Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 62

Sector Rap

prices have slumped around 20% since the upward surge reversed in April. Many aluminum producers were not able to restart capacity like the steelmakers did in late 2009 and early 2010, because aluminum prices were just barely at the cash cost of production for many of the high-cost smelters that were previously idled. The pullback in aluminum prices is now causing further delays in restarting capacity in the developed world, while rising energy costs in China are likely to force significant smelter closures in the latter half of the year. The price of aluminum is still some 40% below the 2008 peak, and we expect the closure of these high-cost smelters will keep supply in check and prevent further price declines.
Q: Let’s turn to stocks. Are there reasons to be bullish? Rohr: Despite recent declines, metals prices remain well above prior-year levels, resulting in rapid cash accumulation at many mining companies. Initially, much of the windfalls were applied toward shoring up liquidity and paying down debt that was accumulated in the 2007-08 boom. Barring a precipitous drop in metals prices, most miners will continue to build cash, in some cases potentially in excess of total outstanding debt. What, then, to do with the cash? With balance sheets in relatively strong shape, shareholders should expect better dividend payouts. Q: Any companies in particular? Rohr: We think investors in Freeport-McMoRan FCX and Xstrata XTA could see a dividend hike

from Australia’s much-discussed Resource Super Profits Tax—which would deliver a blow to the bottom line of miners with major Australian assets such as BHP Billiton BHP, Rio Tinto RTP, and Xstrata—to the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s efforts to expropriate copper mines from midsized Canadian miner First Quantum FM.
Q: Are valuations of basic-materials stocks attractive?

industry is now struggling under the burden of an inventory overhang and chronic overcapacity. In our view, the current share price now seriously understates the growth and profit potential of the company’s market-leading seed and genomics segment.
Q: Two other big firms with moats are BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Why do you like those companies? Collins: Diversification. Geographic and product

Elizabeth Collins: The stock price retrenchment we saw in the second quarter has made many basic-materials stocks more palatable from a valuation perspective. We currently have about five stocks with 5-star Morningstar Ratings—meaning that we think they are significantly undervalued—and another 17 with 4-star ratings. Q: Given the commodity nature of the industries you follow, wide-moat companies are few. But you do cover some. Are any of them attractive? Collins: Vulcan Materials VMC is a leading

diversification give both firms more-stable cash flows and lower operating risk than most of their mining peers. They’re not dependent on a single commodity or a single region for their profits. And they both have the financial wherewithal to weather the boom-and-bust cycles of the inherently volatile commodity markets. And both stocks are cheap, in our opinion, both trading at discounts to our fair value estimate. BHP also yields more than 3%.
Q: Are you recommending any coal producers? Mike Tian: We’d highlight Cloud Peak CLD. It’s a pure-play Powder River Basin coal miner that ranks among the lowest-cost thermal coal producers in the United States. We expect that this cost-curve advantage will damp some of the ill effects of volatile coal prices. However, a lengthy period of very low prices for PRB coal would still place considerable stress on Cloud Peak’s financial health. Historically, Cloud Peak had been one of the less-disciplined producers. For example, it barely reduced production in 2009, even though demand plummeted. We suspect that a poor alignment of management incentives discouraged such discipline. Now, as a public company out from under the control of Rio Tinto, compensation will be much more closely linked to Cloud Peak’s performance, not Rio Tinto’s. If we are right, then increased discipline should lead to higher prices and margins for all players in the basin. K
Haywood Kelly, CFA, is vice president of equity research at Morningstar.

provider of aggregates in the United States and enjoys a wide economic moat. Vulcan’s collection of quarry assets benefits from high barriers to entry and forms the basis of the company’s economic moat. The firm’s shares have taken a beating, but we continue to believe that Vulcan’s network of attractive assets will allow the company to sustain its wide moat and benefit from positive secular trends in the long run.
Q: Monsanto MON is another wide-moat company, and a controversial name these days. It currently carries a 5-star Morningstar Rating, and the stock has taken a beating. Why do you still like it? Collins: Monsanto’s shares have suffered this year: The Roundup business is resetting to a much lower level of profitability because the tight supply-and-demand balance that sent prices soaring in 2008 has abated and the

in the coming quarters. Another potential lift to basic-materials stocks is that many companies may be tempted to return to the deal market. Thus far in 2010, deal-making has paled in comparison with what we saw in 2007 and 2008, likely a function of lingering doubts about the strength of the recovery and concerns about mounting government efforts to claim a larger share of the rents produced by mining assets. Government actions have run the gamut,

62 Morningstar Advisor August/September 2010



Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010

Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010
Contents
New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Contributors
Letter From the Editor
What Aspects of Health-Care Reform Will Most Affect Your Clients?
Bonds, Chicago Style
Investment Briefs
Which Risk Are You Managing?
Eye on the Prize
Advisors Can’t Rely on Fidelity Alone
Health Care Gets Back to Business
An Opportune Time to Bet the Pharm
Reform’s Impact on Other Health-Care Industries
Top Takeover Targets in Biotech
After Reform, Narrow-Moat Firms Have Strong Prospects in Diagnostics
Health-Care Investing Alive and Well
Quest for Knowledge
Four Picks for the Present
How to Make Your Bond Portfolio Inflation-Resistant
Weeding Through the Energy Patch
Uncertainty and Value in Basic Materials
Stock Market Doom-Busters
Hunting Down European Debt-Dodgers
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular Equity ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
VA Sales Slip a Bit in First Quarter
New at Morningstar
Star Wars, the Sequel
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Cover2
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 1
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 2
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Contents
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 4
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 5
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 7
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Contributors
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Letter From the Editor
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - What Aspects of Health-Care Reform Will Most Affect Your Clients?
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 11
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Bonds, Chicago Style
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 13
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Investment Briefs
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 15
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Which Risk Are You Managing?
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 17
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 18
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Eye on the Prize
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 20
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 21
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Advisors Can’t Rely on Fidelity Alone
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 23
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 24
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 25
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 26
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Health Care Gets Back to Business
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - An Opportune Time to Bet the Pharm
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 29
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Reform’s Impact on Other Health-Care Industries
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 31
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 32
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Top Takeover Targets in Biotech
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 34
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 35
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - After Reform, Narrow-Moat Firms Have Strong Prospects in Diagnostics
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 37
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 38
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 39
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 40
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Health-Care Investing Alive and Well
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 42
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 43
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 44
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 45
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 46
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 47
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 48
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Quest for Knowledge
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 50
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 51
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Four Picks for the Present
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 53
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - How to Make Your Bond Portfolio Inflation-Resistant
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 55
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 56
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 57
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Weeding Through the Energy Patch
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 59
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 60
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Uncertainty and Value in Basic Materials
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 62
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 63
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Stock Market Doom-Busters
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 65
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Hunting Down European Debt-Dodgers
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 67
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 69
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 70
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 71
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 50 Most Popular Equity ETFs
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 73
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 75
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - VA Sales Slip a Bit in First Quarter
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 77
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - 78
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - New at Morningstar
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Star Wars, the Sequel
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Cover3
Morningstar Advisor - August/September 2010 - Cover4
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