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Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) is one of the leading consumer staples companies in the world. But the question is, whether consumer staples are a good place to be in today’s market.
Generally, consumer staples companies are “safety” stocks. That means they usually outperform other consumer-oriented stocks when the economy is slow or weakening.
And given the strong start to 2018, that’s hardly the case in the U.S. market and many stock markets around the world make the U.S. gains look like quaint numbers.
This is important because CL is a global company. Its brands, Colgate, Palmolive, Tom’s, Irish Spring, Softsoap and Ajax, to name a handful, have global exposure. And it has been in the business for more than 200 years, so it has proven it can manage the worst and the best nations can throw at it.
What’s more, CL isn’t just a dividend aristocrat — a company that has raised its dividend every year for the past 25 years — it’s a dividend king.
These are companies that have raised their dividend for more than 50 years in row.
There are few stocks around that can even claim they’ve been in the markets that long, much less raising their dividend for more than half a century.
CL Stock Is a Long-Term Winner
The bottom line is that CL has built a sustainable business that can get through the good and bad times and has proven it for more than two centuries. And within that, it has not only survived the hard times, but has managed to continue to reward its investors with its rock-solid dividend.
These are rare qualities in this market.
Now, that said, consumer staples isn’t exactly the sexiest or fastest growing sector you could invest in today. As a matter of fact, consumer staples companies aren’t really in favor right now, since their slow and steady style is not what most investors are looking for.
But for smart investors, this is the perfect time to buy, precisely because the sector was out of favor.
In the past 12 months, CL stock has gained about 15%, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t keeping up with some of the Dow Joneses. And its reliable 2.1% dividend isn’t compelling enough to draw yield hunters.
Add to that its recent Q4 earnings release. Earnings and revenue were down, but they were expected to be. Certainly, that’s cold comfort, and the stock sold off on the news. It’s off 3% in the past week.
Bottom Line on CL Stock
Naturally, investors are questioning whether now is the time to walk away and put money to work somewhere else or if it’s time to buy in at this lower price in the expectation that CL will turn it around.
Considering its long track record of finding opportunity where little existed and its slow and steady nature — versus the current quarter-to-quarter view of most analysts and investors — CL stock is a solid long-term buy.
Investors looking for a foundation growth stock with one of the most reliable dividends in the stock market would be wise to choose Colgate stock.
— Richard Band