There are always plenty of numbers to evaluate when weighing up whether to buy a particular share.
Today I’m going to quickly review three figures for anyone thinking about investing in Unilever (LSE: ULVR) (NYSE: UL.US).
One notable billionaire made 99% of his current wealth after his 50th birthday. And here at The Motley Fool, we believe it is NEVER too late to start trying to build your fortune in the stock market. Our expert Motley Fool analyst team have shortlisted 5 companies that they believe could be a great fit for investors aged 50+ trying to build long-term, diversified portfolios.
That is the fall in share price since Unilever peaked at 2,883p in May 2013. The company has underperformed the market so far in 2013 with a gain of just 2.7% compared with a rise in the FTSE All-Share of 10.6%.
Underlying sales growth held up at around 5% and operating profits increased by 14% in Unilever’s recent half-year results, which suggests the underlying company isn’t in trouble and that there may be an opportunity to buy at a discount.
Unilever managed to generate this in free cash flow in just six months (to June 2013). It is a colossal number albeit down slightly from the €1.5bn reported during the previous year.
In fact, numbers across the board look decent for Unilever, with core earnings per share up 4% to €0.76 and the dividend yield increasing from 3.2% to 3.6% following the recent share-price drop.
This ability to generate cash is what allows Unilever to pay out those juicy dividends each quarter.
That is the bond that Unilever offered on the US market on 4 September 2013. It was a 2.2% fixed-rate bond with notes due on 6 March 2019.
With an annual turnover of over €50bn and net profits of over €2.7bn in the first half of 2013 alone, you would imagine Unilever had no need to borrow more.
Yet net debt has risen from $7.4bn at 31 December 2012 to the $11.6bn reported at 30 June 2013 — although the main reason for this rise was the voluntary open offer needed to acquire additional shares in Hindustan Unilever Limited.
Still, a borrowing rate of 2.2% is hard to turn down, though, and the company should be confident of being able to invest the proceeds and easily outstrip the finance costs.
So there you go, three numbers that may or may not have some bearing on whether you buy shares in Unilever.
If you are still about Unilever’s prospects, you may wish to enjoy this exclusive wealth report, which reviews the company further along with five other blue chips you can buy today.
Indeed, all five selections offer a mix of robust prospects, illustrious histories and dependable dividends, and have just been declared by the Fool as “5 Shares You Can Retire On“!
Just click here for this special report now — it’s free for a limited time only.
> Barry does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Unilever.