News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – June 24, 2013

26 June 2013

Tapering Fears?

Market Summary:  

The U.S. equity markets started last week out strong upon the heels of continued positive economic data.  However, the run was short-lived and markets declined mid-week upon Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comment that the central bank might moderate the pace of bond purchases later this year due to an improving economic outlook.  While negative in the short-term, for those investors possessing a longer-term outlook, tapering fears have created a welcome entry point for equities.  Whether the Fed continues or tapers intervention in the future, either scenario has the potential to favor equity markets over other asset classes in the long-term.  Looking ahead to this week, investors will keep an eye on durable goods orders and new home sales reports as key economic indicators as well as any further indication on the Fed’s plans.

The S&P 500® was down 2.1% for the week.  The top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Energy (-1.6%) and Financials (-1.9%), while bottom-performing sectors included Utilities (-2.9%) and Telecommunications (-3.7%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield rose during the week, ending at 2.5%.

We continue to seek those companies possessing identifiable catalysts, and focusing on those stocks with favorable odds.

Consistent Earnings Growth

DHRDanaher Corp. (DHR), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of medical, industrial, professional and consumer products. DHR was founded in 1969 and was previously known as DMG, Inc., but later took the Danaher name in 1984. The company produces a broad range of products including electronic calibration equipment, retail/commercial petroleum products such as underground storage tank leak detection systems, high-precision optical systems for the analysis of microstructures and aerospace defense articles, among others. DHR’s primary product lines are sold in North America, Europe and Asia.

DHR has a long history of delivering consistent earnings growth through continual development of its own businesses and by acquiring businesses that are fast growing and have high returns.  Over the years, the company’s management team has demonstrated skill and discipline in selecting and integrating its many purchases.  A more recent purchase included an expansion in the water treatment industry.  This industry has strong growth potential and now DHR is a key beneficiary of this trend. Economic uncertainties have depressed DHR’s multiples, and as a result we have been presented with this buying opportunity. In the long-term, we expect DHR to outperform its peers and the market.

Top 10 Equity Holdings

Google, Inc. 5.7%
Lowes Co. 4.4%
CBS Corp. 4.4%
Gilead Sciences 4.0%
Danaher Corp. 3.9%
SunTrust Banks 3.9%
Forest Laboratories 3.7%
Post Holdings Inc. 3.5%
MasterCard, Inc. 3.5%
Procter & Gamble 3.4%

U.S. Equity Indices

Index 06/21/13 Week % Chg YTD % Chg
DJIA 14,799.4 -1.8% 12.9%
NASDAQ 3,357.2 -1.9% 11.2%
S&P 500 1,592.4 -2.1% 11.7%
Russell 1000 G 723.0 -2.4% 9.9%

U.S. Credit Rates

Index 06/21/13 06/14/13 12/31/12
3 Month T-Bill 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
5 Year T-Note 1.4% 1.0% 0.8%
10 Year T-Note 2.5% 2.1% 1.8%
30 Year T-Bond 3.6% 3.3% 3.0%
Prime Rate 3.3% 3.3% 3.3%

This newsletter presents selected recommendations from portfolio managers of Argent Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor. Opinions reflect the portfolio manager’s judgment on the date above and are subject to change. A list of stocks recommended by Argent is available upon request. You should not assume that these recommendations are or will be profitable. In the course of it’s business, Argent’s client accounts may be buying and selling these stocks.