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When I said that investors haven't been "risk-on" lately, I wasn't kidding.
Procter & Gamble(PG - Get Report), another massive staid blue chip, was the group's third-largest buying target in the first quarter. Institutional investors picked up 5.64 million shares of PG, tacking onto their collective $14 billion position in the consumer products giant. If nothing else, the relatively small share add-on is a testament to just how hands-off the pros have been about equities.
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When you think about Procter & Gamble, think "defense." P&G is a $200 billion consumer product manufacturer, with household name brands such as Tide, Charmin and Cover Girl under its belt. In all, the firm lays claim to 25 individual brands that bring home more than $1 billion in annual revenues, providing impressive diversification on its income statement. Procter has undergone a two-pronged approach to growth in 2013: it's looking abroad for new opportunities in emerging markets, and it's trying to cut any extra costs it can from its massive structure. Both efforts should keep the firm churning out net margins deep in the double-digits.
Those big margins, in turn, have helped to provide PG with a strong balance sheet position. While the firm doesn't boast the net cash position at JNJ, Procter carries a minimal amount of leverage, and it keeps enough cash on hand to pay out its 3% dividend yield. Like Johnson & Johnson, investors could do worse than a big blue chip like P&G in the midst of a broad market rally where quality is getting rewarded, but they could do better too with less obvious names.