Royal Dutch Shell
Shares in Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) (NYSE: RDS-B.US) dropped back this week as the company announced a disappointing quarterly update. Shell reported a 23% decline in income attributable to shareholders. Profits were hampered by a rise in exploration costs and large-scale theft in Nigeria.
However, Shell still managed to report a 5% increase in its dividend to shareholders.
It is this resilience that has made Shell one of the most reliable stores of wealth available on the stock market today. While the last six months may have been disappointing, Shell has demonstrated its ability to come through adversity many times.
The expectation is for Shell to pay $1.85 of dividends for 2013. That’s a 5.3% yield.
Legal & General
Shares in Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) are up 35% so far in 2013, putting the insurance giant among the top quintile of FTSE performers.
The company’s mix of business is well placed to benefit from strong stock markets. Strong share price returns generally leads to an improved appetite for long-term investment products. Unlike a straight fund management business, L&G can thrive even in difficult markets.
This is demonstrated by the company’s five-year track record. Unlike most other financials, Legal & General continued to pay a dividend throughout the crisis. It is forecast to make £914m of net profit for the year, a record for the company.
Today, L&G shares trade near an all-time high. The company announces it half-year results tomorrow.
Compass Group (LSE: CPG) is a great example of how successful an apparently boring company can be. First known as a catering supplier, Compass also provides outsourced facilities management services, i.e. janitorial and security.
Its long-term contracts with blue-chip clients bring a high degree of visibility to its cashflows and profits. Investors love this and have rewarded Compass with a premium rating.
I also expect that the company could be a significant beneficiary from G4S’ recent stumble.
Compass shares trade on 19.3 times forecast profits for 2013 and come with an expected yield of 2.6%.
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> David does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.
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