The broader stock market has been weak of late, with the S&P 500 Index down around 10% so far this year. Also in negative territory are Cummins (CMI -1.27%), Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI -1.63%), and 3M (MMM -3.63%). But if you look over the past 12 months, each of these stocks is off by 25% or more versus a roughly flat showing for the S&P 500. Intrepid investors might want to dig in and make these stocks long-term holds.
1. Cummins: Already preparing for the future
Cummins is best known for making engines that run on carbon fuels like diesel and gasoline. It has a long history of success behind it, noting the company's 12-year streak of annual dividend increases. That makes it a Dividend Achiever. And its trailing 10-year dividend growth rate is an incredibly generous 15%.
The problem here is that Cummins is a fairly cyclical business and is viewed as being tied to older power sources. ESG investors would likely want to avoid it. But that's a bit shortsighted, as the company is working to build out new technologies that will help the world go green, including natural gas, electric, and hybrid-powered engines. It is already preparing for a very different future when it eventually arrives. That effort includes the use of acquisitions; it's already completed or agreed to four purchases in 2022.
But this creates uncertainty and involves spending a lot of money. Cummins is a well-run company, and despite the negative view, which is being helped along by the current inflation environment, it appears to be on a sustainable path. Long-term investors should do a deep dive, particularly given the stock's generous 3% or so dividend yield.
2. Omega Healthcare: There's always going to be a need
Omega Healthcare is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that is focused on owning nursing homes. This is a sector that has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, given that the illness is extra dangerous for older adults and spreads most easily in group settings. In fact, Omega is dealing with a number of lessees that are having trouble making their rent payments.
The thing is, going into a nursing home is not something a person generally chooses to do. It is something that is done because it is the best care option for those with material needs. There is a backup in demand for senior housing like what Omega offers, and once the pandemic troubles recede more fully, more residents will likely start to move in. In fact, management believes that 2023 could be the year when things start to look brighter for the REIT. There's a lot of work to do between today and 2023, including working with troubled tenants, but for long-term investors, this deeply out-of-favor senior housing REIT could be an interesting buy. Notably, the current yield is a huge 9.6%, though given the headwinds, there is a risk of a dividend cut. But even if the dividend were halved, the yield would still be generous.
3. 3M: The lawsuits have to play out
The last name on this list is 3M, an industrial stock with a massive portfolio of products and a history of using research and development to differentiate itself from peers. It has a storied history and a name that most people know. Like Cummins, 3M's business is cyclical, which is a worry given current recession concerns. The company's business performance over the last few years, meanwhile, has been less impressive than it has been historically, which has been a drag on the stock price. The innovation that tends to drive the company, however, doesn't work in a straight line, often coming in fits and starts. Given the long-history of R&D success at 3M, it's probably worth giving management the benefit of the doubt.
Another problem is a series of lawsuits around environmental and product liability issues. The costs could add up fast if 3M losses in court more often than it wins. Here's the thing -- lawsuits for a company like 3M are actually a pretty common part of the business environment. These are notable cases but hardly unique. Moreover, it is an $80 billion market cap company with an investment-grade credit rating, which means it has notable financial wherewithal to deal with adversity. It is highly likely that 3M will survive the legal headwinds it faces today. You may need to hold your nose while digging into the company's particulars, but for a contrarian with a long-term bent, ignoring this iconic name while it is offering a historically high 4% yield would be a mistake.
No such thing as a perfect company
If investors waited for "perfect" investments, no one would ever buy anything. And the truth is that, often, the best time to buy a stock is when a company is on the outs with investors. That's true today for Cummins, Omega, and 3M. Maybe you don't find all three attractive, but if you can hold on for a few years, at least one will likely be a good fit for your portfolio.