Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Emerson Electric: A Dividend Stock

Emerson Electric's (NYSE: EMR  ) fourth-quarter results did two things that will interest investors. First, they gave a good reading on trends in the global economy -- something all investors should be watching. Second, they confirmed just why the company remains a dividend favorite. Putting these things together, is the stock worth buying?

Emerson Electric: Performing well amid some global challenges

Earlier in the year, Fools saw how buying stock in Emerson Electric was largely a play on economic trends in the global economy. With this in mind, it's a good idea to track how its geographic performance fared relative to management's expectations at the start of the year.

Here is a look at full-year underlying sales (excluding acquisitions and divestitures) versus what was planned in early 2014:

 Segment Plan    Actual 
USA   3%-5%  4%
Europe   0%-2%  1%
China  6%-8%  7%
Other Asia  6%-8%  1%
Latin America   6%-8%  2%
Middle East & Africa   8%-10%  (1%)
Underlying   3%-5%  3%

Source: Emerson Electric presentations.

With underlying sales at the bottom end of its projected range for the full year, it's clear that its end markets didn't work out as planned. Of course, Emerson Electric isn't alone in seeing significant changes occur in the mix of global growth. Indeed, fellow industrial bellwether 3M also reported a similar story of the U.S. strengthening, with certain emerging markets (particularly Latin America) weakening notably.