Updating your Conservative stocks: Briggs & Stratton Corp., Philips Electronics N.V. ADR and Diageo Plc ADR

Article Excerpt

BRIGGS & STRATTON CORP. $1.34 (www.basco.com) is now a sell. Low sales of its lawnmower engines and other related products as a result of COVID-19 prompted the company to skip a $6.7 million interest payment. That could trigger a default, and require the immediate repayment of $195.5 million on those notes. Briggs’ debt is a whopping 2.8 times the company’s $69.2 million market cap. Nonetheless, it will pay bonuses totalling $5.1 million to retain its CEO and other key executives. PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V. ADR $46 (www.philips.com) remains a buy. The company makes industrial health-care products, including X-ray scanners and ultrasound systems. It also produces consumer goods such as electric shavers, electric toothbrushes and air purifiers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union has agreed to purchase an undisclosed number of medical ventilators from Philips. Earlier, the company agreed to sell 43,000 ventilators to U.S. hospitals. DIAGEO PLC ADR $136 (www.diageo.com) is a hold. The company is a leading maker of premium alcoholic beverages. Its main brands include Guinness beer,…

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