Will Coca-Cola Help You Retire Rich?http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2012/02/09/will-coca-cola-help-you-retire-rich.aspx Dan Caplinger
February 9, 2012
Now more than ever, a comfortable retirement depends on secure, stable investments. Unfortunately, the right stocks for retirement won't just fall into your lap. In this series, I look at 10 measures to show what makes a great retirement-oriented stock.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) is the best-known brand in the world, and with Interbrand estimating its brand value at a whopping $72 billion, the company milks every penny it can from it. With its global presence, it's hard to believe that the maker of such a simple product could have achieved such success. But investors can't afford to look backward at a company's success, and some question whether Coke has the growth left in it to keep being a good value for shareholders. Below, we'll revisit how Coca-Cola does on our 10-point scale.
The right stocks for retirees
Sure, you still want good returns, but you also need to manage your risk and protect yourself against bear markets, which can maul your finances at the worst possible time. The right stocks combine both of these elements in a single investment.
When scrutinizing a stock, retirees should look for:
With those factors in mind, let's take a closer look at Coca-Cola.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Total score = number of passes.
Since we looked at Coca-Cola last year, the company has kept its seven-point score. The drink giant doesn't quite squeak under our valuation guidelines, but it has a lot of what conservative investors like to see in a stock.
Coca-Cola has come a long way from its humble beginnings. After getting booted out of the Dow Industrials in 1935, it took Coke more than 50 years to earn its way back in. But along the way, it became an iconic product in American culture and took the world by storm. It's easy to conclude that Coke's fastest growth days are long behind it.
But Coke definitely hasn't stopped growing. A few years ago, the company bought the North American bottling operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE ) , making itself more vertically integrated, and paid Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE: DPS