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General Mills & Chevron in Spotlight on Earnings and Oil's Crash

Stocks were in turmoil once again Thursday, with Wall Street extending its post-Fed meeting selloff well into afternoon trading hours. The Nasdaq entered bear market territory, just one stock in the Dow was green on the day, and the S&P 500 approached 18-month lows.

That said, one of the stocks featured in today's video, General Mills GIS , was clinging to marginal gains, just one day after rallying 5% on the back of an earnings beat.

The consumer staples giant posted better-than-expected profits, acquisition-backed revenue growth, and maintained guidance on Wednesday. That report sent shares bouncing off their five-year lows-a much-needed bit of reprieve for the battered stock.

Now, with the near-term direction of the broader market in serious question, General Mills hopes to stick out from the pack. Its results show that concerns about business conditions were overblown, and its 5% dividend yield looks like an interesting place camp out while volatility crushes momentum and growth stocks.

And if General Mills can find interest from investors looking for relative safety from industries, perhaps Chevron CVX can too. The energy behemoth, along with many other major stocks from the sector, sunk lower this week after oil prices crashed. But CVX is likely better prepared for a sub-$50 prices than, say, a Permian Basin E&P, so will its strong dividend yield keep investors in the game?

Well, earnings estimates for Chevron have been trending downward. That's to be expected, as lower oil prices put some pressure on the bottom line. That's not the trend we like to see in any company, but we also need to understand that things play out differently in each individual industry.

The reality is that Chevron's dividend is healthy, its valuation is cheap, and it will likely hold up better at current oil levels than many of the other options in the industry. If you're holding energy stocks right now, this one might be your best bet.

Note: Ryan holds positions in General Mills and Chevron in the Zacks Income Investor portfolio service.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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