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2013 is panning out to be a stellar year for
Johnson Controls (
JCI). Shares of the $28 billion industrial manufacturer have been rallying almost 35% year-to-date on the heels of booming real estate and automotive sectors. Right now, JCI pays out a 19-cent quarterly dividend that amounts to a 1.84% yield. With third-quarter earnings behind it, investors should expect a raise in the coming quarter.
Johnson Controls has three main businesses: HVAC systems, automotive interiors, and vehicle batteries. By a wide margin, JCI's biggest customer is the automotive sector, adding up to two thirds of the firm's total revenues. That's been an enviable position in the last year and change -- especially as a record fleet age and the Fed's zero-interest-rate policy incentivize consumers to upgrade their wheels. Growth in the HVAC business has helped to add onto that, particularly as construction growth in Asia and more efficient upgrades stateside drive revenues for HVAC services and equipment.
JCI has managed to grow its sales in each of the last four post-recession years, and with a stable balance sheet position that carries more than $1.4 billion in cash and investments, the firm has ample dry powder to boost its dividend payout. This stock has room to make up before its yield catches back up with its share price.
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