This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Century-Old Blue Chip Stocks Still Earning Their Keep

Stocks in this article: GIS HNZ DD KO UPS IBM K LLY MO COP

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- A generation ago, wealthy families built portfolios chock-a-block with blue chip stocks such as General Motors (GM) and passed them on to their progeny as part of the family trust.

But that investment approach has mostly been turned on its head in the past 40 years as the buy-and-hold investing strategy of old faded, the list of blue chips got shuffled, and technology stocks led the markets.

But given the uncertainties of investing today, particularly for those approaching retirement, it may be time to revisit what had been considered a fuddy-duddy strategy. Some of the top blue chip stocks of yesteryear are still some of the best investments now as they have proven they can weather any economic environment and continue to pay steady dividends and grind out long-term share price returns.

That group includes some sedate consumer staples stocks, such as cereal makers General Mills (GIS) and Kellogg (K), and ketchup and relish maker H.J. Heinz (HNZ). But their records now looks appealing, especially when compared to what's happened to some of their old peers, many that faded along with their industries due to changing technologies or shifting consumer tastes.

For example, Eastman Kodak (EKDKQ), once the leader in photography products, is struggling in bankruptcy as it failed to adapt fast enough to consumers' shift from film to digital-imaging photography. It's now trading at 17 cents a share down from $30.20 five years ago.

And then there's GM, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009, wiping out the stakes of a lot of long-term investors before getting a government bailout. Bank of America (BAC), once one of the most respected banks in the country, has been on a roller coaster ride with the rest of the financial services industry over the past decade. Its shares show the damage done to its loyal investors' portfolios with a loss of 5.6% annually over 10 years.

So, given the hostile environment investors have had to deal with over the past decade, the old-school blue chip performances are particularly appealing now. General Mills, for example, the home of Betty Crocker, sports a 7.6% annual return over the past decade.

Indicative of the headwinds facing long-term investors, the S&P 500 is up 5.6% this year, and 14% annually over three years, but it's still down 0.3% over five years and up a mere 4.6% annually over 10 years.

And a subset of blue chip stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index of 30 U.S. industrial companies, is up 3.2% this year and 15.6% annually over three years, but up only 1.5% annually over five years and 3% annually over 10 years.

Here are 10 stocks of blue chip companies that are over a century old and have proven their worth through all economic cycles, ranked in inverse order of analysts' "buy" ratings:

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs