Best Income Stocks for 2013 – Domtar Corporation (UFS)

Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) engages in the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of fiber-based products in North America.  The forestry industry is coming through a painful period marked by low-cost competition from emerging markets and the collapse of the U.S. housing industry.  However, the industry is rebounding as more companies are back on the growth track. One income stock to watch is Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) as it offers a great total return in 2013.

Domtar made the Goldman Sachs “Best Income Stocks” list for 2013.  In a recent note, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pointed out a number of stocks that could provide some easy money for investors by virtue of what the Wall Street bank calls a “social contract” — a combination of earnings appreciation due to expected share buybacks along with dividend yields.  It could be easy money, provided shares remain stable or rise, for investors looking for as close to a guarantee as equities can offer.

Paper miller Domtar Corp. (UFS) is high on the total yield list with 15.6% due to a potential 13.5% earnings accretion from share buybacks and 2.1% from dividends.  Upside on the mid-$80 stock is roughly 3%.

Domtar has an equity summary score of 8.1 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call Analyst consensus have a BUY recommendation with a 2.1 rating.

Under its stock repurchase program, Domtar repurchased, during the 3rd quarter, 578,328 shares of common stock at an average price of $75.42 per share.  Since the inception of the program, Domtar repurchased 8,135,157 shares of common stock at an average price of $80.53. At the end of the quarter, Domtar had$345 million remaining under this program.

Domtar has a current dividend yield of 2.16%.  The dividend was increased 28.6% in the past year with the most recent increase in Q2 2012.

Domtar Corporation  reported net earnings of $66 million ($1.84 per share) for the third quarter of 2012 compared to net earnings of $59 million ($1.61 per share) for the second quarter of 2012 and net earnings of $117 million ($2.95 per share) for the third quarter of 2011. Sales for the third quarter of 2012 amounted to $1.4 billion.

Excluding extraordinary items, the Company had earnings before items1 of $67 million ($1.87 per share) for the third quarter of 2012 compared to earnings before items1 of $59 million ($1.61 per share) for the second quarter of 2012 and earnings before items1 of $123 million ($3.10 per share) for the third quarter of 2011.

When compared to the second quarter of 2012, paper shipments increased 0.9% and pulp shipments increased 12.8%.

Domtar is projected to increase EPS by 12.8% to $7.38 in 2013 and 19% to $8.84 in 2014.  With a PE of 12, the 2013 price target is $88.56.

We believe Domtar’s focus will continue to be on improving its cost structure, rationalizing its assets to match supply with demand, maximizing its free cash flow generation, and seeking acquisitions that reduce earnings volatility.  Domtar has made solid progress on debt reduction, and we expect it to use its strong cash flows to accelerate share repurchases.

Company Profile:

Domtar is the largest integrated marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America with recognized brands such as Cougar®, Lynx® Opaque Ultra, Husky® Opaque Offset, First Choice® and Domtar EarthChoice®.  Domtar is a leading marketer and producer of a complete line of incontinence care products marketed primarily under the Attends® brand name.  Domtar owns and operates Ariva®, an extensive network of strategically located paper and printing supplies distribution facilities.