Stocks Joe Biden Would Pick
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles that will be appearing on Benzinga.com over the next few months.
Vice President Joe Biden came from humble roots. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and his family resided with his maternal grandparents in an apartment in Delaware (with his parents and three younger siblings) before his parents were able to purchase a home in Wilmington. The following is a list of stocks that would find themselves right at home in Joe Biden's portfolio given his personal interests and his programs under the Obama/Biden administration.
A large proponent of the middle-class sector in Wilmington, Delaware was the presence of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD), more informally known as DuPont. Biden has been known to rub elbows with the DuPont family (specifically Pierre S. du Pont IV, who considered several elected positions that Biden actually won), and the company's diverse holdings in business contributed to the success of the Biden family during Biden's youth.
Year-to-date, DuPont shares are up 6.77 percent and the company has recently been in the news for selling its Performance Coatings business to The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) for $4.9 billion, a deal which is expected to close in the second-quarter of 2013. For the company's second-quarter earnings, sales were reported up seven percent to $11 billion while earnings were reported down three percent compared to the year ago period.
Hometown security, middle class propulsion and solid business facets make this stock a fine pick for Biden's portfolio, regardless of whether or not the Democrats keep the White House in November 2012.
"Amtrak Joe" is a tremendous supporter of railway systems in the United States and believes that our country needs to keep them running. Biden has many stories about how the rail system had a positive effect on his life since he was first elected into public office.
Since Amtrak is a government-owned company (and the sole intercity passenger railroad), likely picks for the Biden portfolio that are publicly traded might include: Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR), CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX), Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) and Canadian National Railway (NYSE: CNI), all of which are up 12.6, 5.73, 3.09, 14.92 and 15.78 percent year to date, respectively.
The reliability of the railway system for passengers and cargo falls around 80 percent. Further, it is second only to airlines for deaths per 100 million passenger miles. Railways consume only half the energy of airlines and public transportation (buses). Biden's ties to the railway and his support of renewable energy sources (trains can feed on energy captured by regenerative braking) represent and reflect the strength the railway stocks have witnessed thus far in 2012. Plus, there's a Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad station named after the vice president in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Obama-Biden Plan outlines a transition to remove dependence of the United States on Middle East and Venezuela for current imports of fossil fuels and instead increase reserves and supplies stateside by enacting strict guidelines for how we use energy sources over the next 40 years.
One guideline is having one million plug in hybrid cars on the road by 2015 (manufactured in the United States -- think Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Ford's (NYSE: F) electric Focus, Chevrolet's (NYSE: GM) Volt and the Nissan Leaf). Under the Obama-Biden plan, automakers are encouraged to reduce emissions, increase gas mileage in their vehicles and increase development and production of plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles.
Lawn & Garden
While attending the Archmere Academy, Biden worked for the school as a window washer and weed-puller in the garden, a job he soon learned did not suit him as he was meant for the public eye and to represent the people. His background with manual labor suggests companies like Scott's Miracle Gro (NYSE: SMG), so youth meant for public office do not have to worry about parasitic weeds taking over their gardens while they are riding the train in to the Senate.
Year-to-date, shares of SMG are down 10.99 percent. The company sees a peak in demand around the summer and a dip in the fall and winter, as demand for its product declines.
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