by Richard Band, editor Profitable Investing
Bargains are coming; all you need is the patience to take advantage of
them. For now, start your shopping with defensive, dividend-rich issues.
Two good Anglo-Dutch dividend payers recently got taken down a peg: Royal Dutch Shell
) and Unilever
). Both companies posted decent Q4 earnings, but there were minor warts on both reports.
Shell tallied a $278 million loss on its refining and marketing operations, somewhat more than the consensus was projecting.
not alarmed, though, because RDS is paring back its refining business,
with its notoriously volatile profit margins, in favor of a greater
commitment to exploration and production.
By 2017-2018, Shell hopes to boost its daily oil-and-gas output to 4
million barrels of oil equivalent, about a 25% increase from 2011.
the company comes anywhere close to that target, the stock should
provide an annualized return in the low double digits for folks who buy
the stock now.
Current yield, based on the new quarterly dividend
rate (86 cents per share) announced Thursday: 4.7%. I'm reinstating
my buy recommendation.
Unilever, one of the world's largest
makers of foods, soaps and other household goods, chalked up a 4% gain
in operating profits for the year—OK, but nothing to shout about.
I'm encouraged that sales to the emerging markets jumped 10.5% in 2011,
almost triple the company's growth rate in developed markets (Europe
and North America).
Over the next decade, I expect UL's
emerging-markets outreach (now 43% of total sales) to trigger a renewed
growth surge for the company. Current yield: 3.7%.
foreign withholding tax with either Royal Dutch Shell or Unilever, as
long as you buy the London-sourced shares (ticker symbols RDS.B and UL,