Eq: Large Cap

(New York)

Despite all the headlines to the contrary, beware of dividend stocks right now. On the surface, dividend stocks look attractive at present, as falling rates make their yields look more attractive. However, picking the wrong ones can be very costly. For instance, the most commonly held high dividend stocks are from blue chips. The problem there is their growth is usually weak and they generally have weaker valuations than the market.


FINSUM: The wrong dividend stocks could go very badly in the current environment, so it will be wise to have a very particular strategy.

(Seattle)

Fedex and Amazon are in the middle of an ugly spot. Anyone paying attention over the last few years will be aware of the “frenemy” relationship between Amazon and logistics providers, as the company offers a lot of business but hammers margins and is stealing away business with its own shipping network. Well, Fedex finally said enough is enough and decided against renewing its ground shipping contract with Amazon. Therein lies opportunity, however, as it should offer UPS a lot more business.


FINSUM: This is a bold move by Fedex. We expect it will hit revenue slightly, but probably not wound profits too badly. It could give UPS and USPS a boost.

(New York)

Buyback stocks have developed a poor reputation recently. Stock buybacks are seen as financially irresponsible and a way for executives to manipulate earnings and share prices. While that may be true to a degree, they also happen to be a great way for companies to return money to shareholders. Additionally, and what is not well understood, is that buyback stocks have a great track record historically. Since 1995, the one hundred S&P 500 stocks with the highest level of buybacks have significantly outperformed the index, earning a 13% return versus the index’s 10%. The same is true for the Russell 3000, so it is not just a case of buybacks working for large caps.


FINSUM: Yes, buybacks may be at their highest total levels historically, but they are flat as a percentage of earnings, so buying hasn’t been any less conservative than in the past. The other good thing is that buyback stocks are usually cheaper than average.

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