Tag Archives: NYSE:JNJ

5 Useful Tips for Successful Stock Investing

Some people think stock investing is gambling. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Stock investing won’t be gambling if it’s a sure win. There is a range of concepts you can apply to increase your odds of winning.

Here are some useful tips that can make stock investing a lucrative endeavour for you.

saving, investing, and compounding
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Don’t Lose Money

This is easier said than done. To avoid losing money when you invest in stocks, first familiarize yourself with the topics around what makes a good business, fundamental analysis, and valuing a company.

I find learning about technical analysis helps. But identifying great businesses and trying not to overpay for them comes first.

Many investors share their investing strategies or why they buy or sell a stock through blogs or forums.

For instance, my friend recently invited me to join a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) group, which had a focus on dividend investing. Of course, if you have more time on your hands, pick up a bunch of books about specific investing topics from the library or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

A good book for new investors is The Single Best Investment by Lowell Miller with a focus on Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth.

You can follow the people or groups that share stock investing ideas or strategies that interest you and learn over time.

Soon, you’ll be itching to apply your knowledge. If you want a sure-fire way to not lose money, experiment with a virtual account. I bank with Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS)(NYSE:BNS).

It offers a virtual trading account in which I can buy or sell stocks on the Canadian and U.S. exchanges like in a real account, but it’s for practice only. It starts you off with $100,000-200,000 of virtual money.

Key Takeaway: Preserve your capital. You need money to invest to make you more money.

Blue sky with cloudy words saying change. Grass field in background.

Business Valuation Changes

In the previous section, I mentioned about valuing a company. If you’ve done some reading on stock investing already, you’ve probably heard that you don’t want to overpay for even the best of companies, including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), one of only two AAA-rated companies.

The most common valuation metric of a stock is the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E).

As of writing, Facebook trades at $162 per share and in 2018 it reported earnings per share of $7.57. So, its P/E based on trailing-12-month earnings is 21.4. However, its P/E was close to 60 when it first started trading. Facebook’s 2019 earnings are estimated to remain stable compared to 2018’s. That’s why the stock is trading at a lower P/E. Longer term, Facebook is currently estimated to increase its earnings per share by more than 15% per year.

There are other things that can affect a business’ valuation, such as the debt levels of a company. If company A and company B are the same except that A has more debt than B, A will have a lower price tag than B.

Key Takeaway: Business valuations change as the underlying businesses change. Typically, lower anticipated earnings growth (or worse, negative earnings growth or a net loss) will cause stocks’ valuations to drop like a rock.

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Will You Buy This Dividend Aristocrat Now Or Wait?

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) recently reported its Q4 and full year results. In 2018, it increased sales by 6.7% to $81.6 billion. Excluding divestitures/acquisitions, sales would have increased by 5.5%

A Business Overview

J&J is a globally diversified healthcare company that operates in three segments:

  1. Consumer, which includes popular brands such as Tylenol, Motrin, Neutrogena, and Aveeno;
  2. Pharmaceutical with Zitiga, Stelara, Tremfya, etc. that were key contributors to growth; and
  3. Medical Devices
Source: Author-generated pie chart with company sales data

The Pharmaceutical segment is the largest and experienced the highest sales growth of 12.4% (compared to 1.8% for Consumer and 1.5% for Medical Devices). The segment experienced market outperformance driven by double-digit growth in 10 key products.

In 2018, about 51% of its sales were in the U.S. and 49% were international (23% in Europe, 18% in Asia-Pacific and Africa, and 7% in the western hemisphere excluding the U.S.).

J&J’s blockbuster portfolio contributed nearly 47% of sales in 2018.

Source: J&J’s Q4 earnings call slides– Slide 22

The company doesn’t stop there, though. It continues to grow its portfolio via research and development (“R&D”), acquisitions and licensing, deals and partnerships, etc. In 2018, it spent about $11 billion in R&D, which was about 13% of sales and aligned with the percentage spent in 2017.

Source: J&J’s Q4 earnings call slides – Slide 23
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Retirees: How To Protect The Principal Of Your Dividend Portfolio

There are various things retirees can do to protect the principal of their dividend portfolios. At the stock level, retirees can buy quality businesses with a minimum credit rating of BBB, a strong moat, and a long history of profitability at a margin of safety. Retirees should also ensure their portfolios are sufficiently diversified and build a cash reserve to sail smoothly through market downturns.

Investment-grade rating

Looking at a company’s credit rating is one factor of quality that can be easily checked.

Companies that have manageable levels of debt, good earnings potential, and good debt-paying records will have good credit ratings. – Investopedia

A company rated as BBB or higher by Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s is considered investment grade. The higher the rating, the higher the quality. Retirees can add a layer of safety by investing in stocks that have a credit rating of BBB+ or higher.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are both awarded the strongest S&P credit rating of AAA.

Earnings or cash flow stability

Depending on the type of the company, you would want to look at its earnings or cash flow history to see how stable its profitability is and if the company tends to grow its profitability over the long run.

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