The first investment of March was the widely known Unilever (UL) (ULVR). It is a consumer goods company, which is one of my favorite industries for long-term investors. Because everyone needs their goods and implicitly trusts their brands, you can count on their resilience to withstand financial crisis and other headwinds. Moreover, while the sector might be disrupted by technology in the future, it won't be made redundant by it, making me extra comfortable with these long-term bets.
My favorite companies in this space, both brand-wise and performance-wise are Unilever and Procter and Gamble (PG). Just like everyone, I see Procter and Gamble as a core holding and would like to open and grow a position as soon as possible. However, I would say that Procter and Gamble is trading at a very fair valuation, which makes it an interesting buy, but if I can find great quality at a cheaper price somewhere else, that would be even better.
Unilever is essentially an almost 100 year company that you could consider the European version of Procter and Gamble. Their brands have a very strong market position and are widely appreciated. You probably use some of them at home:
Even though it has half the market cap of PG, it has been growing at a faster rate, and was incredibly nimble in it's entrance and expansion into emerging markets resulting in more than half of its sales originating in those markets. Also, one of the reasons I am so keen on UL is because even though they have a very strong emerging markets position, they are very wisely diversified all over the world. Their worldwide sales distribution is very balanced:
Unilever had an impressive run in the latest years with an average yearly return on equity of 30%, acceptable debt, and sports a very healthy P/B of 5.86, which I would consider low considering their high ROE.
I found the LSE listing of Unilever (ULVR to be particularly good for me, specially because I am using the equivalent of a US IRA and so I can have this holding in a tax-free environment. So I got the following deal, with which I am pretty happy with:
Stock Price: 40.13$ (23.99£)
Dividend Yield: 3.7%
Dividend Raise Streak: 15 Years
Typical Yearly Dividend Growth (5yr): 7%
The payout is at roughly 60%, and while that is isn't ideal, I believe it is pretty acceptable, especially considering the value that is coming with this current stock price.