When it comes to picking companies that can do great things for your portfolio, there are any number of criteria you can choose. Are they temporarily undervalued? Do they have a massive opportunity ahead? Are they Rule Breakers that are changing their industries, or the whole world?
Well, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner takes many things into account when he weighs investments, but this week, he's picking a five-stock sampler of companies that are poised for gains because they're riding massive trends. (Special thanks to listener Paul Knaapen, who asked David to chose the five Rule Breakers with the strongest tailwinds.)
In this segment of the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, he talks about the first of those five -- solar and wind power giant NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) -- and explains where he sees the green power trend heading.
To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Sept. 4, 2019.
David Gardner: Stock No. 1 this week. We're going to do this alphabetically by company name, as is our habit. We're going to go all the way down to the letter N. Now, that doesn't mean I can't find any companies, any stocks A through M, with tailwinds. In fact, Paul just gave a few pretty good ones. Match Group I easily could have included on this list. It has a massive tailwind. That in part explains the tremendous performance of that stock. I still like it today. I've recommended it in a number of our past five-stock samplers. But I feel like that's too easy. So, let's be a little less obvious. Let's look a little harder. Maybe find a few companies on this list of five that not as many people know.
Here at the letter N, we find ourselves with NextEra Energy, ticker NEE. Now, on the face of it, we all should know NextEra Energy. Don't you? Wait, I'm sorry! You don't? Well, in this age of clean energy, NextEra is literally the world leader in generating electricity from wind and solar. You didn't know NextEra Energy, which has a market cap of over $100 billion and has been a wonderful out-performer, and you'd never heard of this Rule Breaker. Well, I know some of you have. I'm having some fun there.
NextEra Energy has put together an initial base business, Florida Power and Light, which is one of the largest utilities in the country, occupying a big part of Florida. But it used that base in order then to launch its NextEra Energy Group, which is all the renewables. It's invested tens of billions of dollars in recent years in order to become the worldwide leader.
Now, for each of these stocks, I'll mention where the stock is, where it's been, and a few things about what I like about the company, including, of course, its tailwind. NextEra Energy trades right now as we talk at about $224 a share. That's a $106 billion market cap. I first picked it in Motley Fool Rule Breakers on January 24th of this year, so just eight months ago now. It was at about $177 then, so it's up about 25% in these eight months. Not bad vs. the stock market's 12%. We're ahead of the market. So, there are a few stats on NextEra Energy. If you're a Rule Breakers member, you've probably been holding this stock for months. But for my listeners here, you might be hearing about it for the first time. I think everybody should know this company. This is one of the best companies in America. It's routinely lauded as one of America's top employers.
What do we like about this company? Why do I like it for the next three-plus years? That's how we'll be scoring the sampler, per normal. Over the next three years, we'll be looking back and see how we do with these five stocks. Yes, clean energy is the tailwind. It is a massive tailwind. While it's still a minority of the energy that we get on this earth, which still comes from things like oil, although natural gas is creeping up, and NextEra Energy plays well with natural gas as well, this is a company that has been investing tens of billions of dollars to build its capacity in the following three things: solar, which is a much bigger performer than wind, which is still a meaningful performer, but the third capacity they're building is storage, because, of course, part of this form of energy is, you need to be good at storing it. So, it's still early days, isn't it? For solar and wind. Solar feels to me like the ultimate form of energy we'll be using on this planet for as long as we're around. It's taken us a long time to get there and there's still a lot of technological improvements that we need in things like storage to make it work for everybody. But it seems blindingly obvious, I guess, pun intended, don't stare at the sun. It seems blindingly obvious to me that, looking backwards from the future, we'll say the sun made so much sense that it would be the biggest form of energy generation for us on Earth. And right now, you have an opportunity to buy the company that is the worldwide leader in that, and it's still early days.
One other thing I'll point out before we move on to stock No. 2 is that this is a company that is a quote "dividend champion." That's a precious list of a small number of companies that have raised their dividend every single one of the past 25 years. A lot of people who are looking for income these days will be happy to note that the company pays about a 2.5% dividend yield. If you buy the stock over the succeeding year, you'll be paid back about 2.5% of whatever you invested in it in the form of dividends. Now, that can float up and down a little bit. Of course, the main reason I'm excited about this company is not just for the dividends, but for the capital appreciation. This has been a market-beating performer for meaningful amounts of time, and I'm counting on it to beat the market over the next three years, too.
So there we go. Five Stocks With A Tailwind Blow, stock No. 1, NextEra Energy.