Local Stocks That Soared
November 9, 2021
Investors who bought Greater Cincinnati stocks in the early days of the pandemic appear to have profited from the purchase. The Cincinnati Business Courier reports the Cincinnati Index of local stocks doubled since the market hit bottom in March, 2020. In fact, local stocks surged 103% through November 8th. Reporter Steve Watkins asked our Jim Russell about the rapid growth, particularly with regard to Fifth Third Bancorp, up 264% since the pandemic began.
“The prospect for higher interest rates later this year into next year helps,” Jim Russell, a principal and portfolio manager at downtown-based Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, told me. “Loan growth is beginning to improve too. There are a number of things playing into these companies’ favor.”
Uniform maker Cintas saw a 178% gain. “Cintas is a clear beneficiary of the return to work,” Russell said. “We view it as a very well-managed company that dominates its space.”
Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble gained just 48%; a big gain in most periods, but less than most local stocks. Still, Russell sees plenty of potential for P&G: “It competes in a premium brand area so it’s able to increase pricing in the face of rising input costs,” Russell said. “That enables it to maintain and maybe enhance its margins. Procter and very few others are able to do that. And the renewed emphasis on cleanliness helps. It’s really the perfect storm, in a positive way.”
Jim Russell, CFA, CIC
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