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4 stocks with pricing power Well, companies are feeling that same pain, as soaring costs for raw materials such as oil and copper threaten their bottom lines.
Weak ones that can't pass along those costs for fear they'll lose business are already being squeezed. Just look at how poorly airline stocks have been doing since fuel costs shot up this year. Here are four such stocks that have the power to take inflation: The power of patents: Sanofi Aventis Patent protected drugs have long provided Big Pharma with a healthy dose of pricing power. Prices on brand name drugs, after all, have been rising faster than the overall rate of inflation in 2010 the average price hike for top sellers was 6.9%. The catch: Major drugmakers are now up against a cliff of expiring patents over the next several years. The French drugmaker Sanofi Aventis ( Genzyme also gives Sanofi a new area for growth: Its treatments for rare genetic diseases can cost tens of thousands of dollars for an annual supply. But given their life saving properties and the lack of alternatives Genzyme can command ultra premium prices. Yet Sanofi shares have been at a discount due to concerns the company may have overpaid for Genzyme. At around $35, the stock is trading at a price/earnings ratio of about 8, based on projected 2011 earnings. But Dainty thinks it should trade closer to the industry average P/E of around 10. Rich customers: LVMH Mo Hennessy Louis Vuitton Many consumer companies wilt when inflation spikes. Not LVMH ( "Price is almost an afterthought to the Louis Vuitton consumer," says Wendy Trevisani, a fund manager at Thornburg Investment Management. It must be. The company hiked prices by 9% in October in Europe with no negative impact. While you may not be able to score a discount on LVMH's products, you can still get the stock on sale relative to some luxury good peers. That's due to fears the strengthening euro might hurt foreign sales. But another source of pricing power is the growing Chinese luxury market. Caterpillar (Fortune 500) can do that for a couple of reasons. First, there's the louis vuitton shoes germany company's massive network of 180 dealers in 120 countries and its reputation for customer service. "Avoiding downtime is one of the most critical considerations for customers when they're making an equipment purchase, and they're willing to pay up for that assurance," says Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck. And while surging louis vuitton galliera authentication prices usually hurt manufacturers, they can help Caterpillar's sales. After all, if copper and iron ore prices are climbing owing to soaring demand, mining firms racing to boost production will need more of CAT's heavy equipment. Brand loyalty: Walt Disney Co. The Magic Kingdom has long been able to exploit the popularity of its beloved characters from Mickey Mouse to Hannah Montana to command higher prices across its theme parks, music business, and consumer products. But it's ESPN, which accounts for around 40% of Disney's (Fortune 500) operating earnings, where the company's pricing power shines. About two thirds of the sports network's revenue comes from affiliate fees ESPN's cut of the monthly subscriptions paid to cable and satellite providers by louis vuitton purses white and grey the 100 million plus homes receiving the channel. ESPN gets about $4 per subscriber the highest rate of any cable channel and that revenue has been rising faster than the network's programming costs, notes Morgan Stanley's Benjamin Swinburne. Viewers are so fanatical about ESPN programming that no cable provider will dare unplug the network over expenses.
And louis vuitton yellow epi alma ESPN's affiliate fees are expected to keep rising about 10% annually over the next four years. Talk about inflation protection.
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