PODCAST: The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…

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By Ron Robins. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Topping ESG rankings (stocks): “Report--Meet the top 200 companies investing in a clean energy future”; “Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies”; “Top 5 ESG Stocks To Radar Now”; “10 Real Estate Companies That Are Both Greener and More Profitable”; “For Greenification in Munis, Try SMI”; and “This ETF is designed to help fight heart disease”; plus

PODCAST: The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…

Transcript & Links, Episode 77, February 25, 2022

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 77 published on February 25, 2022, titled “The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…” — and presented by Investing for the Soul. investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing news, commentary, information, and resources.

Remember that you can find a full transcript, links to content – including stock symbols, quotes, and bonus material – at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

Now, just a reminder. I do not evaluate any of the stocks or funds mentioned in this podcast. Furthermore, if you’re concerned about the ESG and sustainability ratings of any stock or fund included in this podcast, check your broker’s online site for such information.

If your broker doesn’t have this information, signup for free with Morningstar and you can gain access to company and fund ESG-sustainability ratings. Please note, I receive no compensation from Morningstar or anyone else covered in these podcasts.

Also, if any terms are unfamiliar to you, simply Google them.

Now a point about current volatile market conditions. You should know that in such markets studies show that companies highly rated for their ESG and sustainability scores usually show superior returns compared to the overall markets. Just a thought in these troubled times where we all wish for the troubles around Ukraine to get resolved peacefully and without much loss of life.

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1. The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…

Let’s begin looking at As You Sow and Corporate Knights’ Report: Meet the top 200 companies investing in a clean energy future. By TOBY A.A. HEAPS, ANDY BEHAR, MICHAEL YOW, AND MATTHEW MALINSKY.

Here are some quotes.

“The Clean200 are the largest 200 public companies ranked by green energy revenues…

Geographically… the United States dominated the 2022 list, with 52 companies on the Clean200, while Canada had the second largest share with 18, closely followed by China, which 16 Clean200 companies are headquartered in.

On average, 58% of revenues earned by Clean200 companies are classified as clean, which is up from 39% in 2021 and significantly above the 20% average clean revenue for their MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) peers…

$10,000 invested in the Clean200 on July 1, 2016, would have grown to $20,709 by January 31, 2022, versus $20,315 for the MSCI ACWI broad market benchmark and $13,167 for the MSCI ACWI/Energy benchmark for fossil fuel companies.” End quotes.

The top five Clean 200 companies are Apple inc., Alphabet Inc., Intel Corp, TSMC, and Iberdrola.

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2. The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…

Another good ranking is the just-released 2022 edition of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies. Writing about them is Lauren Foster. Ms. Foster writes, quote…

“In the fifth annual Barron’s ranking of America’s Most Sustainable Companies, shares of the 100 companies on our list returned 34.4%, on average, in 2021, besting the S&P 500 index’s 28.7%...

41 of the 100 companies on last year’s list beat the market in 2021.” End quotes.

Barron’s top five are NVIDIA, ON Semiconductor, Crocs, Inc., Applied Materials, and Jones Lang LaSalle.

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3. The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…

Now Mavis Babcock at topnewsguide.com has penned this article titled Top 5 ESG Stocks To Radar Now. Here are their names followed by some brief quotes on each one.

“1) Viking Energy Group (OTCMKTS:VKIN)

is perfect for any speculative investor searching for ESG investments. The diversified green company has made three recent acquisitions; a carbon capture system that produces sellable commodities from carbon emissions, a medical waste treatment device called the ‘OZONE’, and a Green Renewable Diesel Production Facility in Reno that it is extremely close to closing on.

2) Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT)

… the stock has gained 15% so far this year…

Mattel is now projecting its 2021 net sales of $5.4 billion to grow 8% to 10% in the current year. Adjusted EPS is seen at $1.42 to $1.48. The toymaker also lifted its 2023 net sales growth forecast to high-single-digit from a previous outlook of mid-single-digit growth… Hasbro forecast growth of ‘low-single digit’ in both annual revenue and operating profit this year.

3) American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:AFG)

… the stock has jumped 58% over the past year… (and) delivered fourth-quarter 2021 core net operating earnings per share of $4.12, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 38.3%. The bottom line doubled on a year-over-year basis.

4) CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE:CNHI)

… The stock is trading above 34% from its 52-week low and 4% away from its 52-week high. CNH Industrial came out with quarterly earnings of $0.25 per share, beating the Consensus Estimate of $0.21 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.30 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 19.05%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this truck, tractor and bus maker would post earnings of $0.22 per share when it actually produced earnings of $0.36, delivering a surprise of 63.64%.

5) Ternium S.A. (NASDAQ:TX)

Is another stock in the ESG sector which has been showing consistent rise. The stock has moved up 8% over the past one quarter… Benefits of higher steel prices and healthy shipments are likely to reflect on its fourth-quarter results.” End quotes.

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Considering green real estate REITS? Well, here’s a list also published in Barron’s titled 10 Real Estate Companies That Are Both Greener and More Profitable. It’s by Evie Liu.

2022 Rank* 2021 Rank Company Ticker REIT Industry Weighted Score 2021 Return Market Capitalization (bil)** Dividend Yield** 1 1 Kilroy Realty KRC Office 74 19.3 $7.1 3.3% 2 2 Host Hotels & Resorts HST Hotel 73 18.9 11.8 0.0 3 8 Boston Properties BXP Office 72 26.0 17.3 3.5 4 NR Ventas VTR Healthcare 71 7.9 20.4 3.5 5 3 Alexandria Real Estate Equities ARE Office 70 27.6 28.4 2.4 6 NR AvalonBay Communities AVB Apartment 70 61.4 33.1 2.7 7 5 Kimco Realty KIM Retail 69 68.8 14.4 2.9 8 NR Equity Residential EQR Apartment 69 56.7 32.5 2.8 9 4 Equinix EQIX Data Center 69 20.0 61.5 1.7 10 10 Brixmor Property BRX Retail 68 60.2 7.2 3.5

*Rank based on non-rounded weighted average; **Market cap and dividend yield as of 12/31/2021; NR=not on the 2021 ranking; N/A= not available

Sources: Calvert Research & Management.

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For Greenification in Munis, Try SMI

Many US ethical and sustainable investors like municipal bonds. If this, is you, review this article titled For Greenification in Munis, Try SMI. It’s by TOM LYDON and published on etftrends.com. Here are some quotes from Mr. Lydon.

“The vast fixed income market is fertile ground for green fund innovation.... Consider the case of the VanEck HIP Sustainable Muni ETF (SMI), which debuted last September as the first exchange traded fund dedicated to green municipal bonds.

The actively managed VanEck HIP Sustainable Muni ETF is managed by HIP Investments — a pioneer in the green municipal bond space… ‘HIP Ratings incorporate research that shows which variables are key to improving outcomes. Then, HIP tracks data and metrics related to evidence-based targets and goal,’ said HIP Investors founder and CEO Paul Herman in a recent note.

(This ETF)… which sports a 30-day SEC yield of 1.27%, holds just 44 municipal bonds. That’s the result of a high bar for entry created by HIP Investor’s stringent investment criteria and the newness of green municipal bonds. None of the ETF’s holdings exceed a weight of 4.77%.

‘HIP Investor’s methodology, which precedes the term ‘ESG’ by several years, uses five pillars based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These five pillars — Health, Wealth, Earth, Equality, and Trust – can be mapped to ESG as well,’ adds Herman.

Additionally, the HIP’s methodology features a dual-pronged approach that focuses on sustainability and education…

‘In the VanEck HIP Sustainable Muni ETF (SMI), HIP Ratings also track the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, as well as a Climate Threat Resilience score,’ notes Herman.

California and New York municipal bonds combine for 60.6% of the ETF’s weight. (This ETF) has an effective duration of 5.77 years, and 84% of its holdings carry investment-grade ratings.” End quotes.

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This ETF is designed to help fight heart disease while making you money. Here’s how

Now here’s another specialist ETF that might be of interest to numerous ethical and sustainable investors. The article’s titled This ETF is designed to help fight heart disease while making you money. Here’s how. It’s by Josh Meyers and found on cnbc.com. Here are some quotes from Mr. Meyers’ article.

“’The IQ Healthy Hearts ETF (HART)… is designed to help investors do well while doing good,’ New York Life Investments’ Wendy Wong told CNBC’s 'ETF Edge' on Monday.

HART’s current portfolio includes companies such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Apple (AAPL), Novartis (NVS) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

The ETF, powered by Index IQ, sees a portion of fees go toward supporting the American Heart Association’s fight against heart disease…

‘The American Heart Association uses [the funds] to support its Social Impact Fund,’ she said. ‘This addresses health inequalities in under-resourced communities.’

New York Investments’ support has accelerated the growth of the Social Impact Fund by nearly three times, according to Wong.

The HART ETF is significant in the ESG space as well, ETF Trends CEO Tom Lydon said in the same interview.

Lydon called the partnership a great example of ‘[making] sure that we’re not only doing right but feeling good about it at the same time and maybe learning how we can help our family do a better job of staying healthy.’

HART is outperforming the S&P 500 so far this year, down about 5% versus the benchmark index’s 6% loss.” End quotes.

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Other Honorable Mentions – not in any order

1. Title Most Active Stocks Today? 4 Renewable Energy Stocks For Your Watchlist | Nasdaq. By Amos C. The stocks are Enphase Energy Inc (NASDAQ: ENPH), Daqo New Energy Corp (NYSE: DQ), Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (NYSE: BEP), and Solaredge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG). (As mentioned in previous podcasts, Daqo is accused of using Chinese forced labor.)

2. Title This Top Stock Is a Rock for Any Renewable Energy Portfolio | The Motley Fool. By Travis Hoium. Quote “First Solar (FSLR) was the one that I really wanted to bring to bear for people.” End quote.

3. Title Here are the top 20 BSE 100 companies with strong corporate governance: Report - BusinessToday. By Rahul Oberoi. Click the link on this podcast’s webpage for company names.

4. Title 3 ethical ASX companies with Australian Ethical's Mike Murray | Ethical Investing in Australia | Rask Media. Recommendations by Mike Murray. Again, click the link on this podcast’s webpage for the company names.

5. Title 6 Top-Performing ESG ETFs With High MSCI Ratings on money.usnews.com. By Aaron Davis and Tim Lawson. Again, click the link on this podcast’s webpage for the company names.

Recommendations Related to UK, Australian, and European Stocks and Funds

1. Title Interactive Investor's top 20 ethical funds and trusts | This is Money. By Jane Denton. Quote “The Baillie Gifford Positive Change impact fund was the most popular ethical option for investors with Interactive Investor over the past 10 months, new data shows.” End quote. As before, click the link on this podcast’s webpage for list of the funds.

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Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips -- for this podcast: “The Stocks Topping ESG Rankings. And More…”

To get all the links, stock symbols, or to read the transcript of this podcast -- and more -- go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode.

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And please click the share buttons to share this podcast with your friends and family. Let’s promote a better post COVID world through ethical and sustainable investing!

Contact me if you have any questions.

Stay well and healthy—and conscious about the ethical and sustainable values of your investments!

Thank you for listening.

Talk to you next on March 11. Bye for now.

© 2022 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul.

90 episodes