Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lorillard Inc (LO) 2014 Review

Lorillard Inc. (LO) is the third largest manufacturer of US cigarette brands including Newport, Kent, True, Maverick and Old Gold.  The company has grown profits at an 11-12% rate over the last 10 years earning a very high rate of return on equity.  However, that was primarily due to a very high debt to equity ratio---which we view as a negative.  It has grown its dividend per share since 2008 from $.61 to $2.46 in 2013.  Lo is expected to continue this performance as a result of:

(1) increasing market share due to its strong portfolio of brands,

(2) product innovation especially in e-cigarettes,

(3) increasing prices,

(4) a stock buyback program.


 (1) a highly competitive industry,

(2) declining cigarette sales,

(4) regulatory restrictions.

Lorillard is rated A by Value Line, has a 100% debt to equity ratio and its stock yields 4.1%

    Statistical Summary

                 Stock     Dividend         Payout      # Increases  
                 Yield      Growth Rate     Ratio       Since 2008

LO             4.1%          10%              65%              6
Ind Ave     4.4              8                   62                 NA 

                Debt/                        EPS Down       Net        Value Line
              Equity         ROE         Since 2004      Margin       Rating

BFB        100%           NMF            0                19             A
Ind Ave    63               56              NA               14            NA


            Note: LO stock made great progress off of its January 2009 low, quickly surpassing the downtrend off its December 2007 high (straight red line) and the November 2008 trading high (green line).  Long term, LO is in an uptrend (blue lines).  The wiggly red line is the 50 day moving average.  The High Yield Portfolio owns a full position in LO.  It is currently on the High Yield Buy List.  The lower boundary of its Sell Half Range is $79.



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