, with all these wonderfully solid results, are there any risks to look out for 3M? Well, considering I have to play devils advocate sometimes when it comes to my stocks. I decided to go out there and see if there is anything to watch for. I found a quick video at the Montley Fool website where one of their analysts points out the following:

1. Look out for innovation! Is 3M's research and development team remaining innovative in creating new prodcuts and new ways to enhance sales? We all know that businesses that are product-focused need to entice their customers with new and exciting products that motivate said customers to buy! The innovation should go hand in hand with organic sales growth. So, going forward, it will be good to see how 3M remains competitive through innovation. 

2.Keep an eye on operating margin which is 21.6% right now. It is wonderfully high but the ongoing success of the stock will depend in part to this number remaining strong. (Quick Concept Lesson: Operating Margins gives us an idea of how much money a company makes for each dollar of sales. For 3M, they make about $21.6 cents for every dollar of sales! This is before taxes. You can use operating margins as one tool when you are determining a company's quality. If the margin is increasing, this means it is earning more per dollar of sales and the higher the better! )

Thank you for reading and have a GREAT weekend!

Did you know post-its were made by 3M before? Did you know 3M was more than a post-it company? 


Yahoo Finance
3M Investor Relations
Montley Fool

Disclosure: This is not a recommendation to buy MMM. Do not invest or cease to invest based solely on this post.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Earnings Commentary: Visa (V)

*Price per Share Info*
Adjusted closing price on 07/23/13 (night before earnings announcement): $188.58
Current Price: $193.49
Note: Visa has reached an all time high of $194.73 after their announcement.
I picked up some Visa stock around November of last year. I had been doing my research and thinking about investing in Visa for some time prior to that but finally decided to take the "plunge" after a favorable earnings announcement during the time that I bought it and I haven’t looked back since! I have to say that it is one of the best investment decisions I have ever made. I should mention that don’t own a lot of shares—if that were the case I would be typing this from some island in Hawaii (one day!). However, profit is profit and I take it any way you want to slice it!

If you open your wallet and if you own a credit card of debit card you will notice without fail that one of the cards you own will have either a Visa or MasterCard logo on it. How do these companies make money? Well, they collect a free from EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION you make with your card. Every.single.one. Cards are swiped from top of the morning when you are buying your metro card to get on the train all the way to those late nights when you are out drinking with friends. Need I say more?

With that said, this past Wednesday July 24th, Visa announced their fiscal 3rd quarter earnings for period ending June 30th, 2013. The results pretty much threw the ball out the park. Here are some of the favorable highlights:

1.    Net income for the quarter was 1.2 billion, an increase of 16% over last years adjusted results.

2.    Net operating revenue in fiscal third quarter of 2013 was $3 billion, an increase of 17% over the prior year—this was driven by a strong growth in service, operating, data processing and international transaction revenues.

3.    Total processed transactions (or “processed card swipes” in simpler terms) were 15 Billion, a 14% increase over the prior year. These transactions are processed by “visanet” which is Visa’s card processing network.

4.    Service revenues were 1.3 Billion, a 7% increase from prior year

5.    Data processing revenue up 15% over prior year

6.    Total Operating expenses for the quarter were 1.2 billion which is an increase of 9% over the prior year adjusted results.

What’s in the future for Visa? Well, in their own  words: “We are accelerating opportunities to expand our network through mobile, ecommerce and data-driven solutions, while continuing to deliver value to our shareholders”. Also, remember Visa(V) is another international company (can you tell I love going international?!)

**If you want to see the full report including financial statements and further detail click on the source noted above.

I see V as a quality stock and a quality company and I am a proud shareholder. However, remember that no company comes without some kind of risk and when it comes to visa, MasterCard, Amex, discover, whatever you may have-- these companies run the risk of lawsuits and/or penalties triggered by regulations of government officials whom fight for consumer rights and may feel that some of the fees may be unreasonable or even illegal and not in accordance with regulations.

Hence, it is important to keep an eye out for that kind of risk which may affect a company’s bottom line and stock price.  However, these companies generate so much cash that the risk is not as alarming and for the most part they are quite aware of that risk and remain prepared. However, when it comes to investing we must always remain informed so that we are never caught off guard!

Thanks for Reading!

Tell me, how many cards with the Visa logo do you have in your wallet?

Disclaimer: this is not a recommendation to invest in V. It is my personal opinion. Do not invest or cease to invest solely on the information found on this blog post.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Earnings Commentary: MCD (McDonalds)

Source: Google Images
I have to admit this post may be a little bias as I am a big fan of MCD stock. I see it as a stable, long term investment with healthy returns over time. I am particularly obsessed with their hefty dividends which have been on the rise since 1977. I repeat: MCD has been increasing their dividends at least once per year since 1977! The current dividend yield for MCD is 3.18%, or $3.08 per share annually (source: dividend.com)-- Which means that every three months they pay me depending on the amount of shares I currently own – this is regardless of whether or not the stock price appreciates or depreciates.

On that note, I have to report that MCD announced second quarter earnings this past Monday and they were not up to analyst’s expectations. They missed on top and bottom lines by a small margin but it was a miss nonetheless and Wall Street doesn’t like that. Hence, by the end of the day Monday share price for Mickey-D’s had gone down slightly. As you may know, MCD is an international company. It really hit home how “international” it is during an overnight stay in Cusco,  Peru back in December 2010 (I was on my way to Machu Pichu with some great friends). Well, let’s just say Cusco is a very random town at the top of a mountain and the phrase “middle of nowhere” doesn’t even come close to how I can describe this. Well, guess what--- right in the middle of that cute little town up in the mountains of Peru was a very nice Mc Donald’s and I could not help but smile at they way American Businesses thrive everywhere!

 (actual photo! thanks google images)

Sorry to get off topic but the point of the above is to say that for this 2nd quarter MCD announced that 70% of their earnings came from outside of the US!--Which is kind of a fun fact. Always, sales were a little sluggish in Europe, Asia pacific and other areas of the world which took a hit on their bottom line.
As any company out there, MCD executives have to find “creative” ways to remain competitive. One of the ways this is done is by cutting costs in their operations in order to save money and transfer those savings to earnings. However, there is only so much ‘cutting’ they can do and they have to find other ways such as creating new products for customers and/or boosting advertising of new and existing products. Lets just say these past three months were obviously not that great on their mission to beat earnings.
Also—remember that competition is always alive and well and they are not the only fast food place in this world. Besides other similar restaurants like Wendy’s or Burger King, MCD also faces the competition of ‘healthier alternatives’ for the consumer such as chipotle and Panera.  

Well, guess what—regardless of their less than favorable announcement I still feel strongly about this amazing company which was in existence wayyyy before I was born and will likely be here long after I leave this wonderful world. Hence, I remain long on Mickey D’s and look forward to their next quarter results. They have not disappointed me.
Price per share on Friday 07/19 (before the earnings report): $100.27
Price per share at the closing bell on Monday (after earning report): $97.58
Price per share as I type this: $96.94

Thanks for reading! Next time you are sitting at MCD eating a burger and fries remember that it is more than a burger--- is a corporation and whether you are getting something off the dollar menu or at regular price, you are contributing to that company’s bottom line. Now you have something productive to chat about with your friends while you chow down that burger.

I leave you with this cool photo of different MCD locations around the world:

Source: Google Images
Additional Sources: Market Foolery Podcast 07/22

Question: Would you invest on a company like MCD? Why or why not?
Disclaimer: I currently own shares of MCD.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Earnings Commentary: Goog and Verizon

Hello again,

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I am here to share my two cents on second quarter earnings for GOOG (Google Inc.) and VZ (Verizon).  Earnings for said companies were reported this past Friday 07/19/2013.

Earnings for GOOG were not up to analyst expectations. The main issue behind the not-so-favorable earnings seems to be related to a decrease in Cost Per Click revenue. In a nutshell, cost per click refers to the average fees (or CPC’s) that companies pay Google every time someone clicks on their ads. Truth is that over 90% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising.

Although Google currently has a lot of exciting high-tech projects in the works, some of which have been recently launched;  the bottom line is that we have to focus on the present moment and at the present time bulk of the revenue comes from advertising.

The decrease in ‘cost per click’ seems to be tied to the increase in people using mobile devises instead of actual desktop computers (or laptops) to go on the internet. If the amount of “actual clicks” goes down then revenue for Google in this aspect will tend to go down as well (interesting how the popularity of one thing can significantly affect rate of usage for another). The good news is that the decline in cost per click was only 2% in comparison to last quarter’s decline of 4% which shows an improvement. However it’d be interesting to know what is behind this improvement and important to keep an eye on this trend on subsequent quarters for google as the usage of mobile devises continues to increase exponentially faster than we can say Mississippi. Would you agree?

On a personal level, I still feel strongly about this stock and is another one of my long term acquisitions. The truth is that Google remains the #1 search engine site in the US (and some places abroad) with minimal competition (Yahoo! Comes in as a far second). Although many analysts believe it is currently fairly priced (trading at $909.69 as I type this) price is a little bit too high for me to continue adding to my position. Hence, I will maintain a HOLD position for now. Looking forward to seeing how goog continues to evolve and finds creative ways to remain well ahead of any competition. I remain bullish on this stock.

Something to add: In an effort to diversify their business and remain competitive; goog recently acquired Motorolla and has launched smart phones, tablets and laptops. The other day I passed by Best Buy and noticed a “google” station which I found pretty cool:

Has anyone else seen it? What are your thoughts?
Fun fact: Currently less than 10% of Goog’s revenue comes from anything other than advertising but this may very well change in the future.

I am happy to share that Verizon Communications reported some pretty amazing news during their most recent earnings announcement for second quarter 2013. Verizon pretty much presented increases in all favorable areas. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye the most (Courtesy ofInvestor Relations at Verizon.com):

• Cash flow from operating activities totaled $17.1 billion in first-half 2013, compared with $15.3 billion in first-half 2012.

• Operating income increased 16.0 percent, to $6.6 billion in second-quarter 2013, compared with $5.7 billion in second-quarter 2012. Operating income margin was 22.0 percent in second-quarter 2013, compared with 19.8 percent in second-quarter 2012.

• Consolidated EBITDA (non-GAAP, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased 9.5 percent year over year, totaling $10.7 billion in second-quarter 2013.

• Total operating revenues in second-quarter 2013 were $29.8 billion, a 4.3 percent increase compared with second-quarter 2012.

In terms of costs or expenses to keep an eye on it is important to mention that VZ plans to increase their capital spending guidance from $16.2 billion to $16.4/$16.6 billion for full year 2013 as the company anticipates higher demand for wireless data consumption and as it begins deployment of Advanced Wireless Services during the second half of this year. * Capital Expenditures increased by .2 billion from first half of 2012 to first half of 2013.

Isnt it interesting that Goog is “suffering” due to the increase in mobile use while Verizon’s revenue is up because of that same reason? (although they will have to incur some expenses as this demand increases, as previously noted). Interesting how everything connects one way or another on a general spectrum.

Personal thoughts: Considering all the favorable news on Verizon quarter after quarter I remain bullish on the stock. And again, is a long term addition to my portfolio. I am not adding any additional shares at the present moment but remain optimistic on Verizon’s future. The stock is currently trading at $50.24 per share. I’ve also been a Verizon customer for over 10 years! (pretty insane) and its service is bar to none in comparison to other phone companies so I’ll have to stick with this one for a bit although I do complain to my friends about my Verizon bill from time to time (full disclosure here! Ha!).
FYI-- *As of end of trading day today (7/22/13) both, GOOG & VZ,  are up in price in comparison to their adjusted closing price from Friday 07/19.
Thanks for reading!!

Tell me, what are YOUR thoughts on companies like Verizon and Google?

Additional Sources:
Montley Fool: Google
Yahoo! Finance

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Earnings Results Review: KO & JNJ

Here I am to share the results from two stocks in my portfolio. Please note that 2nd quarter earnings for the following companies came out yesterday (07/16/13):

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Coca Cola (KO)

Ive held Coke for several years and JNJ is a fairly new acquisition to my portfolio. I just quickly want to point out that those stocks were purchased for the long term. Both are very solid companies with strong financials that have been around FOREVER. Coca cola’s sole major competition is Pepsi meanwhile JNJ makes products that we need no matter what is going on in the world. Hence, those are just a couple of the reasons why I made a decision to purchase shares in those companies and why I plan to be with them for the long term. 

Another huge plus is that they both pay dividends. Meaning, I get cash from them every 3 months. The money I receive is based on the amount of shares I hold. Coca Cola pays 0.28 per share every 3 months while JNJ pays 0.66 cents (source: dividend.com). The more shares you have, the more you get in dividends. But anyway, I will talk more in length about dividends in a future post. It is something I want to talk about in length because its quite amazing. So stay tuned!

For now here is the low down on KO and JNJ:


 News from management was not that great. Second quarter profit fell by 4% due to weak volume growth. Shares were down about 2% the morning of the earnings announcement (usually a great time to buy if you plan to increase your position in a particular stock which you plan to hold long term). The interesting part about the earnings announcement is that they blamed their "not so great" quarter on the weather. Please keep in mind that Coke is an international company (meaning it sells worldwide!) apparently there was a lot of rain and not enough heat around certain parts of the universe and hence this had an effect on the bottom line at the end of the quarter. At the end of the day-- I am still holding KO and a bad quarter does not make me want to sell by any means. I didnt buy any new shares this time around and I am just maintaining a HOLD on my current shares. I may increase my position at another time when the opportunity presents itself again.

As I write this, the stock is trading at $40.87 (Already more than $1 increase since the earnings were announced) a stock like this is golden in my book. This just come to show you that a not so good quarter is really nothing to worry about when it comes to a company like Coca Cola. 


Management on this stock came with amazing news! Just some of the highlights:
  • Second quarter revenue came in at $17.9 billion-- up 8.5% in comparison to the second quarter of 2012.
  • Sales beat analyst expectations by .2 billion!
  • Net earnings for the quarter came at $3.8 billion 
  • Revenue is up 32% over one year which is quite significant.
Current stock price: $90.23 per share.

For more highlights on JNJ's earning's results click here. (Note: The Motley Fool website is one of my tools when I am researching updates on my stocks and a great resource).
Goes without saying that JNJ is doing pretty well. The bottom line is that JNJ is a diverse company with multiple divisions and they are a leader in sales of items that every household needs from moisturizer to advil!! Another factor that's added in to these favorable earnings is the fact that they havent had any recalls on their products in a while!! Keep up the great work JNJ!.

I will remain steady with my positions in both companies. I haven't purchased any new shares recently but may consider it in the future in order to continue strengthening my position in both companies which are part of my value portfolio.
Disclosure: I currently hold positions in both, JNJ & KO.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lovin' Earnings Season

Hey everyone! I apologize as I've been neglecting the blog for a bit. Sometimes life events get in the way. But nonetheless, here I am to talk about one of my favorite times in the stock-market "cycle": Earnings Season!

So, why do I enjoy earnings season so much?! Well, is a time when the management of the beloved stocks in our portfolios or of the stocks in our radar get a chance to share with the whole world how the company is doing and how it has performed from one quarter to the next. I would say is kinda' like a report card which comes every 3 months and we get to see how wonderful (or maybe not so wonderfully) the companies where we have stocks are being managed (among other things). 

As I continue to target this blog to those with limited knowledge of the stock market I just want to add that earnings don't always have to do with bad management or good management. Some times is just a matter of competition among company (whats the "hot" new product), international issues that may affect the bottom line of a particular company, current homeland issues, among a gazillion other things. As I may have mentioned in the past, the market can tend to be a bit "emotional" from time to time and loves to fluctuate so, as long as you are invested in solid, strong companies for the long term and continue to be a value investor, you can sleep well at night.

I cheer with excitement when the stocks I own report amazing quarter results. Wish you could see the smile on my face as I sit in my office and get a random Bloomberg app announcement that a stock I may be watching had "better than expected results". Who doesn't love that?! 

However, remember that sometimes a "not so great" earnings results can also be an opportunity to buy new shares or something you've been watching for a while, add more shares to your current position and lower your cost basis. Or, simply keep building up your position. And if that particular company pays dividends, you can continue to enjoy the fruits of getting paid every 3 months while you wait for your beloved stock to bounce back (which is what I am doing with Coach at the current moment).

Here are the stocks on my radar for earnings season and their corresponding earning announcement dates:
**Please note this information was obtained from Yahoo! Finance so I am not 100% sure if its accurate. I received a notification that COH announced earnings this past week. However, the Yahoo! Finance date is different. I have to look in to this a little further. If anyone out there know where I can get more info on this please let me know. But for now, this is what I have. 

Company Earning Announcement
NWY (NY & Co)     8/12/2013

(Procter & Gamble)
COH (Coach) 7/29/2013







(Johnson & Johnson)

(Coca Cola)

QUESTION: What companies interest you? whats on YOUR radar?