Published November 08, 2012
Skyfall, the twenty-third installment of the wildly successful James Bond film franchise, hits U.S. theaters on Friday. There is no doubt the franchise has spanned generations. Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig in his third appearance as the infamous agent 007, debuted in foreign release a in late October, almost exactly 50 years after Sean Connery first made 007 a hero to men everywhere in 1962's Dr. No.
There is something else about Bond films; a flaw some cinematic purists are loathsome to acknowledge is a fact of life these days: Product placement. Some would argue that in recent installments of the 007 franchise, product placement has reached almost gratuitous levels.
Purity aside, all the familiar brands that are expected to appear in Skyfall make for an interesting exercise. That being the construction of a James Bond stock portfolio.
Caterpillar (CAT) Without having seen clips of Skyfall, the imagination is left to run wild with what type of scenes will feature products made by the world's largest purveyor of construction and mining equipment. It is doubtful 007 has traded in his sporty Aston Martin for a lumbering bulldozer, but Caterpillar products are even more expensive. A 10-year-old Caterpillar off-highway truck can be had for more than $615,000.
Fun and games aside, the Dow component lost more than four percent in the past week. This week alone, the company has announced job and production cuts. If the shares can find support at $83, Caterpillar might be worth a look as a swing trade.
Coca-Cola (KO) Another Dow component finds its way into Skyfall, as Coke Zero will be visible to moviegoers. As is the case with Caterpillar, Coca-Cola currently finds itself in a precarious technical position. The stock is also vulnerable to selling if the fiscal cliff comes to pass because that will mean a higher dividend tax rate for some Americans.
The bull case for Coke consists of a dividend that rises practically every year and a beta of just 0.51, meaning if the fiscal cliff is avoided, Coke will remain a prime destination for conservative investors.
Heineken (HINKY) James Bond has traded in his trademark martini for beer in Skyfall. Bond purists are not a fan of this and some Brits probably are not happy to learn the beer featured in the film comes by way of a Dutch brewer. Raise a glass to Heinken though, the stock has jumped 15.4 percent in the past three months. And do not be turned off by the fact the stock trades on the pink sheets. Several large-cap European companies do that to avoid the higher listing costs associated with the mainstream U.S. exchanges. Nestle (NSRGY) is another familiar European large-cap that trades on the pink sheets. iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund (TUR) Turkey makes its second appearance in a 2012 blockbuster, but many Turks were not pleased with how their nation was portrayed in Taken 2. Hopefully, Skyfall will be more to the average Turk's liking. This is the third time Bond has made an appearance in Turkey. The first was in From Russia With Love and the second was The World Is Not Enough. TUR has been one of the best-performing emerging markets ETFs this year and has the potential to keep that ebullience going thanks improving sovereign credit, favorable demographics and tame inflation. Interestingly, hit movies have the potential to generate tourism dollars for locations in which memorable scenes were filmed. Think Las Vegas and The Hangover. Tourism is an important part of the Turkish economy. As in important to the tune of $23 billion last year.
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