Email of the day
Comment of the Day

December 09 2011

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day

on a list of Autonomies:
"Please, re the question below, will you publish a list of who you would put on this list?

"As the festive season is upon us, I was in a Jewellery shop today, and the sales agent told me that 60% of a premium Swizz brand of watches went to China, and the rest of the world has to scrap for the rest. Really tells you something."

"Where and how can I find a list of "autonomies"?"

"Autonomies are the big, successful and genuinely multinational companies, and Fullermoney discusses them on an almost daily basis. Eoin may prepare a spread sheet list at some point. However, you may find it more useful to compile your own list in the 'Favourites' section of the Chart Library; because you know which stock markets interest you the most."

Eoin Treacy's view Thank you for your observations and this question which I'm sure will be of interest to subscribers. I suspect the brand you refer to is Rolex which remains a privately held company. However, it certainly fits the bill of an Autonomy because it is globally diversified, leveraged to the growth of the global consumer and dominates its specific niche. Over the last few months I have been giving some thought to companies that could fit into the Autonomy theme.

Many of the dividend aristocrats have the global presence, strong balance sheets and flexibility to qualify as Autonomies. I have created a section in the Subscriber's Forum, where you can access PDFs of the constituents of the S&P 500, S&P Europe 350, S&P Pan Asia and S&P/TSX Dividend Aristocrats.

In Comment of the Day on November 18th I posted a list of the old Nifty 50 shares, where I replaced extinct companies with those that had taken them over. I also posted a list of companies that derive at least 20% of their revenue from Asia and Latin America.

All of these lists offer useful starting points to develop a list of Autonomy type companies. We should also ask ourselves whether the fundamental basis for our decision is backed up by the relevant chart action. The highest degree of commonality currently evident exists among shares leveraged to the growth of the global middle class, primarily in Asia's population centres but also in Latin American, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa. The global breadth of this theme means that creating a definitive list of Autonomies would be too restrictive. However here are some initial thoughts.

In the fast food sector: McDonalds is US Dividend Aristocrat and Yum Brands derives over 48% of its revenue from outside the USA.

In the alcoholic beverages sector: Diageo is a European dividend aristocrat and globally oriented. SAB Miller is also globally diversified. “Asia / Rest of the World” represent the largest revenue streams for both Remy Cointreau and Pernod-Ricard. Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world's largest brewer and dominates the US market. Its Latin American subsidiary Ambev dominates the Brazilian market and is the sole distributor of Pepsi in that country. Singapore's Asia Pacific Brewery is based in Asia and is Heineken's partner in the region.

In the non-alcoholic beverages sector: Starbucks represents a “lifestyle” brand. Coca Cola is a US dividend aristocrat with one of the most recognisable global brands and Asia Pacific is its fastest growing market. PepsiCo is not a dividend aristocrat but its “All Other Counties” category is its fastest growing.

In the food sector: Nestle is world's largest food company. It is a European dividend aristocrat and its Asian revenue recently overtook that of Europe. Kraft is the world's second largest food company. Its fastest growing business units are Europe and “Other Business”. Heinz's fastest growing business unit is Asia/Pacific. Unilever makes more money from Asia and Africa than any other business unit.

Nutrition & Supplements: Mead Johnson Nutrition's Chinese revenues look set to become its largest in 2012 or 2013. Asia Pacific represents Herbalife's largest and fastest growing markets.

Cosmetics & Toiletries: Proctor & Gamble reports via three different units. Household care represents 48% of revenue, Beauty and Grooming 33% and Health and Well-Being 18%. While the USA is its largest market, it is globally present. Colgate Palmolive's largest market is Latin America and Greater Asia/Africa is its fastest growing. Kimberly Clark's largest market is North America but Asia, Latin America and Other represent its fastest growing markets. All three are US dividend aristocrats. Reckitt Benckiser is a European dividend aristocrat and its Developing Markets division is its fastest growing. Hengan International is China's largest diaper and sanitary napkin manufacturer. The company is a Pan Asian dividend aristocrat. Unicharm is one of Japan's best performing shares and is well represented in Asia. Estee Lauder's fastest growing market is Asia Pacific. Nu Skin Enterprises splits out its Asian revenue into North Asia, South Asia/Pacific and Greater China which represent the majority of the company's revenue.

Luxury brands: 2011 was the first year that Asia ex-Japan revenues became LVMH's largest. Cie Financiere Richemont's and Swatch's Asian revenues became its largest in 2010. Christian Dior's Asian revenues became its largest in 2009. North America is still Tiffany's largest market but Asia is on a solid growth trajectory. China represents BMW's third largest market behind the USA and Germany. Nike might not be a classic luxury brand but it is certainly a lifestyle icon. The USA, Greater China and Emerging Markets divisions represent its fastest growing.

In the retail sector: Wal-Mart is a US dividend aristocrat and depends on its international division for growth. Tesco is a European dividend aristocrat and Asia is its fastest growing market.

In the Healthcare sector: there are a large number of companies that could qualify as Autonomies. Johnson & Johnson (a dividend aristocrat), Bristol Myer Squibb, Novo Nordisk, Merck, Sanofi and Biogen could all be considered candidates.

In the consumer electronics and technology sector: Apple's revenues continue to grow across all its geographic regions. Google, Microsoft, IBM are also viable candidates. Asia represents both Microchip Technologies' largest and fastest growing market. Asia represents the bulk of Novellus System's revenue generation. China, the USA and Europe are Samsung Electronics' three largest markets.

In the mining sector: BHP Billiton has one of the strongest balance sheets in the sector, is a dividend aristocrat and is globally diversified. Rio Tinto also possesses an admirable portfolio of resources in the ground and is equally well oriented to the global economy.

In the industrial gases sector: Praxair, Air Liquide and Linde share an oligarchy on supply. Linde has the greatest exposure to Asia's growth markets.

In the oil & gas sector: Exxon Mobil is a US dividend aristocrat and has a presence in almost every country. Royal Dutch Shell has a high dividend and is also globally present. Both companies now produce more gas than oil.

The above represent some initial thoughts on what may qualify as Autonomies. I believe this should be a collaborative effort and if subscribers think of potential additions we can have a discussion about which companies should and should not qualify.

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