Can General Electric Return to its Previous Blue-Chip Dividend Growth Stock?


General Electric (GE) has announced a strategy and new focus to be the world’s best infrastructure and Technology Company.  Already in 2014, the company has announced that they have taken significant steps to reshape and refocus their portfolio.  In the future the company has a stated goal to achieve 75% of their earnings from their industrial business by 2016.  The recent announcement to divest their appliance business appears to support their objectives. […]

Should EMC Corp Break Itself Apart?: FAST FUNdamental Analysis


On Monday a Wall Street Journal article reported that the hedge fund Elliott Management Corp has taken a more than $1 billion stake in EMC Corp (EMC) and revealed that it intends to petition the company to break itself apart.  Elliott believes that this would unlock shareholder value.  Implicit in that thesis would be the idea that EMC Corp is not receiving full value from the market.  This article is offered as an in-depth analysis of the fundamental value of EMC Corp in relation to how the market is evaluating its business. […]

AT&T: Compelling Even Without Growth

  • AT&T is one of the largest and most recognized companies in the world.
  • Due to its size, the overall expected growth prospects are rightfully subdued.
  • Yet this fact alone does not preclude AT&T from being a reasonable investment opportunity.

AT&T (T) traces its roots back to 1876 with Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. Since that time “Ma Bell” was forced to split into “baby bells,” rearranged via divestitures and mergers and today ultimately stands as the “new” AT&T since 2005 when SBC Communications acquired AT&T Corp.  Despite moving through 130+ years of history, the company still maintains the same basic business model: connecting people. […]

Taking A “FUN” Look At Kimberly-Clark

  • Kimberly-Clark is a storied company and often a reasonable investment opportunity based on ordinary metrics.
  • Frequently investors view these few basic metrics and come to an investment decision.
  • With this article we would like to highlight additional fundamental data on this specific company that that might be useful.

If you’ve ever had a baby, a cold or used a restroom (not necessarily in that order) you likely have a pretty good idea what Kimberly-Clark (KMB) does. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, this consumer care company sells products in more than 175 countries with 5 billion dollar brands including: Huggies, Kotex, Scott, Pull-Ups and Kleenex. With a history dating back over 140 years, the company now employs 58,000 people worldwide. […]

Medtronic-A Lesson On Reasonableness Despite New Highs

  • People tend to lump all companies together as “stocks” and today the general characterization is that stocks are “expensive.”
  • While it is true that Medtronic is at an all-time high price, this certainly doesn’t translate to an all-time high valuation.
  • As such, many might be inadvertently passing over perfectly investable opportunities.

Everyone is keenly aware the current market situation, right? The broader indices are at all-time highs and thus prices should fall, and partnership decisions made today ought to come with a “caution: danger ahead” label.  Perhaps, but we would like to remind the reader that it is not a stock market so much as it is a market of stocks. As a fundamental example of this, we thought it might be interesting to look at the past relationship of share price and earnings for medical device maker Medtronic (MDT). […]

Microsoft: The Progression Of A Maturing Business

  • Everyone is well aware of Microsoft’s storied historical growth record, which provides a classic case to watch a company progress into the maturation phase.
  • As a result of this slower growth, one might be inclined to believe that an investment thesis today is “late to the party.”
  • While it is true that the dynamics and capital attention of the business have changed, this does not necessarily rule out the possibility for a reasonable investment.

Everyone is keenly aware of the $300+ billion dollar company that is Microsoft (MSFT). From the classic Windows and Office products to the latest Xbox and Skype, the business doesn’t exactly need an introduction. In fact, it’s quite likely that you are using or near a Microsoft product now; we used a couple just to get this article to you. So instead of providing a generic opening, we thought it might be interesting to highlight the company with some numbers.  There are 1.3 billion people that use Windows everyday and 1 in 7 of the world’s population use Office. Skype represents one third of the worldwide phone traffic and Outlook has 400 million users. Internet Explorer’s usage share is over 56%. In other words, large is a bit of an understatement. […]

Chicago Bridge & Iron: A Solid Company With An “Out Of Whack” Dividend

By means of introduction, the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CBI) is an energy infrastructure firm and a major provider of government services. We’d give you three guesses as to where and how the company began, but we don’t believe you’d need that many: Chicago Bridge & Iron was founded in 1889 in Chicago, Illinois being initially involved in bridge design and construction. Since that time Chicago Bridge & Iron has expanded into one of the world’s largest engineering, procurement and construction companies focusing on the global energy industry – today employing about 55,000 people. […]

U.S. Bancorp: Don’t Forget About This Fair Valued Bank

If you were to survey the field to name major banks, we’re guessing that U.S. Bancorp (USB) wouldn’t top too many lists. Instead, the likes of J.P. Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) or Citigroup (C) would probably come to mind. Yet with $361 billion in assets, the Minneapolis based U.S. Bank holding company comes in as the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. It operates over 3,000 banking offices with nearly 5,000 ATMs in 25 states – providing banking, brokerage, insurance, investment and payment services to consumers, businesses and institutions.   […]

The Buckle: Something “Special” For Your Portfolio

Here’s an interesting bit of investing trivia: had an investor picked up shares of The Buckle (BKE) – a midscale casual apparel retailer – at the company’s 2008 low, the shareholder would now have received the entire amount of their original contribution back in the form of dividends. Think about that – in just under 6 years your capital risk would effectively be zeroed out because all of your cash would in back “in your pocket.” Furthermore, shares are now worth nearly 3 times as much today as they were back then. […]

Johnson Controls: Back To Consistency?

Johnson Controls (JCI) traces its roots back to an interesting bit of history. One hundred and thirty-one years ago, Warren Johnson was a professor in Whitewater, Wisconsin. It was here that he invented and installed the first electric tele-thermoscope – known today as the thermostat – in his classrooms. The invention served a dual purpose: it kept his students more comfortable and put an end to the hourly interruptions from the janitor checking the rooms’ temperature. Of course we can’t confirm this, but it would be our guess that Professor Warren was a regular student favorite.   […]