Is the Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd share price cheap?

Credit: Mike Mozart

Nobody quite knows what to expect in the months ahead for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AJXO) (ASX: XJO) and financial markets around the world.

The general consensus is for at least a few weeks of volatility which could see share prices bounce around quite a bit. One share which I believe may handle the volatility better than most is Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX: CCL).

The Australian consumer staples giant has a beta of 0.6, which indicates that in recent times it has been far less volatile than the overall market. I believe in times like these shares with low betas can be invaluable for reducing the overall volatility of a portfolio.

But asides from this I also feel Coca Cola Amatil is fairly priced at the moment for investors with a long-term view. Whilst it is by no means a growth share like Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX: DMP) or Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL), I do expect that it has many years of steady growth ahead of it.

This will come not just from the domestic market, but also from its operations overseas. Most notably its Indonesian and Papua New Guinea business.

At present this segment produces just 8% of its earnings before interest and tax. But considering its combined population according to the World Bank is approximately 260 million, I see it contributing substantially more to earnings in the future as its consumer class grows.

Although most people will think of fizzy drinks when it comes to Coca Cola Amatil, they do in fact have a product assortment that goes far beyond this. In fact, one of the rapidly growing areas of its business is its coffee and alcohol segment. In FY 2015 this segment grew its earnings before interest and tax by 32% to $34.1 million.

It has also just secured a 20-year distribution contract for Monster Energy. This is one of the most popular energy drinks in the United States, which I believe will do very well in an Australian market that Coca Cola Amatil’s management estimates to be worth $1.2 billion in retail sales value per year.

Let’s not forget the dividend either. Another aspect that attracts me to Coca Cola Amatil is that throughout the years it has continued to provide a market-beating dividend. Although at present it is expected to be only 75% franked, it is estimated to pay a 5.4% dividend in FY 2016.

Foolish takeaway

Whilst consumer habits may be shifting away from sugary drinks like Coca-Cola, I believe that its product assortment and unmatched distribution network will mean that Coca Cola Amatil continues to grow steadily over the next decade. At 15x estimated FY 2016 earnings I think it is at a reasonable price to make a long-term investment.

Finally, these three fantastic shares might complement your portfolio just like an investment in Coca Cola Amatil. I believe their solid dividends make them very attractive investments, as does the possibility of share price gains in the months ahead.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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