You may have read in the news lately about the US dollar being “strong.” When the US dollar is strong, it has favorable exchange rates on foreign currencies. We will examine how the rising value of the dollar has impacted certain stocks, resulting in some possible buying opportunities.
Some companies are based in the United States, but do a lot of international business. When it comes time to submit earnings reports, the revenues are converted into US dollars. If the dollar is strong compared to that converted currency, the dollar value of the earnings will be weakened.
These weakened earnings do not necessarily mean the business is performing poorly. It is an accounting item. If you can look through the currency exchanges, and to the quality of the company’s operating activities – you may find opportunity.
A weak Yen, a strong company
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) is an insurance company that operates in the United States and Japan. While it is the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the US, 80% of its profits actually come from Japan.
Source: Yahoo Finance
As you can see in the chart above, the Japanese Yen has weakened tremendously against the dollar over the last year.
In the first quarter, AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) earned $1.69 in operating income per share compared to $1.74 per share last year. A loss right? Well actually, no. If you account for the unfavorable exchange rate of the Yen, earnings actually grew 5.7% from the first quarter last year.
Currency headwinds are expected to remain for at least the remainder of the year. This headwind doesn’t reflect the business model of AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), and thus is giving you a nice price to consider.
For a P/E of about 9.6, you are getting a company that has a:
- Debt to equity ratio of 0.3
- 5 year sales growth rate of 10.50%
- 5 year dividend growth rate of 10.87%
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) could prove to be a stock that gives market beating returns when the Yen starts to gain its footing back.
Don’t let the strong dollar keep you away from this stalwart
Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) is an American cigarette company most famously known for its Marlboro brand. But while Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) sells Marlboro in the United States, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) conducts 100% of its business internationally.
The graph below shows the DXY index. It tracks the dollar against a conglomerate of foreign currencies.
The dollar’s strength has been creeping up over approximately the last 2 years. Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) recently announced its second quarter earnings results.
Diluted earnings per share checked in at $1.30 per share, down from last year’s $1.36 mark. Again, if you adjust for unfavorable currency exchange rates, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) actually gained a penny per share. Thanks to the impression of lack luster earnings, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) has gone on a $1.50 per share stock price skid since earnings day.
Should you run away from this stock? I don’t think so. Even with a not-so-great quarter, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) still has tremendous growth prospects. If you adjust for currency rates, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) is still on track with its earnings growth rate targets set by management.
It’s in the midst of a 3 year $18 billion share buyback program. This will also aid earnings per share growth. Management has also affirmed optimism that operating results will be stronger in the second half of the year.