The higher the market goes, the more the valuation on the top growth stocks expands and moves away from traditional metrics. Despite the often constant hand-wringing in the financial media that we are on the verge of a dramatic sell-off, history shows us that typically, horrific 10% and more sell-offs are usually located much closer to an economy at or close to recession. While hardly overheated, the economy is chugging along at a slow, but sure pace.
In the September update on their Quality Growth at a Reasonable Price (QGARP) portfolio, the UBS analysts offer a thorough look at current premium valuations for some of the top stocks in the QGARP universe. What they found was that while some of the holdings were trading richer than current S&P 500 benchmark multiples, they were cheaper to their peers than in past years. Their conclusion is the reasonably priced growth stocks are historically cheaper now than they have been in some time.
We scanned the UBS update for the five highest yielding stocks in the current portfolio.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is still a top name this year on Wall Street, and forward valuation may be the main call at UBS for membership in the high conviction dividend list and the QGARP portfolio. While the company is forging ahead with the new 737 Max and 767 models, continued problems with the 787 Dreamliners still plague the aerospace giant, but at least they look closer to a more complete resolution. Investors are paid a 2.3% dividend. The UBS price target for the aerospace giant is $153. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $152.73. The stock closed Tuesday at $127.32.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and its biggest shareholder remains iconic investor Warren Buffett. The company raised its dividend by 9% this year, its 52nd annual dividend increase. While sales growth has been sluggish over the past year, UBS believes the company is taking the right strategic action to reinvigorate revenue growth. Investors are paid a solid 2.93% dividend. The UBS price target is $45. The consensus target is $45.26. Shares closed Tuesday at $41.64.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD), or DuPont, had outstanding earnings for the second quarter and is benefiting from the strong resurgence in manufacturing growth in the United States and abroad. DuPont fits into the diversified conglomerate category, in addition to its huge chemical business and other product silos. The company has been under pressure lately from activist shareholders to split the company in two to enhance value. Shareholders are paid a solid 2.85% dividend. The UBS price target is $72. The consensus target is $68.40, and DuPont closed Tuesday at $65.83.
Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) was a new addition to the UBS equity focus list in August and is also a member of the QGARP portfolio. The financial services company has strong positions in both equity exchange traded funds and actively managed equity funds, and it is well-positioned to capitalize on inflows into both segments, as well as higher asset prices. Investors are paid a 2.45% dividend. The UBS price target is $43. The consensus target is a touch higher at $44.18. The shares closed Tuesday at $40.61.
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a top technology stock on the QGARP list and was also added to the UBS Dividend Ruler list in the summer. Despite all the positives, not the least of which is the release of the new Apple iPhone 6, the company is under investigation for unfair business practices by the Chinese government, an investigation some on Wall Street see leading to changes in Qualcomm’s business practices. The headline risk may be just the ticket for investors looking to add this quality company at a lower price. Investors are paid a 2.21% dividend. The UBS price target is $88, and the consensus target is $83.86. Qualcomm closed trading Tuesday at $75.71.
Combining solid growth stocks that are trading below their historical multiple premiums with income from dividends that are paid and increased regularly is a growth and income investment plan that has a solid future.