Two Bermuda companies make Goldman’s list of ‘easy money’ stocks for 2013

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With 2013 already off to a strong start in the stock market, two Bermuda companies’ stocks are sure to get an added boost thanks to a recent recommendation by one of America’s largest investment banks.

Goldman Sachs recently named a number of stocks that could provide some easy money for investors by virtue of what the Wall Street bank calls a “social contract” — the combination of earnings appreciation due to expected share buy-backs and dividend yields.

Three of the 13 stocks listed are insurance companies and two of them are based right here in Bermuda. Number three on the list is Validus Holdings and in at number 11 is Axis Capital Holdings.

The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, which first published the Goldman Sachs list, said that provided shares remain stable or rise, stocks on the list “could be easy money for investors looking for as close to a guarantee as equities can offer”.

Prices of both Validus and Axis stock rose slightly since the Goldman Sachs list went public on Wednesday.

Validus yesterday gained 0.95 percent to close at $35.25. Axis was up 0.85 percent, closing at $36.65.

Following is the full list of Goldman’s top 13 stocks for 2013 listed by combined accretion-dividend payout:

1. Assurant Inc. is a US-based speciality insurer offering everything from property coverage to prefunded funeral insurance. Trading in the mid-$30 range, it has the highest potential earnings accretion due to share buy-backs at 13.8 percent and a dividend yield of 2.6 percent, putting its total at 16.4 percent according to Goldman. Target price now is at $45.

2. Paper miller Domtar Corp. is second on the total yield list with 15.6 percent due to a potential 13.5 percent earnings accretion from share buy-backs and 2.1 percent from dividends. Upside on the mid-$80 stock is roughly 3 percent, however.

3. Validus Holdings Ltd. is third with 10.5 percent earnings accretion and a 3.3 percent dividend yield, for a total combined 13.9 percent payoff. Based in Bermuda, the reinsurer is trading in the mid-$30 range and has a Goldman price target of $44.

4. Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. is fourth on the list with a combined 13.7 percent earnings accretion plus dividend yield. The Atlanta-based bottler of Coca-Cola is now trading in the low-$30 range and has an upside of about 19 percent, Goldman says.

5. Energy firm HollyFrontier Corp. comes in fifth place boasting an 8.4 percent dividend, more than twice that of any other company. But its relatively low 3.5 percent buy-back earnings accretion keeps the total payout at 11.9 percent. Trading in the low $40s, HollyFrontier is also considered to have the highest price upside of more than 50 percent, with a target of $69.

6. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. has a potential 11.8 percent combined earnings accretion and dividend yield, according to Goldman, making it sixth on the list. Trading in the mid-$50 range, the stock’s price target is $62.50

7. Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. takes the seventh spot with a total payout of 10.2 percent. Lowe’s could yield up to 8 percent in share-buy-back earnings accretion, Goldman says.

8. Marathon Petroleum Corp. is the second energy company on the list, and eighth overall with a combined 8.6 percent share accretion and dividend yield. The company has a relatively large potential share payoff as well, with shares in the $61 range and a price target of $87, for a 36 percent upside.

9. Ameriprise Financial Inc. is currently trading in the mid-$60 range, near its price target but it’s combined dividend-share accretion yield could reach 8.5 percent this year, Goldman says. That puts the Minneapolis-based asset-management company in ninth place.

10. Rounding out the top ten with a combined yield of 8.4 percent is railroad operator and freight hauler Norfolk Southern Corp. Goldman says the company should have a dividend yield of 3.3 percent as well as accretion payoff of 5.2 percent.

11. Bermuda-based Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. is 11th with a combined yield of 8.2 percent. The insurer offers everything from catastrophic insurance to medical malpractice, as well as reinsurance to other providers. It also has a 21 percent potential upside to its price target of $43.

12. Fifth Third Bancorp tied for 11th at 8.2 percent in total yield, Goldman says. The Cincinnati-based financial-services firm could see 5.2 percent earnings accretion from share buy-backs, according to the Wall Street firm.

13. Concluding the list at luck No. 13 is chipmaker Applied Materials Inc. — the only tech firm to make the list. With a potential 7.8 percent yield, the Santa Clara, California-based company is now trading between $11 and $12, with a Goldman price target of $13.

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Published Jan 11, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm)

Two Bermuda companies make Goldman’s list of ‘easy money’ stocks for 2013

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