Ford Announces Dividend Boost and 2 Takeaways From Boeing's Contract Extension

Ford announces a dividend increase as its liquidity continues to improve, and Boeing's puts another nail in the coffin for pension-style retirement plans.

Jan 9, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 0.13% in late trading, despite positive jobs data. Initial unemployment claims fell 15,000 last week to 330,000, while Challenger, Gray & Christmas said planned layoffs fell 32% during December -- the lowest level in 13 years. Although I, and the Motley Fool, always recommend taking short-term information with a grain of salt, tomorrow's Labor Department payroll rate report will be of keen interest to investors. With that in mind, here are some companies making headlines today.

Inside the Dow, Boeing (NYSE:BA) is doing its part to move the index higher as the company's stock trades 1% higher. There are two key takeaways from machinists' union members vote last week  to approve Boeing's new contract extension, which secured production of the 777X aircraft at its Everett, Wash., plant.

First, pension-style retirement plans took a huge knock and seem to be dying a slow death among corporations in favor of less risky defined-contribution, 401(k)-style plans. It will be interesting to see over the next decade if other massive business sectors, such as the automotive industry, begin to take the same approach. We also saw, much to the pleasure of Boeing customers and investors, that the rollout of the 777X aircraft that rang up roughly $100 billion in orders at November's Dubai Airshow should be much smoother than the 787 Dreamliner. The latter produced headaches alike for everyone involved -- customers, travelers, Boeing, and investors. Fortunately for all of those parties, the 777X will likely be produced closer to budget and delivery times, as the Washington state workforce experienced with the 777 family will be working on the next generation aircraft.

Outside of the Dow, Ford (NYSE:F) is trading more than 2% higher today after it increased its dividend for the second time since it was reinstated in 2012. Ford will pay a quarterly dividend $0.125 per share, a 25% increase from the previous rate of a dime per share. 

The Blue Oval decided the company's strong balance sheet, increased liquidity, and better business performance enabled a sustainable increase in the dividend level. More specifically, over the last three quarters Ford increased its liquidity position by $3 billion; and over the last eight quarters the company has increased its liquidity position by more than $5 billion. Ford says it has also posted 14 consecutive quarters of positive automotive operating-related cash flow.

Also in the automotive industry, the Volvo honored Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) with three awards for outstanding product quality and sustainable manufacturing operations. Johnson Controls AGM batteries support the start-stop functionality in Volvo cars, which reduces fuel consumption by as much as 8%, according to the company.

"For more than 20 years we have been working in close cooperation with Volvo Cars," said Holger Jetses, general manager for power solutions Europe for Johnson Controls, in a press release. "These three awards are a great honor for us and reaffirm our commitment to high standards of quality, reliability, and performance. It also motivates us to continue our sustainability efforts -- both with our products and our production sites." 

Dividend stocks like Boeing and Ford can make you rich
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Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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