In May, I announced my intention to create a portfolio that embodied life’s basic needs. Understandably, many of the truly basic needs in our everyday lives have transcended far beyond just the need for water and shelter. To that end, over a period of 10 weeks I detailed 10 diverse companies that I think will outperform the broad-based S&P 500 over a three-year period because of their ability to outperform in both bull and bear markets, and command incredible pricing power in nearly any economic environment.
If you’d like a closer look at what my reasoning was behind each selection, you can do so by clicking on any, or all, of the following portfolio components:
Let’s look at how our portfolio of basic needs stocks fared this week.
|Company||Cost Basis||Shares||Total Value||Return|
|American Water Works||$43.13||22.96||$901.87||(8.9%)|
|Procter & Gamble||$81.29||12.18||$939.69||(5.1%)|
|S&P 500 performance||(3.2%)|
|Performance relative to S&P 500||(2.7%)|
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, author’s calculations.
With earnings season on the back burner for at least another month, individual direct and indirect news stories dominated this week. But unlike last week, none of them were dividend-based.
New products driving growth
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has to be the headliner this week, with cumulative U.S. auto sales for all major automakers adding up to a production level that we haven’t seen in six years. For August, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) saw unit sales rise 12%, with the compact Ford Fiesta leading the charge, up 61.5%. Although Ford was outdone by General Motors with a 15% increase and its Japanese competitors, I wouldn’t be too concerned, as Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s fuel efficiency and heavy-duty truck-line has proven to have an edge over its competitors over the long run.
Chipmaker Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) also made some noise of its own, with a presentation at its headquarters for analysts that outlined some of its upcoming products. Unveiled were the C2000 microserver chip, which is used for file and database management, as well as chips that can be used for Ethernet networking to move data faster between servers. Historically, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s innovation has never been a question mark. But in the past couple of years it’s failed to see how quickly PCs would decline in importance, making its new products all the more important for investors to pay attention to.
Even consumer-goods giant The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) got in on the new product action by unveiling its plans to introduce a lower-cost Tide detergent in the U.S known as Tide Simply Clean. If you recall, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has the largest advertising budget in the world and certainly isn’t afraid to use it to instill confidence in its brands. However, big ad spending hasn’t translated into optimal results for its iconic detergent brand, as weak consumer spending and higher payroll taxes have pushed some shoppers toward lower-priced store detergents. Consider this another move by A.G. Lafley to help bring consumers back to the P&G brand.
Also in the news
Shareholders of oil giant Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) have to be happy, as they found out that their company had won a bid to explore for shale gas in Western Lithuania in the Silute-Taurage prospect. It probably won’t come as a surprise that Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was the only bidder in the region, but it nonetheless could give Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) another edge over its peers in the international markets if it does find retrievable hydrocarbons in the region.