With the continuing rebound of the global economy for a fourth consecutive year, corporate revenues and profits are at record highs. U.S. multinational corporations, which have substantial operations abroad, are very well positioned for the expansion in the number of middle class consumers in the developing markets. While there is some weakness in developed economies of Europe, the long-term trends of rapid growth in emerging market economies will be more than sufficient to boost activity on a global basis. There certainly are benefits to having truly global operations, as economies fare on different cycles.
For example, in the late 1990’s, many emerging markets in such as Russia experienced negative growth and high inflation. The Asian financial crisis in the mid to late 1990’s also affected many countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Hong-Kong. In the 2000’s however, the Russian economy expanded. The Asian economies have been growing as well, fueled by China and India.
I expect the following companies to benefit from the rise of the middle class in emerging markets due to their strong brand names and because of their status:
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), a beverage company, engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. Some of the best opportunities for Coca-Cola include the emerging markets of India and China, with their 2 billion plus consumers. In the US, consumers take around 400 servings of Coke products per year. In China however, consumers take just 34 servings of Coke products per year. This figure is even lover for India with 11 servings per year. The company is trading at 19.50 times earnings and yields 2.80%. This dividend king has managed to boost distributions for 50 years in a row. (analysis)
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of a range of branded consumer packaged goods. The company is positioned very well for the increase in number of middle-class consumers in the emerging market world. As more consumers worldwide increase their disposable incomes, they would be introduced and able to spend more on items that the typical American consumer takes for granted today. It also has a stable recurring revenues in the developed countries in North America and Europe, which grow more slowly, but provide stable cash flow. The company is trading at 17.10 times earnings and yields 3%. This dividend king has managed to boost distributions for 56 years in a row. (analysis)
Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. While the number of smokers in the developed world has been flat to decreasing, number of smokers in the emerging markets is on the rise. In addition, legislation to ban smoking at the same levels as in the U.S. are at least one to two decades away. The company is trading at 17.60 times earnings and yields 3.90%. Philip Morris International has managed to regularly hike dividends in every year since 2008. (analysis)
YUM! Brands (NYSE:YUM), together with its subsidiaries, operates quick service restaurants in the United States and internationally. Yum! has managed to outmaneuver close rival McDonald’s in China, opening 4,500 restaurants to date. The company also sees the situation in India being similar to China from ten years ago. The possibilities for strong same-store sales coupled with an increase in total number in units, provide for a stable base for explosive long-term growth for the company. The company is trading at 19.10 times earnings and yields 2.10%. YUM! Brands has managed to boost distributions for 9 years in a row.
Full Disclosure: Long KO, PG, PM, YUM