How to analyze investment opportunities?

I have discussed before my criteria for screening dividend stocks. The screen narrows down the list of companies to look into more detail, to a more manageable level. In addition, it makes you focus on a set of companies with minimum set of earnings and dividend growth characteristics which are cheaper. Therefore, you would avoid looking at Automatic Data Processing (ADP) at 26 times earnings that yields 2.50%, and instead focus on researching the likes of Chevron (CVX) at 10.70 times earnings that yield 3.40%.

However, it is very important to avoid being short-sighted in regards to stock screens. This is due to the fact that data could not be fed correctly, or it might be misrepresented in the database you are using. For example, some companies usually record one-time adjustments to earnings. Any astute dividend investor should know to exclude these one-time items from the calculation of price earnings ratios. Back in 2010, Coca-Cola had to record a one-time gain on the acquisition of Coca Cola Enterprises North American Bottling Operations. As a result, the stock appeared as a much better bargain in comparison to PepsiCo (PEP). However, this was an illusion, made possible by the one time gain discussed earlier.

The opposite also happens, where a onetime adjustment could push earnings so low, that the P/E ratio and dividend payout ratios scream avoid. In reality, if a one-time adjustment should be taken out, it would usually show that the stock might be a good opportunity.

This is why simply relying on a stock screen to find ideas is not sufficient. This is also why astute dividend investors should research every prospective buy candidate one at a time.

For every company I look at, I focus on several quantitative factors to begin with:
1) Rising earnings per share over the past decade
2) Rising dividends per share over the past decade
3) A stable and sustainable dividend payout ratio
4) Returns on Equity that are stable over time

I also try to read the annual report, and quarterly press releases from the company. There is usually a lot of information, but not all of it can be actionable. I usually try to understand the company’s business while reading reports.However, the thing I am most interested in is trying to determine if there are catalysts for growth in earnings. Only a company that manages to grow earnings per share over time, will be able to afford to increase distributions for its loyal shareholders.

Companies can grow earnings by selling more products, creating new products and services, expanding in new markets, increasing prices, cutting costs, squeezing out inefficiencies, buying back stock, acquiring competitors to name just a few ways. Sometimes, companies can manage to grow earnings per share through a combination of all of the above. For example, Coca-Cola (KO) can earn much more per share, if it manages to convince the average consumer in China and India to drink as many servings of its product as the average US consumer. The average US customer consumes 401 servings of Coca-Cola product every year, compared to 39 in China and 14 in India.

I usually like to see companies which offer a product or service which is unique, and results in repeatable sales to consumers. I also look for companies that have strong brand names for products or services, which are pursued by a fan base of loyal customers. If the customers really like your product or service, and cannot get it anywhere else due to various reasons, you can have very good pricing power. This could be extremely profitable, if there is a limited amount of government regulation. This is referred to as the business having a moat, or strong competitive advantages.

For example, consumers who like Coca-Cola, would be much less likely to buy a Pepsi (PEP). Therefore, if a store does not offer Coke, customers are likely to go to another store to purchase their daily fix. The same is true for other branded products like Hershey (HSY) bars for example.

原文出處:http://www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com/2014/04/how-to-analyze-investment-opportunities.html

如何分析投資機會?

之前我曾討論過我篩選配息股票的標準。我縮小了企業列表以便找到更詳細的資料,做更有效的管理。此外,它讓你專注於在一些具最低收益與股息增長特色的廉價公司。因此,你會避掉市盈率26倍,股息收益率2.5%的Automatic Data Processing (ADP)公司,而專注在10.7倍市盈率3.4%的股息收益率的Chevron(CVX)股票上。

然而,避免過於短視關注在股票螢幕上是很重要的。這是由於,資料可能無法被正確的傳輸進去或是有可能被你正在使用的數據庫所曲解。舉個例來說,有些公司常記錄的一次性調整盈利。任何精明的配息投資者都應該知道從市盈率的計算中排除那些一次性的項目。追溯到2010年,可口可樂(Coca-Cola)曾經記錄一次性收益收購可口可樂企業北美瓶裝業務。如照此結果判讀,其股票比同業的百事可樂(PEP)具更好的交易條件。然而,這只是個假象,造成像稍前所提到的一次性收益。

相對的也有可能會發生,用一次性的調節使盈利降低來避開驚人的P/E 比率和股利支付率。在現實中,如果一次性調節必須被排除通常顯示該股票可能處在一個好機會點。

這就是為什麼單純的靠在螢幕去找靈感是不足的。這也是為什麼精明的股息投資者應該同時研究每一支潛在績優股。

每間我所研究過的公司,我都會專注從幾個固定的因素開始去研究 :

1.)    過去十年每股的營利率成長

2.)   過去十年每股的股息成長

3.)   穩定且可持續的配息率

4.)   穩定的股東權益報酬率(ROE)

我也嘗試閱讀年報及公司的新聞發佈。通常可以得到大量的信息,但並非所有資訊的都是可操作的。我常藉由閱讀財報去了解一間公司的業務。然而讓我最感興趣的是從中去推定是否有使營收成長的因素在裡頭。一間公司只有隨著時間增長每股的盈餘,才能負擔的起增加分配給其忠誠的股東。

公司可以透過銷售更多的產品、創新的產品和服務、拓展市場、提高價格、降低成本、提高效能、買回庫藏股、收購競爭對手等方法來使營收成長。有時,企業可以同時藉由管理上述所有方式來增長每股收益。舉個例來說,可口可樂可以藉由說服中國與印度的消費者達到像美國消費者一樣的平均銷售數字來使每股收益增加。目前美國消費者每年平均消耗401份可口可樂產品,在中國只有39份、印度只有14份。

我平時喜歡看那些可以不斷提供給消費者獨特性產品或技術的公司。我也會尋找知名品牌的產品或服務,這些公司往往會有一定族群的忠誠客戶或粉絲。如果顧客真的喜歡你的產品或服務,且因為各種原因無法從他處取得,你就可以擁有很好的訂價權。如果政府有設定個限定的數量,這將可能是非常有利可圖的。我們通常指這樣的事業具有護城河,或是具有強大的競爭優勢。

舉例來說,喜歡可口可樂的消費者是不太可能去買百事可樂。因此,如果一間店沒有提供可樂,消費者可能會去其它店家補充日常所需。其他品牌如賀喜巧克力 Hershey (HSY)也是如此。

(中文翻譯人員:張筱婷)內容如有錯譯,漏譯請來信指正,感謝!



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