Picture supply: Getty Pictures
2023 was one thing of a blended bag for inventory markets. Amid powerful macroeconomic circumstances, many FTSE 100 shares struggled to ship stable returns. The index itself completed the yr with virtually flat returns.
One inventory that was caught up on this was Diageo (LSE: DGE), with its share worth falling 23% all year long. Broaden that horizon to 5 years, and the shares have fallen too, albeit solely by 2%. So why am I contemplating shopping for this inventory? Let’s take a more in-depth look.
High quality enterprise
The identify Diageo will not be as properly referred to as a few of its well-known labels, however the multinational alcoholic beverage firm boasts a few of the largest names within the trade. They embody Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Guinness, Captain Morgan and Baileys.
Proudly owning this suite of manufacturers offers the corporate large pricing energy. Demand is persistently excessive and there’s minimal established competitors for a lot of of them. What’s extra, alcohol isn’t a cyclical enterprise. In different phrases, no matter market circumstances, individuals take pleasure in a drink.
Given this huge demand, the corporate can rake in spectacular top-line figures. For instance, final yr it reported revenues of just about $24bn, with internet revenue of $3.8bn. The robust earnings degree has allowed Diageo to pay shareholders for 36 years working. Previous efficiency isn’t any indication of future returns, however stats like which might be very attractive for potential traders like me.
That being stated, the present dividend yield is barely 2.8%, which is under the market common. Along with this, the valuation nonetheless appears a bit on the steep aspect to me. The shares are at present buying and selling at a price-to-earnings ratio of 17, which is a slight premium to the FTSE 100 common of 14.
The corporate faces a number of dangers to its earnings, notably in a few of its worldwide markets. For instance, in its November buying and selling replace, it pointed to “a materially weaker efficiency outlook in Latin America and the Caribbean”, which might serve to dampen income.
Extra broadly, with world markets just lately enduring red-hot inflation, outlooks stay blended. Within the UK, for instance, rates of interest are anticipated to stay excessive for many of 2024. This might dampen client demand for a few of Diageo’s costlier manufacturers. That being stated, with such a powerful model arsenal, I don’t anticipate this to be a serious concern.
To attempt to ‘futureproof’ its enterprise, Diageo just lately appointed a “breakthrough innovation workforce” to steer developments past product growth. Such groups are an effective way of increasing choices to new markets, in addition to broadening services. Given the hazy market outlook, I believe this can be a nice transfer by the agency.
What I’d do now
General, I just like the look of those shares proper now. Given the 23% decline final yr, I believe now might be time to purchase the inventory for long-term development. If I had some spare money mendacity round, I’d be including it to my portfolio at this time.