Blue chips rule in
today's stock market
with the Dow Jones industrial average outpacing the growthier
Nasdaq so far this year.
It's been awhile since that's happened, but
don't fight the trend.
Procter & Gamble (
), a member of the Dow, is up about 17% this year.
The first thing investors might consider about this
traditionally conservative play is the quality of support.
In Q1, Fidelity Contrafund opened a new position in Procter
& Gamble. Fidelity Balanced Fund upped its position about 2%,
and Fidelity Magellan Fund jacked up its position 49%.
If funds that are known for bold management are buying
P&G, individual investors should probably take notice.
Few stocks show steadier earnings growth than P&G, the
holder of top brands such as Charmin toilet paper, Pampers
diapers, Bounty paper towels and Tide detergent.
Procter's three- and five-year Earnings Stability Factors are
1 and 2. The scale runs from 0 (calm) to 99 (erratic).
Profit margins also are steady. In the past nine years, pretax
margin has varied from 17% to 19%.
Return on equity, a gauge of financial efficiency, was 17.4%
last year, a more than respectable percentage.
On Monday, the company announced it was raising the quarterly
dividend from 56.2 cents a share to 60.15 cents a share. The
company has increased its dividend 57 consecutive years.
The current annualized yield is 3%.
P&G's largest customer isWal-Mart Stores (
), which accounted for 14% of net sales in fiscal 2012 ended in