Procter & Gamble
Another prototypical consumer stock is Procter & Gamble (PG). The $182 billion is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of consumer products. Brands include everything from Tide detergent to Charmin toilet paper and Cover Girl cosmetics. All told, the firm owns 25 brands that each generate at least $1 billion in annual sales, an impressive feat.
With a big footprint, Procter is working hard to trim down its silhouette. The firm plans on cutting $10 billion in costs over the next few years, a move that would materially impact its margins and cash generation ability. Cash is one thing that Procter & Gamble is able to generate in spades: last year, the firm earned $13.3 billion in cold hard cash from its operations, leaving it with ample dry powder to return to shareholders via its 3.37% dividend yield.Oversized international exposure has been a drag on earnings for PG. Because the firm makes 60% of its sales overseas and then has to convert its performance into dollars for financial reporting, the strength of the greenback in the last few years has been a big negative. Still, I think that the strong dollar is more a medium-term anomaly than a new normal. PG's international exposure should provide a tailwind down the road. Early-filing hedge funds picked up 3.84 million shares of PG in the second quarter, ramping up their exposure to the blue chip by almost 25%. I also featured Procter & Gamble, another of Warren Buffett's holdings, in "5 Rocket Stocks Worth Buying This Week."
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