Investors need to make sure they read each earnings report from the companies they invest in. I’m worried that investors are overlooking a few issues at Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI). Don’t get me wrong, Johnson Controls is a company I’ve followed for a long time, in fact, the company is the first stock I ever owned. The company’s easy to access dividend reinvestment plan that you can start with just $50 was a primary reason I bought the shares first. I liked that the company was diversified into heating and cooling, auto systems, and batteries. The company’s strong history of dividend and earnings growth didn’t hurt either. However, today’s Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI) has some problems that I don’t remember seeing years ago when I bought the shares.
Lots Of Press, But Not Something To Charge Your Batteries I’ve read multiple articles about Johnson Controls potential when it comes to power systems. Analysts and investors claim that the company will supply power systems not only to the auto industry, but to other businesses as well.
The companies that Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI) competes against are some of the strongest and most well known in the world. In the power and building efficiency businesses, companies like General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) are Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI)’ direct competition. In the auto industry, Magna International Inc. (USA) (NYSE:MGA) and others are in constant competition for auto manufacturers dollars.
While Johnson Controls power systems business could be a future growth driver, if investors are hoping this business will carry the company forward, they may be disappointed. The truth is, the company’s Building Efficiency and Automotive Experience businesses are far more important to Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI) future. To be blunt, these two businesses generated $8.9 billion in revenue compared to just $1.6 billion from power systems.
No Power In These Results While Johnson Controls power systems might provide a boost to the company longer-term, their current results and expected growth are just not that good. It’s one thing to expect great things from a company, but when all of their peers are doing better, you have to question the investment thesis behind Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI).
One obvious issue with Johnson Controls as an investment is the company’s yield isn’t exactly something to write home about. At the present time, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)'s yield is over 3%, and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) pays a yield of about 2.25%. By comparison, Johnson Controls' yield of about 2% is only slightly better than Magna International Inc. (USA) (NYSE:MGA)’s yield of about 1.8%.The second challenge facing Johnson Controls is the company’s earnings growth is sub-par as well. United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) offers a better-expected earnings growth rate at 13.53%, and Magna International Inc. (USA) (NYSE:MGA)’s 12.75% growth rate tops Johnson Controls as well. Over the next few years, Johnson Controls expected EPS growth of 11.73% is only slightly higher than the 10.87% growth rate from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). With other companies offering faster growth rates, Johnson Controls isn’t exactly a screaming buy for growth investors.