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Natural gas pipeline operator Energy Transfer has taken the first position in the list, as the company continued to boost its profit guidance for the year. Second in the list is private equity firm Blackstone Group, which saw its stock fall despite improving results. Star Bulk Carriers is third due to its sky-high dividend. Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson closes the list, as the company was in the news after announcing a large takeover.
Don’t forget to read our previous edition of trends here.
Energy Transfer Hikes Guidance for the Full Year
Energy Transfer (ET) has taken the first position in the list, seeing its viewership advance 48%. Energy Transfer, which engages in the transport of natural gas in the U.S., has reported stellar results recently as demand for natural gas transportation has been increasing.
The company said it now expects adjusted EBITDA for 2022 to be between $12.8 billion and $13 billion, up $200 million from previously. The company has also increased its distributable cash flow to $1.58 billion for the quarter ended September 30 compared to $1.31 billion during the same period last year. This equals a dividend of 26.5 cents per share, or a monster yield of 8.2%, which will be paid out on November 21.
Energy Transfer’s shares have been crawling up over the past two years, but they are still slightly below pre-pandemic levels. The stock is also 63% lower from its peak in May 2015. Trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of just 10, investor confidence in the stock is still low, albeit improving.
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Blackstone Group Reports Weakening Results
Private equity empire Blackstone Group (BX) is second in the list, seeing its viewership creep up 36% over the past two weeks. Blackstone has reported weakening results compared with the same period last year, due to slower dealmaking and a drop in stock market valuations that has hit the value of its own portfolio.
Blackstone disposed of just $15 billion worth of assets, 50% lower than it sold in the prior three-month period. Meanwhile, its distributable earnings declined to $1.4 billion. Furthermore, the company was forced to mark down the value of its holdings given the decline in stock market valuations. However, a rise in asset management fees has softened the blow.
Blackstone pays a dividend of 3.87%, which is higher than the financial average yield of 3.18%. The firm’s shares are down 35%, as rising interest rates, falling stock market valuations, and a rapidly deteriorating M&A market puts pressure on the stock.
Star Bulk Carriers Expected to Suffer from Slowing Demand
Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) has trended third these past two weeks, with a rise in viewership of 29%. A combination of improving financial results with weak confidence in the stock has led to a sky-high dividend yield.
Star Bulk revenues for the second quarter rose 34% to $417 million, while its net income surged 61% to $200 million. However, the stock price has lost nearly half of its value since reaching a 2022 peak in June. Star Bulk maintained its dividend in the third quarter at $1.65 per share, resulting in a monster dividend yield of 37%.
The company benefitted from strong demand in the post-pandemic recovery in 2021 and the start of 2022. However, rising interest has hit global demand for goods and transportation is likely to see the effects in the coming quarters.
Johnson & Johnson Acquires Abiomed
Large biopharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is last on the list with an increase in traffic of 16%. The company was in the news after it agreed to acquire heart pump maker Abiomed for $380 per share, or $16.6 billion.
The Abiomed acquisition is Johnson & Johnson’s largest in six years and represents its shifting focus on medical devices after it will spin off its consumer health unit in about a year. Abiomed will add around $1 billion in sales to Johnson & Johnson’s medical technology unit, which generated more than $20 billion in sales in the first three quarters of 2022.
Johnson & Johnson pays a dividend of $4.52 per share and has increased it in each of the past 60 years. Its dividend yields 2.61% compared with 1.58% for healthcare average. The company’s shares have performed well over the past 12 months, appreciating by 4.5%.
The Bottom Line
Energy Transfer has been reporting strong results thanks to growing demand for natural gas transportation. Blackstone Group is reporting deteriorating results due to a slowdown in dealmaking. Star Bulk Carriers pays a monster dividend as results have improved but confidence in the stock has waned. Johnson & Johnson is expanding its bet on medical technology with the acquisition of Abiomed.
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