In uncertain times, stick with leaders

Article Excerpt

One part of our three-part investment program is to invest mainly in well-established companies. (The other two parts are to spread your money across the five main economic sectors and avoid stocks in the broker/public-relations limelight.) Well-established stocks, like the three we analyze below, cut your risk during times of economic uncertainty. All three are leaders in their niche markets. That helps them attract and retain customers. As well, their strong balance sheets would let them buy weaker competitors and expand their market shares. Moreover, despite their recent gains, they are reasonably priced in relation to earnings. FINNING INTERNATIONAL INC. $22 (Toronto symbol FTT; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 171.0 million; Market cap: $3.8 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 0.9; Dividend yield: 2.2%; SI Rating: Above Average) sells, rents and repairs heavy equipment, such as tractors, bulldozers and trucks, made by Caterpillar Inc. Finning’s major customers are in the mining, forest-products and construction industries in western Canada, the U.K. and…

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