Do you know the definition of an "up" stock, meaning one that doesn't ever seem to want to come in?
How about the stock of a company that guides earnings down sharply and then barely gets dinged?
How about a company that makes a defective product and knows that it fails 40% of the time -- something pointed out on the FRONT page of the New York Times -- and its stock goes higher?
Welcome to the world of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which, amazingly, is actually up a more than a dime despite the fact that this product liability story is horrendous for the people who have had a JNJ hip implant and just plain horrid for JNJ's brand.
Last night I went over the JNJ quarter and, frankly, there wasn't that much to write home about. I want a restructuring because the company was put together by a revered CEO who should not have been revered, who bought things he should not have bought.
The company teased a breakup by saying it is exploring the sale of its diagnostic division because it isn't number one or two in its category.
But it didn't do that much more, and the only real standout performers were a couple of recent drug approvals.
Doesn't matter. The simple truth is that JNJ is wildly undervalued vs. the parts of the company, and it has just about the best balance sheet there is.
Write down the name JNJ. If we get a market selloff, this is the one you want to reach for. If it can withstand a one-two punch -- a guidance cut and a New York Times slam -- and still go higher, this may be the Teflon stock for the era. You need to buy this one on any serious dip -- that is, if we ever get one.