PODCAST: ESG Funds That Highlight Labor. And MORE…


ESG Funds That Highlight Labor. And MORE… Includes the following funds and stocks. Global X Conscious Companies ETF, IQ Candriam ESG US Equity ETF, Goldman Sachs JUST U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF, Humankind U.S. Stock ETF, Microsoft Corporation, EMCOR Group, Inc., West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., Deere & Company, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Nucor, NextEra Energy, Cummins

PODCAST: ESG Funds That Highlight Labor. And MORE…

Transcript & Links, Episode 66, September 10, 2021

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 65 published on September 10, titled “ESG Funds That Highlight Labor. And MORE…” — 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.

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1. ESG Funds That Highlight Labor. And MORE…

I’m starting with an article titled Investors care more about fair wages for workers than environmental issues, ESG survey shows. It’s by Debbie Carlson and appeared on MarketWatch. The article is in two parts. The first part describes an investors’ survey. The second part lists four funds that ‘highlight labor.’ Here are some quotes.

“Funds that highlight labor…

1) Global X Conscious Companies ETF (KRMA)

Is the largest of the four funds, with $500 million in assets and an annual expense ratio of 0.43%. It’s an equal-weighted index that uses ESG metrics to measure how well a company treats all stakeholders.

2) IQ Candriam ESG US Equity ETF (IQSU)

Is a market-cap weighted fund with $484 million in assets and a 0.09% expense ratio. The fund’s ESG selection criteria scores companies based on how it treats its customers and employees, a firm’s environmental initiatives and how well suppliers adhere to fair labor standards, among other issues… Tesla TSLA is in the top five (holdings). However… MSCI’s ESG ratings considers Tesla a laggard on labor issues.

3) Goldman Sachs JUST U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (JUST)

Is a tier-weighted index of companies in the Russell 1000, building the index based on an annual survey of business behavior priorities. Companies that treat their workers well, including on worker pay and well-being, get the highest weight… It has $264 million in assets and a 0.20% expense ratio.

4) Humankind U.S. Stock ETF (HKND)

Screens companies on four ‘humankind values,’ the value a firm creates for investors, consumers, employees and society overall. The index methodology adjusts on the basis of the individual firm’s supply-chain relationships… It launched in February and has $95 million in assets… It has an expense ratio of 0.11%.” End quotes.

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Sustainability Trends Boost ESG Investing: 5 Green Picks

The next article is titled Sustainability Trends Boost ESG Investing: 5 Green Picks. It’s by Zacks analyst Sreoshi Bera. Here are some quotes. Quote.

“All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

1) Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

This tech giant has been carbon neutral globally since 2012 and commits to being carbon-negative by 2030. It is investing $50 million in AI for Earth to accelerate innovation by putting AI in the hands of those working to directly address sustainability challenges.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 8% compared with the Zacks Computer – Software industry’s projected earnings growth of 2.4%.

2) EMCOR Group, Inc. (EME)

The company engages in water system conservation and retrofits, lighting retrofits, solar & wind programs and more… Its expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 9.4% against the Zacks Building Products – Heavy Construction industry’s projected earnings decline of 1.3%.

3) West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST)

Designs and produces containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products. The company has received MSCI’s highest ESG Fund rating of AAA…

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 68.1% compared with the Zacks Medical – Dental Supplies industry’s projected earnings growth of 24.2%.

4) Deere & Company (DE)

Manufactures and distributes various equipment. The company launched a Smart Industrial Operating Model last year and recycled 28 million pounds of material through remanufacturing. The company sources 32% of its electricity from renewables and has recycled 78% of its wastes.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100% compared with the Zacks Manufacturing – Farm Equipment industry’s projected earnings growth of 31.7%.

5) Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN)

Designs, manufactures and sells semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers…

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 31.7% compared with the Zacks Semiconductor – General industry’s projected earnings growth of 22%.” End quotes

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3 Infrastructure Stocks to Buy Right Now

Many ethical and sustainable investors like infrastructure. Here’s a recent article titled 3 Infrastructure Stocks to Buy Right Now. It’s by Howard Smith and was on fool.com. Here are some quotes.

“Looking for solid companies that may get a further boost if the federal infrastructure plan passes… look at these leaders…

1) Nucor (NYSE: NUE)

Steelmaker Nucor recently reported its second-quarter 2021 results, letting investors know the company had already surpassed its annual record for net income in just the first half of the year… Nucor’s products are used in most every industry…

The business is thriving due to several factors… The U.S. economy rebounded from the pandemic… customer inventories had been depleted… and maybe most importantly, steel prices have skyrocketed…

And Nucor… plan(s) to return at least 40% of net income to shareholders.

2) NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE)

Is the largest electric utility in the U.S. as measured by retail electricity sales, and it also owns NextEra Energy Resources, a clean energy business that is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and solar…

Since 2005, the company has grown earnings per share at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 9% and increased dividends per share at an annual rate of almost 10%. 

NextEra Energy… is also pursuing alternative energy projects using green hydrogen…

NextEra has given investors guidance that estimates 6% to 8% annual growth in adjusted earnings per share from its 2021 base level through 2023… (and) approximately 10% annual growth in dividends per share through at least 2022.

3) Cummins (NYSE: CMI)

Another company gradually moving into the green hydrogen space is global power giant Cummins. And while hydrogen technology continues to become a larger part of the company’s business, its mobility power solutions are a prime area to benefit in the near term from infrastructure spending…

Spending on rail, public transit, ports and waterways, or roads directly affects Cummins’ business… Management believes 2021 revenue will grow between 20% and 24% versus 2020.” End quotes.

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3 Stocks These ESG Gurus Agree On

Now, this is an interesting article. It’s titled 3 Stocks These ESG Gurus Agree On. It appeared on forbes.com. Contributor is GuruFocus.

The two guru’s firms are known for their commitments to being socially responsible.

(One is former US) Vice President Al Gore (TradesPortfolio), leader of Generation Investment Management, and (two is) Jerome Dodson (TradesPortfolio) (of) Parnassus Investments…

These stocks are their common holdings as of the second quarter.

1) Synopsys Inc. (SNPSFinancial)

While Gore established a new 1.2 million-share stake in Synopsys during the quarter, Dodson’s firm left its position unchanged at 155,573 shares.

The Mountain View, California-based company, which focuses on technology for chip design, verification, IP integration, software security and quality testing, has a $51.2 billion market cap… The GuruFocus Value for Synopsys indicates it is significantly overvalued…

Synopsys’ financial strength and profitability were both rated 8 out of 10 by GuruFocus…

2) Illumina Inc. (ILMNFinancial)

Parnassus Investments left its holding of Illumina unchanged in the second quarter with 88,399 shares. Gore reduced his 1.09 million-share position by 18.68%.

Headquartered in San Diego, the medical diagnostics and research company, which focuses on analyzing genetic variations and biological functions, has a market cap of $73.49 billion… The GF Value Line shows Illumina is modestly overvalued currently.

GuruFocus rated Illumina’s financial strength 6 out of 10… The company’s profitability scored a 9 out of 10 rating.

3) Guidewire Software Inc. (GWREFinancial)

Gore upped his Guidewire Software position by 49.27% in the second quarter, while Dodson’s firm established a 150,889-share holding.

The San Mateo, California-based software company, which offers a platform for property and casualty insurance carriers, has a $9.78 billion market cap…The GF Value shows Guidewire is modestly overvalued currently…

Guidewire’s financial strength was rated 5 out of 10 by GuruFocus.

The company’s profitability scored a 6 out of 10 rating even though its margins and returns are negative and underperform over half of its competitors.” End quotes.

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Honorable Mentions

1. Title 4 Renewable Energy Stocks with Powerful Potential (yahoo.com). The author is TipRanks. The stocks are Enphase Energy (NASDAQENPH), NextEra Energy Partners (NEP), Beam Global (NASDAQBEEM), and Clearway Energy Inc. (CWEN).

2. Title Our Top Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy Right Now | The Motley Fool. Analysts are Matthew DiLallo, Neha Chamaria, And Reuben Gregg Brewer. They chose Brookfield Renewable (NYSE: BEP)(NYSE: BEPC), TotalEnergies (NYSE: TTE), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A)(NYSE: RDS.B), BP (NYSE: BP), and ReNew Energy Global (NASDAQ: RNW).

3. Title 3 green stocks to buy and hold for a long time – The Motley Fool UK. Analyst is Manika Premsingh. Her picks are Johnson Matthey (JMPLF), The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), and BP (BP), and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-B).

4. Title 3 Mutual Funds to Pick Amid the Climate Tech Boom | Nasdaq. From Zacks. Their picks are Calvert Global Energy Solutions Fund Class A (CGAEX), New Alternatives Fund Class A (NALFX), and Fidelity Select Utilities Portfolio (FSUTX).

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Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast: “ESG Funds That Highlight Labor. 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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Stay well and healthy—and conscious about the ethical and sustainable values of your investments!

Thank you for listening.

Talk to you next on September 24. Bye for now.

© 2021 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul.

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