What are blue chip stocks?

Australian blue chip stocks can be defined as stocks with an established record of stable earnings power over a long period.

Most investors also consider stocks as blue chips if they have a lengthy record of uninterrupted dividend payments to common stock holders coupled with a strong balance sheet.
An example of Australian blue chip shares is AMP Limited (AMP). AMP is a leading wealth management company with more than 3.4 million customers across Australia and New Zealand.

It is Australia’s largest retail and corporate superannuation provider, and one of the region’s most significant investment managers, with more than $117 billion in assets under management.

AMP has consistently grown earnings and dividends since listing in 1998 and is one of Australia’s leading financial institutions. Clearly, as a top 20 stock with established history, AMP shares count as blue chip Australian shares.

It has expanded through a series of acquisitions to cover a wide range of financial products and services, including: retirement savings and income; investments; superannuation; financial planning; insurance; and banking. Its two business units are AMP Financial Services (AFS) and AMP Capital Investors (ACI).

Stocks like AMP also enjoy high credit ratings in the bond and commercial paper markets. They enjoy a competitive advantage in the market place due to cost efficiencies, franchise value or distribution control.

Other examples of blue chip Australian shares include the big banks, BHP and RIO, and Woolworths. With a long history, growing dividends, and strong management, these stocks are clearly included in the list of Australian blue chip stocks.