Loblaw Companies Limited Is a Great Brand, but Is it a Good Investment?

Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX:L) is a branding and retail powerhouse, but is the company a good investment?

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Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX:L) is one of those companies that consumers flock to and constantly spend more than they initially planned to. And as one of the largest, well-known companies in Canada, that’s a good thing for investors.

Loblaw has immense brand power. The company has some 20 varying brands and labels that are offered in a variety of locations across the country, operating as grocery stores, pharmacies, merchandise providers, and even financial services.

In short, Loblaw has a presence all around us. As an investor, this is something that excites me as the power of the brand shows real potential.

Let’s take a quick look at how Loblaw is doing and why the company is a great investment for your portfolio.

How’s Loblaw doing?

Loblaw is currently trading at just over $73. Year-to-date, the stock is up nearly 12%, outperforming the market. Expanding this out to a full calendar year shows the company stock is up over 16%. Longer term, the company is up by 90% over the past five years, making Loblaw a great option for those investors seeking long-term growth.

This growth, particularly over the past two years, is impressive as the rest of the economy has been dealing with commodity prices and the dropping loonie.

Loblaw pays out a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share for a yield of 1.37%. While nice, growth is clearly the reason to invest in Loblaw. That being said, Loblaw has raised the dividend consecutively for the past four years, and there is no reason to believe that the company will not offer up an increase this year.

In the most recent quarter Loblaw posted a 2.3% increase in consolidated revenue over the same period last year with an adjusted basic net earnings of $0.88 per common share, representing a 6% increase.

One Loblaw for all

An interesting point about Loblaw is that the company covers all of the necessities a consumer has. With its segments for food, clothing, and drugs, the company is not only casting a wide net in terms of products and audience, but it’s also targeting specific items that consumers can’t go without.

That defensive moat was strengthened two years ago when Loblaw acquired Shoppers Drug Mart. Through that acquisition, Loblaw picked up the strongest and most recognizable pharmacy brand in the country to add its all-star lineup of brands. Shoppers now carry Loblaw’s own President’s Choice brand, giving even greater exposure to the brand in smaller stores.

The company is also doing more to embrace technology as a means to increase revenues. Loblaw’s “Click and collect” service is a popular addition to many Loblaw stores, allowing customers to place orders and then proceed to the store to pick up the order. There is a massive potential for this service in the Shoppers brand if and when Loblaw expands this service.

Given the size, results, and growth of Loblaw, the company remains a solid option for those investors who are seeking growth over the long term. The fact that Loblaw continues to perform well in a weak economy speaks to the broad array of products and brands the company offers over the grocery, pharmacy, and merchandise segments.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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