|SYMBOL||% OF PORTFOLIO|
|China Mobile Ltd.||941||3.5%|
|CME Group, Inc.||CME||3.0%|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||JPM||3.0%|
|Royal Dutch Shell plc - ADR||RDS/A||2.9%|
|Electricite de France S.A.||EDF||2.6%|
|Atlantia S.p.A.||ATL IM||2.6%|
|Enel S.p.A||ENEL IM||2.3%|
|Total S.A.||FP FP||2.2%|
|VALERO Energy - CORP||VLO||1.9%|
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. - ADR||TSM||1.9%|
|NN Group N.V.||NN NA||1.8%|
|Roche Holding AG||ROG||1.8%|
|Lukoil PJSC - ADR||LUKOY||1.7%|
|ING Groep N.V.||INGA NA||1.6%|
|Merck & Co., Inc.||MRK||1.5%|
|Las Vegas Sands Corp.||LVS||1.5%|
|MFA Financial, Inc.||MFA||1.5%|
|UBS Group AG||UBSG VX||1.4%|
|British American Tobacco plc||BTI||1.4%|
|The Home Depot, Inc.||HD||1.4%|
|CVS Health Corp.||CVS||1.4%|
|Vodafone Group plc||VOD LN||1.4%|
|Mining and Metallurgical Co. Norilsk Nickel PJSC ADR||MNOD LI||1.3%|
|Ares Capital Corp.||ARCC||1.3%|
|BNP Paribas S.A.||BNP||1.3%|
|Walgreens Boots Alliance||WBA||1.2%|
|Nestle S.A.||NESN VX||1.2%|
|MTN Group Ltd.||MTN||1.2%|
|Apollo Investment Corp.||AINV||1.2%|
|Novartis AG||NOVN VX||1.2%|
|LyondellBasell Industries N.V.||LYB||1.2%|
|BT Group plc||BT/A||1.1%|
|Suncor Energy Inc.||SU CN||1.1%|
|Ryanair Holdings plc||BYTBXV3||1.1%|
|Vinci S.A.||DG FP||1.0%|
|Vivendi S.A.||VIV FP||1.0%|
|Legal & General Group plc||LGEN||0.9%|
|Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.||5930||0.9%|
|Solar Capital Ltd.||SLRC||0.8%|
|Gjensidige Forsikring ASA||GJF NO||0.8%|
|Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.||ST SP||0.7%|
|DBS Group Holdings Ltd.||DBS||0.7%|
|Bouygues S.A.||EN FP||0.7%|
|Lamar Advertising Co.||LAMR||0.7%|
|Swisscom AG||SCMN VX||0.7%|
|Deutsche Telekom AG||DTE GR||0.7%|
|Hopewell Holdings Ltd.||54 HK||0.6%|
|China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation||386||0.6%|
|Koninklijke KPN N.V.||KPN||0.6%|
|BAE Systems plc||BA/ LN||0.6%|
|Crown Castle International Corp.||CCI||0.5%|
|Zurich Insurance Group AG||ZURN VX||0.5%|
|Swiss Re AG||SREN VX||0.5%|
|Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG||MUV2||0.4%|
|Baker Hughes, a GE Co.||BHGE||0.4%|
|Washington Real Estate Investment Trust||WRE||0.4%|
|Ferrovial S.A.||FER SM||0.3%|
|Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust||AREIT||0.3%|
|Innogy SE||IGY GR||0.3%|
|ProSiebenSat.1 Media S.E.||BCZM1B2||0.3%|
|Two Harbors Investment Corp.||TWO||0.3%|
|Reckitt Benckiser Group plc||RB/||0.2%|
|Jasmine Broadband Internet||JASIF/F TB||0.2%|
|China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Ltd.||144||0.1%|
|Granite Point Mortgage Trust, Inc.||GPMT||0.1%|
China Mobile is the incumbent wireless provider in China and is the world's largest wireless telecom operator with over 760 million mobile subscribers. The company holds licenses to operate nationwide 2G (GSM) and 3G (TD-SCDMA) services. China Mobile's dominant 2G network covers over 98% of the population. In its 3G network China Mobile continues to gain market share, having added over 100 million customers in 2013.
Towards the end of 2013, China Mobile was the first wireless telecom carrier in China to receive a 4G (TD-LTE) network license. The company is focused on building the infrastructure to support the 4G (TD-LTE) technology and have half a million base stations around China that will deliver continuous coverage to all cities and urban areas by the end of 2014. China Mobile may grow revenue and operating profit through driving higher data usage and 4G penetration, increasing minutes of use, managing churn, and continuing to add subscribers.
As the incumbent telecom, China Mobile benefits from significant economies of scale and a mature, cash generative, core franchise. Over the next few years capital expenditure should decrease and free cash flow generation should ramp up in a company that already pays an attractive dividend.
CME Group, Inc. operates securities and commodity exchanges. The company serves the risk management and investment needs of customers around the globe. It offers wide range of products across various asset classes based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather and real estate. Its products include both exchange traded and over-the-counter derivatives. CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its CME Globex electronic trading platform across the globe and its open outcry trading facilities in Chicago and New York City. It provides hosting, connectivity and customer support for electronic trading through its co-location services. It also provides clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts, as well as for cleared over-the-counter derivatives transactions. The company also offers a wide range of market data services-including live quotes, delayed quotes, market reports and a comprehensive historical data service and have expanded into the index services business through CME Group Index Services. CME Group was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.
Source – FactSet
JPMorgan is a diversified financial company with banking, investment banking, private banking, asset management, securities services and credit card operations. The entity is the result first of a merger between JP Morgan and Chase Manhattan and then the acquisition of BankOne by JPMorgan Chase.
The diversified nature of JPM gives it some characteristics that are different from a traditional bank. Investment banking and securities processing are impacted more by the level of activity in the financial markets than by economic strength or interest rate movements. Revenue growth in asset management and private banking is mostly a function of growth in assets under management. Credit card operations are similar to traditional banking and can benefit from the economies of scale that have resulted from combining JPMorgan Chase and BankOne.
JPM believes that its various business units can improve the profitability of each other. Loans to potential investment banking clients have the potential to help win investment banking deals and increase loan volume. There may be synergies between asset management, private banking and investment banking. However, realizing the synergies between these businesses is not easy or automatic.
Jamie Dimon is the Chairman and CEO of JPM. Dimon is one of the most respected and highly thought of managers in the financial services sector. Prior to Dimon becoming CEO, JPMorgan Chase had not delivered the results that investors hoped for. The performance of the company in navigating the liquidity crisis and credit problems associated with the housing downturn and recession of 2007-2008 appears to have been extremely favorable relative to other industry leaders and could position the company for market share gains and high profitability in the future.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc produces oil and natural gas. It operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Corporate. The Upstream segment combines the operating segments Upstream International and Upstream Americas, which have similar characteristics and are engaged in exploring for and recovering crude oil and natural gas; the liquefaction and transportation of gas; the extraction of bitumen from oil sands that is converted into synthetic crude oil; and wind energy. The Downstream segment engages in manufacturing, supply and distribution and marketing activities for oil products and chemicals; alternative energy; and CO2 management. The Corporate segment represents the support functions, comprising holdings and treasury, headquarters, central functions and its self-insurance activities. The company was founded in February 1907 and is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands.
Source - Factset
Orange SA operates as a telecommunication services company, which operates mobile and internet services. It provides telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
Électricité de France SA produces, markets, and distributes electricity. It provides a wide range of natural gas, electricity and energy eco-efficiency services. It operates through five divisions Engineering, Generation, Optimization & Trading, Transmission and Distribution. The company was founded on April 8, 1946 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
Atlantia SpA is a holding company which engages in the infrastructures and mobility networks sectors. It operates through the following business segments: Italian Motorways, Italian Airports, Overseas Motorways, Technology, Design and Construction, and Atlantia. The Italian Motorways segment consists of the management, maintenance, construction, and widening of the Italian motorway operators under concession. The Italian Airports segment operates and develops the Rome Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino airports. The Overseas Motorways includes the holders of motorways concessions in Chile, Poland, and Brazil, and the companies that provide operational support for these overseas activities and the related foreign registered holding companies. The Technology segment includes the subsidiaries that produce and operate free-flow tolling systems, traffic, and transport management systems, public information, and electronic payment systems. The Design and Construction segment covers the companies related to the design, construction, and maintenance of road infrastructure. The Atlantia segment performs parent company functions for its subsidiaries and associates whose business is the construction and operation of motorways, airports and transport infrastructure, parking areas and intermodal systems, and management of motorway or airport traffic. The company was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
Source – FactSet
QUALCOMM, Inc. engages in the development, design, manufacture, and marketing of digital telecommunications products and services. It operates through the following segments: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, Qualcomm Technology Licensing, and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives. The Qualcomm CDMA Technologies segment develops and supplies integrated circuits and system software based on technologies for the use in voice and data communications, networking, application processing, multimedia, and global positioning system products. The Qualcomm Technology Licensing segment provides rights to use portions of the firm's intellectual property portfolio. The Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives segment invests in the technology, design, and introduction of products and services for voice and data communications. The company was founded by Franklin Antonio, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, Irwin Mark Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi, and Harvey White in July 1985 and is headquartered in San Diego, CA.
Source - Factset
KT&G Corp. engages in the manufacture and sale of tobacco products. It operates through the following business divisions: Tobacco, Health Functional Food, Foods, Tobacco Leaf, Pharmaceuticals, Tobacco Materials, Trading and Real Estates. The Health Functional Food manufactures and sells red ginseng, red ginseng products and healthy foods. The Foods business provides groceries and beverages. The Tobacco Leaf division engages in cultivation of tobacco leaf lands. The Pharmaceutical division manufactures and sales drugs, biotech drugs, non-pharmaceutical health complements, other related products, medical goods and equipment. The Tobacco Materials division engages in the manufacture and distribution of raw materials needed in production of tobacco. The Real Estates division offers rentals, sales and housing development. It was founded on April 1, 1987 and is headquartered in Daejeon, South Korea.
Headquartered in France, Total is an integrated international oil and gas company with key assets in Canada, Russia, Qatar, Angola, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan. Business lines include upstream (oil and gas exploration, development, and production), downstream (refining, marketing, trading, and shipping of crude oil and petroleum products), and chemicals (fertilizers and petrochemicals). Upstream operations have the highest margin, contributing the majority of operating income.
Output from many of the world's existing oilfields is declining, and the rate of developable new resources continues to slow. While developed OECD countries have recently curbed demand for oil, oil demand continues to increase in non-OECD nations. Although the majority of incremental energy supply is expected to come from renewable, nuclear, and gas, oil is expected to remain the largest source of transportation energy for decades.
Compared to other oil majors, Total has potential for an above-average growth profile, with exposure to the LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) market and lower-than-average depletion rates in existing oil fields. Total has approximately 40 years of proved and probable resources. Production setbacks in recent years have been disappointing, however, and the company has been criticized for under-investing in exploration. Total has been focused on improving its yield from producing assets.
Total's dividend appears to be fully covered by cash flow in the oil price ranges we have seen over the last 5 years. The firm's strong balance sheet and operating cash flow have enabled it to increase the dividend at an annual rate of approximately 7% over the last 5 years.
Taiwan Semiconductor is the largest independent semiconductor foundry in the world. The industry is characterized by process orientation and scale, and TSM leads in both. It is the only company in its industry with the financial resources to continue to invest in both R&D and capital equipment/process technologies throughout the business cycle. TSM has manufactured chips for over 500 different customers globally, with a huge array of end market applications, including automotive, cell phones, video games, DVD players, digital camera, medical devices, etc.
Although margins are very volatile, cash flow generation has been robust, and TSM continues to gain share over time. Since being founded in 1987, TSM has been at the leading edge of technology manufacturing.
NN Group NV engages in insurance and investment management. It operates through the following segments: Netherlands Life, Netherlands Non-Life, Insurance Europe, Japan Life, Investment Management, other, and Japan Closed Block VA. The Netherlands Life segment offers a range of group life and individual life insurance products. The Netherlands Non-Life segment offers non-life insurance products such as motor, transport, fire, liability, travel, and income protection to retail, self employed, small and medium enterprises (SME), and corporate customers. The Insurance Europe segment includes retail, self employed, SME, and corporate customer life insurance. The Japan Life segment manages corporate owned life insurance products to SMEs and owners and employees of SMEs through independent agents and bancassurance. The Investment Management segment overseas investment products and advisory services to retail and institutional customers. The other segment comprises of business of National Nederlanden Bank and ING Re. The Japan Closed Block VA segment includes NN Group's closed block single premium variable annuity individual life insurance portfolio in Japan. The company was founded in 1845 and is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Headquartered in Switzerland, global pharmaceutical company Roche has been in operation for over a century. Roche is the world leader in oncology and virology, and its annual revenues exceed 45 CHF billion (Swiss Francs). Its main products include treatments for anemia (CERA), arthritis (Rituxin), cancer (Herceptin, Tarceva and Avastin) and Hepatitis C and HIV. The company also operates a diagnostics business, which specializes in disease monitoring, prevention and genetics testing. Roche owns a sizeable stake in U.S.-based Genentech and Japan-based Chugai.
Roche's solid cancer franchise largely originates from Genentech. In addition, a strong relationship with Chugai allows for penetration of the difficult to enter Japanese market. Collectively, the companies lead the oncology industry with popular cancer drugs like Rituxan (which also treats rheumatoid arthritis) and Herceptin, the latter of which has shown especially promising potential in combination with Avastin in certain cancers. Avastin is also in studies for additional cancers. Roche's diagnostics division has grown through products focusing on diabetes, molecular diagnostics, and immunochemistry. An improved product mix, with high barriers to entry given the biologic nature of many of its products, should serve to support Roche's sales and earnings over time.
Roche has an intriguing dividend yield. It has increased per share dividends by more than 15% annually over the last 5 years.
ING was created in 1991 through a merger of two of the Netherlands' largest banks. The Group has since become one of Europe's largest financial institutions, active in traditional banking, insurance, and asset management. The share price of ING declined dramatically in the financial crisis as material holes in the group strategy and balance sheet were revealed. In 2009 management announced plans to shrink the company, simplify its operations by disposing of all non-banking assets, and sell new shares in order to redeem quasi-equity previously issued to the Dutch government. After this "back to basics" restructuring, ING Group is positioned to become a more pure bank (rather than a financial conglomerate) with a strong market position. As ING completes the final phases of restructuring shares should command a more normalized valuation, commensurate with its competitive earnings power.
AXA SA operates as a holding company, which engages in the provision of insurance and asset management services. The company operates its business through five segments: Life & Savings, Property & Casualty, International Insurance, Asset Management and Banking. The Life & Savings segment offers products including individual and group savings products, life and health products for both individual and commercial clients. The Property & Casualty segment offer products including motor, household, property and general liability insurance for both personal and commercial customers. The International Insurance segment focuses on risks, reinsurance and assistance. The Asset Management segment includes diversified asset management and related services. The Banking segment involves in the banking activities, which includes retail banking, mortgages loans, and savings conducted primarily in France, Belgium and Germany. The company was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. It is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The company operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health and Alliances. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the company or through joint ventures. Its human health pharmaceutical products consist of therapeutic and preventive agents, generally sold by prescription, for the treatment of human disorders. The company sells these products primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies and managed health care providers, such as health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and other institutions. Its vaccine products consist of preventive pediatric, adolescent and adult vaccines, primarily administered at physician offices. The company sells these vaccines primarily to physicians, wholesalers, physician distributors and government entities. The Animal Health segment discovers, develops, manufactures and markets animal health products, including vaccines, which it sells to veterinarians, distributors and animal producers. The Alliances segment includes revenue from the company relationship with AstraZeneca LP. The company was founded in 1851 and is headquartered in Kenilworth, NJ.
Las Vegas Sands operates casinos, hotels and convention facilities. Properties include the Venetian Casino Resort and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Sands Macao Casino and Venetian Macao Casino in Macau, China; and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. LVS has focused on using convention business to drive higher than industry average non-gaming revenues. The company's strategy is to build signature casino resorts and then connect convention facilities in order to drive more predictable and repeatable customer traffic midweek to its properties.
The Asian gaming opportunity over the next five years is attractive. Demographics in the region are compelling for years of growth driven by low penetration of mass market gaming, growing incomes, easing of travel restrictions for mainland Chinese, and infrastructure development. LVS has positioned itself for leadership in the region with its development plans for the Cotai Strip as well as Singapore, where it is one of two licensed operators. Leading with a strategy that draws convention business to its properties, the Sands aims to repeat its success in the Las Vegas convention market in Asia. The company could also generate equity value for shareholders through real estate development activities in and around the Cotai Strip in order to capture the value of the traffic created by its casino resorts.
Telenor ASAA engages in the provision of telecommunications, data, and media services. It operates through the following segments: Mobile Communication, Fixed Line Communication, Television-Based Activities (Broadcast), and Other Operations. The Mobile Communications segment includes voice, data, internet, content services, customer equipment and messaging. The Fixed Line Communication comprises of telephony, internet, television and leased lines, and provision of data and managed services. The Broadcast segment involves satellite TV activities within the Nordic region including pay-TV services via satellite dish, satellite master antenna TV-networks systems and broadcasting rights. The Other Operations segment consists of international wholesale, digital services portfolio and corporate functions. The company was founded in 1855 and is headquartered in Fornebu, Norway.
Source - Factset
MFA is a real estate investment trust ("REIT") which invests in mortgage securities issued by U.S. Government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and other private residential mortgage loans. MFA can pass through income earned from portfolio investments directly to shareholders without paying tax at the entity level, provided it continues to qualify as a REIT.
MFA has more than $2.5 billion of equity capital, which is leveraged with short maturity credit instruments to support an investment portfolio of more than $8 billion. It must pay out most of its earnings in dividends to shareholders, in accordance with IRS regulations.
MFA executed its initial public offering more than 10 years ago. It has substantially increased its size since becoming a public company by issuing new shares. MFA earns spread income on the difference between its yield on mortgage securities and its cost of borrowing. It assumes varying degrees of interest rate risk associated with owning investments that generally have longer maturities than the financings employed to fund these. It takes credit risk on portions of its portfolio that are invested in private mortgage securities and whole loans, a strategy it began to employ since the onset of the mortgage finance crisis that began in 2007. MFA's earnings increase when short maturity interest rates are lower than intermediate and longer maturity rates, and vice-versa. The extremely low short-term interest rate environment in place since late 2008 has supported very attractive spread earnings, and dividends. MFA's book value and dividend could be expected to decline during an environment of relatively high short-term interest rates, such as that experienced in the middle of the last decade.
MFA's dividend payments are a function of its skill earning spread income, in managing portfolio interest rate risk, and in managing credit risk. A modest degree of capital growth may be achieved if MFA can sell new equity above book value or sell investments at a profit. Book value erosion is also possible if MFA sells new shares at a discount to book value, or suffers losses on investments.
Zurich-based UBS is one of the largest investment management companies in the world, providing Wealth Management, Asset Management and Investment Banking services globally, and traditional banking in Switzerland. Following the turmoil of the global financial crisis and a US tax inquiry, UBS has been focused on improving its core businesses. Improved capital ratios, growth in the wealth management segment, and an emphasis on cost control have allowed the group to regain its footing and return to profitability.
The company remains one of the largest asset managers in the world with assets under management in the trillions. Economic growth in developing markets has also boosted the number of high-net worth individuals looking to diversify their financial holdings to areas outside of their home markets.
Home Depot, Inc. is a home improvement retailer that sells building materials and home improvement products. It operates The Home Depot stores, which provides full-service, warehouse-style stores that sells a wide assortment of building materials, home improvement products and lawn and garden products and provide a number of services. The company offers national installation services through pre-screened independent contractors for products ranging from floors to roofs, windows to water heaters, and kitchen cabinets to vinyl siding. Its retail stores offer professional customers, including repair and remodel contractors, special services and support to make them more successful on the job site. It serves professional remodelers, general contractors, repairmen, small business owners, and tradesmen. Home Depot was founded by Bernard Marcus, Arthur M. Blank, Kenneth Gerald Langone and Pat Farrah on June 29, 1978 and is headquartered at Atlanta, GA.
Source – FactSet
Vodafone is one of the world's largest providers of mobile telecommunications services, with presence in more than 25 countries. The company has stakes in large carriers in Germany, Italy, and Spain. After a period of heavy spending on strategic acquisitions and 3G licenses, Vodafone's cape requirements have decreased relative to operating revenues. The company has developed positive, growing cash flows in most markets as a result.
Vodafone has put this cash to work largely by making acquisitions, including Hutchison Essay which gives the company exposure to the fast growing cellular market in India. With sales of certain non-strategic holdings, and in the absence of further large acquisitions, Vodafone should be able to continue increasing its dividend in the coming years, as well as buy back shares.
Ares Capital Corporate is a business development company ("BDC"), organized under the U.S. Investment Company Act to invest primarily in loans to middle market businesses. Provided that Ares meets conditions required to maintain its status as a BDC, it can pass through income earned from portfolio investments directly to shareholders without paying tax at the entity level.
Ares is managed by Ares Management, LLC. The company has more than $3 billion of equity capital, and it is able to borrow up to 1 times its equity to fund its investment portfolio. It must pay out most of its earnings in dividends to shareholders, in accordance with Investment Company and IRS regulations.
Ares is one of the largest BDCs in the United States. It substantially increased its size during 2010 by acquiring Allied Capital, a seasoned internally managed BDC that had a portfolio with a cost basis in excess of $3.5 billion, for approximately $1.8 billion. Since acquiring the Allied portfolio, Ares has disposed of a significant portion of the assets at prices above the Ares purchase price, though well below Allied's original cost.
Ares dividend payments are a function of its skill in making attractive yielding loans that are repaid at maturity. A modest degree of capital growth may be achieved if Ares can sell new equity above book value or sell investments at a profit. Book value erosion is also possible if Ares sells new shares at a discount to book value, or suffers losses on investments.
BNP Paribas SA is engaged in the provision of banking and financial services. It operates through the following segments: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions, and Corporate and Investment Banking. The Retail Banking segment includes domestic markets, personal finance, and international retail banking. Domestic markets include Retail Banking networks in France, Italy, and Luxembourg well as certain specialized retail banking divisions. The Investment Solutions segment includes Wealth Management; investment partners covering all of the Asset Management businesses; Securities Services to management companies, financial institutions, and other corporations; and Insurance and Real Estate Services. The Corporate and Investment Banking segment includes advisory & capital markets and corporate banking. The Company was founded on May 26, 1966 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. provides drug store services. In December of 2014 Walgreens and Boots Alliance merged to become Walgreens Boots Alliance. It is the largest retail pharmacy, and health and daily living destination in the USA and Europe. The company is headquartered in Deerfield, IL.
Nestle is a Switzerland-based global food and beverage company. The largest food and beverage company in the world, Nestle products principally include chocolate, infant nutrition, pet care and frozen foods. Some familiar Nestle brands include Nescafe, Stouffers, Purina, Powerbar and Nespresso. Nestle has nearly 500 manufacturing sites worldwide.
Nestle has demonstrated cost discipline, improving margins and return on capital through effective asset utilization. Organic growth drivers include the growing influence of nutrition and health businesses in their product mix, and management's focus on their top 21 brands. The company is generating substantial cash flow that can be directed toward share buybacks and increasing dividend payouts.
MTN Group Limited is a leading mobile telecom operator in Africa and the Middle East. The company operates in 21 countries generally with low penetration rates of mobile subscribers. Nearly all customers prepay for their mobile service, allowing for wide customer participation. Falling handset prices are driving increased affordability and the monthly average revenue per user is surprisingly attractive for emerging economies.
The company generates substantial cash flow giving management flexibility to execute on the growth plan. Recently, the company expanded their geographic footprint with the acquisition of Investcom and entering the Iranian market. We believe the company may enjoy a long runway of growth opportunities.
Apollo Investment Corporation is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company that invests in debt and equity securities to provide current income and capital appreciation. Apollo holds several types of securities to pursue the objective, including mezzanine loans and senior secured loans for private middle-market companies, direct equity investments, and thinly traded public companies. Apollo's investment portfolio totals more than $2.5 billion, making it one of the largest business development companies in the United States. Apollo is registered with the SEC as a business development company for tax and public liquidity advantages.
Apollo dividend payments are a function of its skill in making attractive yielding loans that are repaid at maturity. A modest degree of capital growth may be achieved if Apollo can sell new equity above book value or sell investments at a profit. Book value erosion is also possible if Apollo sells new shares at a discount to book value, or suffers losses on investments.
Swiss-based Novartis manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and nutrition products worldwide. Novartis was formed from the 1996 merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, and is the world's fifth largest producer of non-prescription over-the-counter drugs. Novartis also holds nearly one-third of the voting stock of Roche, Europe's fifth largest drug company. Novartis also has a strong generic franchise, mostly marketed under the Sandoz name. The company is currently the number two global generics manufacturer after Teva. The acquisition of Alcon in 2010 has helped Novartis gain a leading position in the global eye-care market.
A solid balance sheet enables Novartis to pay a strong and growing dividend.
LyondellBasell is a worldwide producer of olefins, including ethylene and propylene, polyolefins, polypropylene, and polypropylene compounds. Ethylene is the most significant petrochemical in terms of worldwide production volume and is the key building block for polyethylene and a large number of other chemicals, plastics, and synthetics. Ethylene and its co-products are fundamental to many segments of the economy, including the production of consumer products, packaging, housing, automotive components, and other durable and non-durable goods.
LyondellBasell's US petrochemical operations use ethane as a feedstock in the production of ethylene. Ethane pricing is based upon a floor price that is a slight premium to natural gas feedstocks and a ceiling price that is equal to oil equivalent feedstocks. It is a beneficiary of a high oil-to-gas ratio.
BT Group Plc provides communication solutions and services. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, higher value broadband, and Internet products and services. The company has five customer-facing businesses: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach. The BT Global Services provides networked IT services to multinational corporations, domestic businesses, government departments and other communication service providers around the world. The BT Business provides a range of innovative communications products and services and serves consumer customers, small and medium sized enterprises in the United Kingdom. The BT Consumer provides consumer fixed voice and broadband in the U.K. with a growing base of TV and BT sport customers. The BT Wholesale provides broadband, voice, data connectivity, managed network outsourcing and value-added solutions to the UK communication providers. The Openreach owns, maintains and develops access network that links homes and businesses to the networks of Britain's communication providers. BT Group was founded on March 30, 2001 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.
Suncor Energy, Inc. is an integrated energy company, which develops petroleum resource basins. Its activities include oil sands development, and upgrading, onshore and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing. It operates under the Petro-Canada brand and on the following segments: oil sands, exploration and production, and refining and marketing. The oil sands segment refers to the operations in the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta to develop and produce synthetic crude oil and related products through the recovery and upgrading of bitumen from mining and in situ operations. The exploration and production segment includes offshore activity in East Coast Canada the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas in the United Kingdom, Norway, Libya, and Syria, and exploration and production of natural gas and natural gas liquids in Western Canada. The refining and marketing segment is the refining of crude oil products, and the distribution and marketing of these and other purchased products through retail stations located in Canada and the United State, as well as a lubricants plant located in Eastern Canada. The company was founded on August 1, 2009 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.
Ryanair Holdings Plc operates an ultra-low cost, scheduled-passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Morocco. It provides low fares airline-related services, including scheduled services, and ancillary services—including car services, and Internet and other related services to third parties, across a European route network. The company was founded on June 5, 1996 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
AT&T is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, providing fixed line and wireless services to residential and business customers, primarily in the U.S. Today's AT&T has been formed over time by combinations of former Regional Bell Operating Companies, including Southwestern Bell (the controlling entity), Pacific Telesis, Ameritech, and BellSouth. AT&T has also incorporated the legacy AT&T Corporate assets including an international long haul fiber network.
AT&T Wireless is one of the largest wireless service providers in the U.S. claiming more than 90 million subscribers. While certain operating metrics continue to trail Verizon Wireless, AT&T has improved its operation meaningfully over the last few years. Revenue growth has been driven by subscriber additions, declining churn (a measure of lost customers) and impressive growth in data usage by AT&T's customers. Smart-phones (like the iPhone) are used by a growing portion of AT&T's wireless user base; growing wireless data revenues have become a meaningful component of AT&T's wireless revenues.
AT&T's traditional wireline division has experienced declining revenues over the last few years. Consumers and businesses have decreased the number of traditional access lines utilized for voice services, as consumers either drop their home phones or use competitive offerings (from cable providers, for example) and as businesses switch from traditional ATM/Frame Relay services to newer Internet Protocol (IP) based services. Offsetting some of these declines has been growth in DSL and fiber optic cable lines into homes, and growing IP services to businesses.
AT&T has shown an ability and willingness to return capital to shareholders through both dividends and share buybacks. AT&T has increased its dividend at an average note of approximately 4% in recent years.
Paris-based Vinci is one of the largest integrated construction/concession firms in the world, with annual revenues of approximately 40 billion euros from operations in approximately 100 countries.
The group's business is divided into two main areas. Concessions provide approximately 60% of operating profit, including toll motorways in France, parking lots, airport operations, and a portfolio of other infrastructure assets. Contracting operations provide almost 40% of operating profit, including large infrastructure construction projects, technical installation & maintenance, road building, and real estate development.
Vinci's revenue and profits have fluctuated with economic cycles, as one might expect from its collection of businesses. Profits declined in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, before recovering since 2012. Notwithstanding the cyclical volatility, Vinci's profits and dividends have generally grown on a secular basis. Per share dividends have increased by more than 10% since the year 2000, though dividend growth has slowed from this pace in recent years.
Vivendi SA provides media and telecommunication services. The company operates through six business segments: Activision Blizzard, Universal Music Group, SFR, Maroc Telecom Group, Global Village Telecom and Canal+ Group. The Activision Blizzard segment is engaged in the development, publishing and distribution of interactive entertainment software, online or on other media, such as console and PC. The Universal Music Group segment engages in the selling of recorded music, including physical and digital media, exploitation of music publishing rights as well as artist services and merchandising. The SFR segment provides telecommunication services, including mobile, broadband internet and fixed telecommunications in France. The Maroc Telecom Group segment is a telecommunication operator, which provides mobile, fixed telecommunications and internet services in Africa, predominantly in Morocco, as well as in Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Mali. The Global Village Telecom segment is a Brazilian fixed telecommunication and broadband internet operator and pay-TV provider. The Canal+ Group segment is engaged in the publishing and distributing of premium and thematic pay-TV channels in metropolitan France, Poland, Africa, French overseas territories and Vietnam, as well as cinema film production and distribution in Europe, and the organization of sporting events. Vivendi was founded on December 14, 1853 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
Source - Factset
Pfizer, Inc. is a research-based, global biopharmaceutical company. The company's global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as many of the world's best-known consumer healthcare products. It collaborates with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world. It operates through four operating segments: Primary Care, Specialty Care and Oncology, Established Products & Emerging Markets, and Consumer Healthcare. The Primary Care segment includes products in therapeutic and disease areas: Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular, erectile dysfunction, genitourinary, major depressive disorder, pain, respiratory, and smoking cessation. The Specialty Care and Oncology segment comprises the Specialty Care business unit and the Oncology business unit. The Specialty Care business unit includes products in the following therapeutic and disease areas: anti-infections, endocrine disorders, hemophilia, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, ophthalmology, pulmonary arterial hypertension, specialty neuroscience and vaccines. The Oncology business unit includes pharmaceutical products addressing oncology and oncology-related illnesses. The Established Products & Emerging Markets segment comprises the Established Products business unit and the Emerging Markets business unit. The Established Products unit includes pharmaceutical products that have lost patent protection or marketing exclusivity in certain countries and/or regions. The Emerging Markets unit includes human prescription pharmaceutical products sold in emerging markets, including Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. The Consumer Healthcare segment includes non-prescription products in the following therapeutic categories: dietary supplements, pain management, respiratory and personal care. The company was founded by Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart in 1849 and is headquartered in New York, NY.
Source - Factset
ONEOK, Inc. engages in gathering, processing, storage and transportation of natural gas. The company operates through the following segments: Natural Gas Gathering and Processing, Natural Gas Liquids, and Natural Gas Pipelines. The Natural Gas Gathering and Processing segment provides nondiscretionary services to producers that include gathering and processing of natural gas produced from crude oil and natural gas wells. The Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) segment owns and operates facilities that gather, fractionate, treat and distribute NGLs and store NGL products. The Natural Gas Pipelines segment owns and operates regulated interstate and intrastate natural gas transmission pipelines and natural gas storage facilities. The company was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Tulsa, OK.
Legal & General Group Plc provides risk, savings and investment management products and services. It operates through the following segments: Legal & General Retirement, Legal & General Investment Management, Insurance, Savings, Legal & General America and Legal & General Capital. The company was founded on September 19, 1836 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.
Solar Capital is closed-end, externally managed investment company that is structured as a business development company (BDC) with more than $1.2 billion in assets. The company invests predominantly in debt and to a lesser extent the equity of privately held companies. The primary goal of Solar Capital is to provide current income and capital appreciation. Due to tax purposes the typical BDC distributes approximately 90% of its income to shareholders.
Numerous types of securities are utilized to meet the objective including mezzanine loans, senior secured loans, and direct equity investments to the middle market companies.
GFJ went public in December 2010 at a price of NOK 58.75 (Norwegian Krone). It is a general insurer with a market-leading position in Norway and an international geographic footprint in Denmark, Sweden and the Baltics. GFJ first went outside Norway in 2006 growing its gross premiums written from 2.6% to 24.3% in just 4 years (primarily through acquisition). GFJ is currently very highly capitalized, appears to be well managed, and has initiatives underway to further improve operations.
As a property and casualty insurer most of its investment risk lies in shorter duration investments such as highly rated corporate and sovereign notes. Traditionally, more than two-thirds of its investments in bonds are held in credits rated A or above. Remaining investments are dispersed among lower-quality credits as well as minor investments in equities and alternative investments.
The company pays an annual dividend with a targeted ratio of 50-80% of reported net profits.
Telstra is the leading telecommunications and information services company in Australia, with revenue of more than AUD $20 billion annually. Company revenues are relatively evenly split between fixed-line (including broadband) and mobile services, and it has #1 market shares in both categories. Telstra offers a broad range of services including basic access services to homes and businesses, broadband access and internet services, IT management services, advertising and search services, and cable distribution services for FOXTEL, a joint venture pay TV network.
Telstra provides telecom services in Hong Kong and New Zealand, and owns fiber optic cables connecting Australia to other continents.
Telstra generates attractive operating cash flows, and has a modest debt level. Management has paid attractive dividends though these have been generally flat in recent years as Telstra has spent heavily to improve network infrastructure. Relative to some other telecom service providers around the world, Telstra must install infrastructure over a large, relatively sparsely populated area. While the difficulty and expense of installing infrastructure can limit competition, it has also claimed a significant portion of operating cash flows during the 3G wireless and broadband infrastructure build out phases.
Singapore Telecom, or SingTel, is a telecommunications company located in Singapore but through its subsidiaries, investments, and joint ventures has locations in more than 25 countries and nearly 400 million subscribers. Its investments include Optus, the second largest telecom operator in Australia, and Bharti Airtel, the largest teleco in India. The largest publicly listed investments include Advanced Info Services in Thailand (19% share of company), Bharti Group in India (16%), Globe Telecom in the Philippines (47%), and Singapore Post (26%). Although Optus in Australia is SingTel's largest investment outside Singapore it is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel, thus not publicly listed. Temasek, the Singapore government's investment arm holds a 54.4% stake in SingTel.
The company faces numerous opportunities and threats across its many markets, but management has seemingly been proven adept at navigating most markets as witnessed through the company's value creation over the long term.
As of 2011, the intermediate-term guidance is for mid-single digit revenue and EBITDA growth (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) with operating leverage potentially delivering higher net income growth. The company targets a flexible dividend payout ratio of 45-60% of net income depending on investment and capital expenditure needs.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd. operates as an investment holding company, which engages in the provision of retail, small and medium-sized enterprise, corporate and investment banking services. The company operates through the following business segments: Consumer Banking/Wealth Management, Institutional Banking, Treasury, and others. The Consumer Banking/Wealth Management segment provides services such as current and savings accounts, fixed deposits, loans and home finance, cards, payments, investment and insurance products. The Institutional Banking segment offers financial services and products to institutional clients, including non-bank financial institutions, government linked companies, large corporate and small and medium-sized businesses. The Treasury segment supplies treasury services to corporations, institutional and private investors, financial institutions and other market participants. The others segment encompasses activities from corporate decisions, and income and expenses not attributed to the business segments described. The company was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Singapore.
Swisscom is Switzerland's market leader in the field of mobile and fixed line telecommunications. The Group also owns Fastweb, a provider of broadband communications services in Italy. In Switzerland, Swisscom serves its customers via over 2.5 million fixed access lines, 1.7 million broadband access lines, and more than 6 million mobile access numbers. The company also has a growing pay television business. In Italy, Fastweb's broadband customer base totals more than 1.9 million customers.
As is the case with most incumbent telecommunications services providers, Swisscom is working through a transition from a business led by metered PSTN fixed line and mobile voice services to a business led by high speed data communications. In recent years, growth of high speed data service revenues has not fully offset revenue declines from the legacy businesses. Elevated levels of investment have been required to support improvements to the firmâ€™s high speed data infrastructure network.
Swisscom dividends have been flat in the recent past, and they are expected to remain flat in the near future. Nevertheless, Swisscom's dividends are attractive in Swiss Franc terms, and its strong market position increases the possibility that its dividend can be maintained or increased over time.
Deutsche Telekom AG proves fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet, and IPTV products and services for consumers and information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for business and corporate customers. The company was founded on January 2, 1995 and is headquartered in Bonn, Germany.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) is an energy and chemical company. It engages in the exploration, production and transportation of petroleum products such as crude oil and natural gas. The company operates through the following business segments: Exploration & Production, Refining, Marketing & Distribution, Chemicals, and Corporate & Others. The Exploration & Production segment explores crude oil and natural gas. The Refining segment processes crude oil and natural gas to produce petroleum products. The Marketing & Distribution segment operates service stations, and sells refined products at wholesale or retail. The Chemicals segment manufactures and sells chemical products. The Corporate & Others segment includes trading, research and development activities of the company. China Petroleum & Chemical was founded on February 25, 2000 and is headquartered in Beijing, China.
Daimler AG is an automotive company, which engages in the manufacturing of premium cars and commercial vehicles. The company operates its business through five segments: Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services. The Mercedes-Benz Cars segment sells passenger cars and off-road vehicles under the Mercedes-Benz brand and small cars under the smart brand. The Daimler Trucks distributes its trucks under the brand names Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, FUSO, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses and BharatBenz. The Mercedes-Benz Vans segment sells its products under the Mercedes-Benz and the Freightliner brands. The Daimler Buses segment sells completely built-up buses under the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands. The segment also produces and sells bus chassis. The Daimler Financial Services segment supports the sales of the vehicle segments worldwide. Its product portfolio mainly comprises tailored financing and leasing packages for customers and dealers. The segment also provides services such as insurance, fleet management, investment products and credit cards. The company's history roots back to 1886 when its predecessor companies founded by Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz. It was founded in 1926 and is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
Crown Castle International Corp. operates as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which engages in the provision of shared wireless infrastructure solutions. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Houston, TX.
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust engages in the ownership and operation of income-producing real estate properties. It invests in a diversified portfolio which includes office buildings, retail centers, and residential properties. The company was founded by Arthur A. Birney and Benjamin H. Dorsey in 1960 and is headquartered in Washington, DC.
Ferrovial SA is engaged in the investment and development of transportation infrastructures. It operates through the following segments: Construction, Services, Toll Roads, and Airports. The Construction segment designs and performs public and private works for roads, highways, airports, and buildings. The Services segment involves in the maintenance and upkeep of infrastructures, facilities, and buildings; waste collection and treatment; and rendering of other kinds of public services. The Toll Roads segment develops, finances, and operates tollways such as 407 ETR, North Tarrant Express, LBJ Express, Indiana Toll Road, Euroscut Azores, Madrid-Levante, and Ausol I. The Airports segment develops and runs Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Southampton Airports. The company was founded by Rafael del Pino y Moreno in December 1952 and is headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE is a holding company that engages in the provision of television advertising and broadcasting services. It operates through following segments: Broadcasting German-speaking, Digital and Adjacent, and Content Production and Global Sales. The Broadcasting German-speaking segment includes its core business, advertising-financed free television, and the distribution revenues generated from the sale of its own high definition and basic pay TV stations. The Digital and Adjacent segment offers digital entertainment which comprises online video and online games, digital commerce that covers all ventures activities, and adjacent business unit which includes music, live entertainment, events, ticketing and artist management. The Content Production and Global Sales segment refers to its international program production and distribution business. The company was founded on October 2, 2000 and is headquartered in Unterföhring, Germany.
Two Harbors Investment Corp. is a real estate investment trust that invests in residential mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage loans and other financial assets. Its objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders over the long-term, primarily through dividends and secondarily through capital appreciation. The company intends to achieve this by constructing a well-balanced portfolio consisting primarily of RMBS, with a focus on managing various associated risks, including interest rate, prepayment, mortgage spread, financing, and credit risk. It focuses on security selection and implements a relative value investment approach across various sectors within the residential mortgage market. Two Harbors Investment was founded on May 21, 2009 and is headquartered in New York, NY.
Source - Factset
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc manufactures and markets household, health and personal care, selling products. The company's geographical segments include: Europe and North America (ENA); Latin America, North Asia, South East Asia and Australia and New Zealand (LAPAC); and Russia and CIS, Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Sub-Saharan Africa (RUMEA). Its key brands include Durex, Gaviscon, Mucinex, Nurofen, Scholl, Strepsils, Airborne, MegaRed, Move Free, Bang, Clearasil, Dettol, Finish, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Veet Air Wick, Calgon, Vanish and Woolite. It also makes over-the-counter pharmaceuticals such as analgesics, antiseptics, flu remedies and gastrointestinal medications and offers products for hair removal, denture cleaning and pest control. Reckitt Benckiser Group was founded in December 1999 and is headquartered in Slough, the United Kingdom.
Hong Kong-based China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI) is the largest port operator in China with operations ranging across the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Rim. The company holds ownership interests in seven of China's top eight ports, which account for 70% of the country's container throughput. CMHI also manufactures containers, which are used for transporting finished and intermediate goods.
CMHI's fixed asset base is levered to the total amount of goods going in and out of its ports. China's importance as a manufacturing export hub has ensured that ships leave the country nearly full, but container ships still enter the country mostly empty. The company benefits broadly from increased trade volumes between China and the rest of the world, which historically correlated with global GDP growth.
It is probable that buying or selling in the Fund portfolio will have occurred since this list was last updated. As a result of this buying or selling, the fund may own more, fewer, or no shares of the stock of any company listed. In addition, the fund may have purchased shares of companies that are not yet included in the above list.
This list of holdings is published with a one month lag on the first business day of each month. Holdings can and do vary over time.