I’d be willing to be dollars to donuts that U.S. stocks won’t repeat their first half performance–up 17.4% on the Standard & Poor’s 500–in the second half of the year. It’s hard for me to find a catalyst that isn’t already priced into the market–from interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve to an agreement to end the U.S.-China trade war to Goldilocks growth of 2% with inflation below 2%. My opinion is that the second half of the year is likely to see a consolidation of the gains of the first half with U.S. stocks wandering but not finishing much higher than they are now.
Which is why I’ve been looking for value stocks lately, especially value stocks that pay dividends.
And that’s why I made DuPont (DD) the third pick in my Special Report 5 Value Stocks for a Market Near All-time Highs on my subscription JubakAm.com site, and why I’ll be adding it to my 50 Stocks Portfolio on July 8. (In the original version of this post I said I was adding the shares to my Dividend Portfolio. As you’ll note in this correction below DuPont will pay only a 1.63% forward dividend instead of a 4.07% trailing dividend so while I still like the stock for its business fundamentals, it doesn’t make the grade on yield for the Dividend Portfolio.)
DuPont shares closed at $75.82 today, July 1, and pay a 1.63% dividend. The stock trades at 9.33 times trailing 12-month earnings per share and at 15.75 times projected forward earnings. Morningstar calculates that the stock was 19% undervalued on July 1. (Please note the correction here: In my July 1 version of this post I incorrectly wrote that the dividend was 4.07%. That was the trailing dividend–the company declared a 30 cent per share dividend on June 27 for payment in September. That works out to a 1.63% forward dividend.)
DuPont is the third company–along with Corteva (CTVA), a seed and agricultural chemicals company, and Dow (DOW), a commodity chemicals company–to spin out from the merger of DuPond and Dow after the reorganization of the two companies into three sector verticals.
DuPont is the speciality chemicals vertical of the spin off. During its 200-year history it has specialized in the research and development of patented chemicals such as Lycra, Kevlar, Teflon, and Tyvek (a building moisture and insulation barrier.) It’s future depends on the company’s researchers continuing to develop new chemicals to replace those that go off patent.
On my projections that future looks very reasonably priced. The company is working with automakers to develop new lighter plastic parts to replace heavily metal components. In electronics and imaging, the company is exposed to the growth of electronic components in cars. (DuPont generates 50% more revenue per electric car versus an internal combustion vehicles.) DuPont is also the second largest industrial enzyme producer with a 20% global market share behind Novozymes. Industrial enzymes are increasingly used to turn plant materials into fuel, chemicals, and food.
I think its reasonable to forecast low- to mid-single-digit compound annual organic sales growth during the next five years, slightly outgrowing the global economy. Operating margins are likely to expand slightly to the mid-20% range over the next five years. The auto industry accounts for about 15% of sales with no other end-market making up more than 5%. That provides the company with diversification that makes sales and earnings relatively less volatile.