Odds ‘n Ends – Conservative Portfolio (Part 1)

ConservativeHere are some recent updates for those positions in thebuttonwoodproject’s conservative portfolio:

  • Swiss power and automation technology leader ABB, Ltd. won orders worth $180 million in 2013 to supply its Azipod XO electric propulsion units to six new cruise liners, marking its best ever year for orders in the industry with the system. ABB has supplied the systems on board Norwegian Cruise Liners, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival. Azipod is an electric propulsion unit which is housed in a submerged pod outside the ship hull. The system eliminates the need for rudders, stern transversal thrusters or long shaft lines inside the ship’s hull.
  • In addition to CVS Caremark’s joint venture project with Cardinal Health, there are less than two weeks until Christmas, and shoppers looking to finish checking off their gift lists without the hassle of crowds can conveniently turn to CVS/pharmacy’s more than 7,600 stores nationwide. From classic decorations to outfit their home, to stocking stuffers and unexpected gifts like a wine cabinet, customers can easily find everything they need for a festive holiday season, while staying in budget.
  • Coca-Cola’s familiar service vans are getting a makeover just in time for the New Year. Coke is converting all of it’s newly purchased 2014 Chevrolet Express service vans into fuel-efficient hybrid-electric vehicles using XL Hybrids’ innovative powertrain technology. Coca-Cola currently operates the largest heavy-duty hybrid-electric delivery fleet in North America and said that the updated vans will be traversing roads across the country by year’s end.
  • Colgate-Palmolive is maintaining its global lead in toothpaste and toothbrushes as market share has increased to 45.4% and 33.3%, respectively. CL continues to outperform rivals, especially in emerging markets.
  • The maker of medical, industrial and commercial products and services, Danaher Corp. reaffirmed its Q4 and FY13 guidance for earnings per share and said it expects 2014 net earnings will be in the range of $3.60 to $3.75, on core revenue growth of between 2% and 4%. For 2014, analysts on average expect earnings per share of $3.81 and revenue of $20.1 billion. For 2013, DHR said it still expects Q4 earnings of $0.91 to $0.96 per share compared to the $0.96 per share average estimate and full year estimates of $3.37 to $3.42 compared to the $3.41 consensus. That will put shares – currently priced at $74 – at a multiple of about 21.5, a bit higher than its long-term average of 18.
  • Deere & Co. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $8 billion of additional common stock along with its regular quarterly dividend of $0.51, yielding 2.4%. With the Farm Bill in the House a year overdue, it has held back DE shares pending an outcome. Nonetheless, global food consumption should increase demand for crops and the machines that Deere provides to farmers.

Tomorrow I will report on Oracle, Schlumberger, 3M Co. and United Parcel Service.

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