July 2018 Dividend Income Up 342% YoY

Well, the month of July is already in the books. And it was a hot month in the Netherlands this year. Man! We had two heat waves in two weeks, unfortunately without Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. ☺️ I can’t wait to write another blog post about the progress of my dividend income. These blog posts are my favourites. As months go by I can clearly see the solid YoY growth and where I’m heading for FY 2018. This is gong to be a very good year in terms of growth and diversification. But, for now the month of July!

Income Numbers 

The total amount of dividend income in the month of July was $165.45. In this month two companies paid me more dividends per share than three months ago. Good old Realty Income increased their dividend with 0.46% and Philip Morris paid me 6.54% more than last quarter. My dividend income for this month was divided by:

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) – $28.23

Kimco Realty (KIM) – $58.80

Walt Disney (DIS) – $4.20

Altria (MO) – $27.30

Realty Income (O) – $3.74

Philip Morris (PM) – $6.84

Ventas (VTR) – $36.34

This totals to an amount of $165.45. My dividend income in the month of April was $134.49 so that’s a very welcome increase of 23% QoQ.

My passive income in the month of July last year was $37.45 so that’s a big increase of 342%. Wow! The difference comes from backing up the truck with various REIT stocks which have traded at very low valuations last year. This led to very high dividend yields at that time. REIT stocks have climbed out of the valley lows last weeks. As I wrote two months earlier: if prices continue to increase; I’m good with that. In case of another price decline I may add to my position of Kimco Realty and Ventas. I think these are terrific, well-run companies with well covered yields by FFO. So, according to me, there isn’t really a bad case scenario. During the month of July I also benefited from my nice position in MO which I’ve been building up quite conscientiously the last twelve months. The share price of this beaten down stock and PM still look very attractive although they’re facing some challenges. BNS has been a solid deliverer for me: always a higher than average dividend yield and a nice annual increase. What more could you wish for?

This leads to the next graph:

9B7EF5B3-6B0A-43E1-A08A-AAA70C9BDEDCI already collected $932.23 this year whereas my total dividend income in 2017 was $827.71. Hitting it! We’ve only just begun with the second half year of 2018 so I’m very pleased with my progress in terms of percentages and dollars.

Stock Positions

One of my priorities for the coming months is to diversify my dividend growth stock portfolio. Only seven companies paid me a nice dividend and at the same time I’m heavily dependent of a small number of REIT’s. We’ll see which stocks are on sale in the upcoming period. Last month I added to my position in AT&T by buying 24 more stocks at a share price lower than the average price of my stake. Stocks which I would love to buy at a low or at least a reasonable valuation are Cisco (CSCO), Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Legget & Platt (LEG), Medtronic (MDT), Stag Industrial (STAG), STORE Capital (STOR) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) for example.

I’m very curious how you did this month. Please share your progress and insights. I’m sure you had a good month too.

Thanks for reading.

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Latest Purchase: AT&T

Last week I wrote a blog post about my candidate stocks for purchase in the month of July. It seemed like a tough call between DAL, GIS, LUV and T. I felt the competition was eventually between the companies LUV and T. Unfortunately for me, LUV published a very strong quarter report, which made the price increase from the low 50’s all up to $57. So I concluded: “Let’s wait on that one to come down again”.

But days after my article the stock price of T dropped just short of 4%. That’s what we like to see if we’re ready to buy a dividend growth stock; a lower price means a higher dividend yield. The reason for the price decline was their announcement of the second quarter report for 2018. AT&T beat their earnings estimates, but missed the revenue expectations, the first one to incorporate results from its new WarnerMedia unit (sixteen days included).

They also reported good news like the better-than-hoped wireless overall business trends and raised their guidance on full-year adjusted EPS, forecasting a $3.50 number versus an expected $3.38. Management also boosted free cash flow expectations to the high end of $21B range (inclusive of deal/integration costs).

Much has been written about AT&T over the last year. Its declining subscriber base due to cord-cutting, the necessity of the TWX merger and the massive debt load have all been covered numerous times by analysts. According to me, there are some good arguments for the bull and bear case.

Read More »

Ray Dalio – Principles: Life & Work

 

A few months ago I listened to the episode of the Masters in Business podcast in which Barry Ritholtz interviewed the legendary investor Ray Dalio. During this interview the founder of the successful hedge fund Bridgewater Associates told about his successes, mistakes and how he came about his principles for personal and professional life. I highly recommend this interview. Dalio describes these principles as timeless and absolute truths which are essential to achieve success, whatever the definition of success may be. I was intrigued by his philosophy of radical truthfulness and radical transparency. This really resonated with me and eventually got me starting this blog two months ago.

I haven’t read his highly acclaimed book Principles: Life & Work yet. But it sure is high on my list. While browsing the internet for reviews of this book and searching for interviews with Ray Dalio on youtube I came across the video below. It’s a nice introduction to the foundation of Dalio’s book. I can highly recommend it. It’s very enjoyable. How many times do you get the chance of a billionaire explaining you what to do to achieve success?

 

 

Attractive Stocks For July 2018

I’m back again. This is my first blog post in two weeks, unfortunately. 🙁 I would have loved to write a post earlier in time but had to dedicate most of my spare time on studying for the last exam of my first year of the post-master education IT Audit & Assurance.

The last two weeks I’ve been thinking about my strategy for the upcoming six months, because I have to save a lot of money for the second year of my post-master education. So, I’m inclined to invest half the amount of money I usually invest every month. Another argument for holding back a bit is I’d like to have some extra money to invest in stocks if the financial markets get more turbulent as a reaction to the upcoming trade war between the U.S. and China, Brexit, Italian economy and so forth. Right now, I fully invest all my monthly savings in dividend growth stocks. So I’m shifting a bit towards timing the market instead of the very rewarding principle time-in-market. This shift is actually against my philosophy to monthly invest my savings in order to fully benefit of the compounding effect, but I like to be in a more comfortable position when stock prices go down. This means I’ll probably invest about $700 a month in dividend growth stocks. That’s still a nice amount for the remainder of 2018, but defintely less than my target of a monthly $1.000.

So for the month of July… What am I thinking of? Although stock prices have gone up for consumer staples like Clorox (CLX), PepsiCo (PEP) and Procter & Gamble (PG) the last couple of weeks, companies like General Mills (GIS) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB) are bouncing back to price levels which I think make them attractive again. They’re yielding around 4% and have a low single digit forward growth rate. If GIS gets down to a price of $41 I’m willing to make a deal with this guy Mr. Market. I think the sentiment on GIS will prove to be too negative in two years time. The market was also very negative about two years ago on Target (TGT), T. Rowe Price (TROW) and VF (VFC), remember? And look where they’re trading right now. Earnings, revenues and cash flow are up again in contrary to the headlines and analysts’ consensus. That’s the beauty of investing in companies which have grown their dividend twenty, thirty, or fourty years. They withstood multiple challenges along the way and know how to ride the storm. That’s why they’re able to grow their dividends every year.

Another strong candidate is, off course, AT&T (T). The merger has been approved, but some worries remain about their growth rate, free cash flow and debt levels. Their business model definitely improved by their merger with TWX, so I’m not too worried about their payout ratio. Free cash flow will go up significantly. Besides, their first quarter results are always on the low side as compared to other quarterly numbers. I’m about 15% red on my position with an average price around $36. So by buying T I’m also lowering the average price of my position. That’s a nice side-effect.

Delta Airlines (DAL) is also on my radar. This airline company increased their dividend lately with 15% and trades around 10 times earnings. They’re able to hedge against rising oil prices because of their refinery and will benefit from the growing U.S. economy. Right now I own a half position and would like to buy some extra shares. Southwest Airlines (LUV) was also on my watchlist when they traded for $50. They yield slightly above 1%. This is a company which will never trade for a dividend yield of 2.5% so it’s likely to never be a real candidate judged by this measure. But their dividend growth rate is massive (5-year YoC 10.03%), the dividend payout ratio extremely low (8%), their management is known for their extraordinary customer focus and the stock price has gone up 300% in three to four years.

For me, the finalists are GIS, T, DAL and LUV.

What did you buy, are you going to buy and which company would you advise me to buy in this hot month of July? 😎

In case you’re interested, I passed my exam. There was only one guy with a higher grade. 😊 👊

Recent Purchase: Increasing My Starbucks Position

Hit it!

That’s exactly what I did today when I bought another bunch of shares of Starbucks. I initiated a position two weeks ago when the stock price decreased about 10% on one trading day. Mr. Market went very depressive that day and I immediately accepted his offer of $54.00 a share. The stock market offered an even better opportunity the days after the steep fall of the stock price. News about the departure of the CFO led to even more uncertainty about the direction and internal problems of Starbucks.

Shares have traded for prices below $50 this week and it will probably stay there for a while. Stocks which I already own are definitely in my buy zone again when I’m about 10% down. So today I hit the buy button and bought an additional 20 shares for a price of $48.95 including transaction fee. This adds $7.20 to my quarterly dividend income which equals to $28.80 on a yearly base. With these extra shares Starbucks will pay me $16.92 in total every three months. These two transactions lead to my average yield on cost of 2.78%. I like that. With an annual dividend growth rate of a very likely 20% in the next two years this averages up to a 4% yield on cost. That definitely tastes better than coffee, if you’d ask me!

While browsing the internet for analyses about Starbucks this week I crossed an analysis of Scuttlebutt Investor. I highly recommend his blog post about Starbucks here. He states:

“SBUX benefits from strong unit economics that are best in class among quick service restaurants and other peers. In the US the average new SBUX location generates revenue of $1.5mm (average unit volume or AUV) and generates a year 1 store profit margin of 34% or $510k. Based on an average store investment of  $700k in the US, this results in an ROI of ~75%. Compare this to a McDonalds with an ROI of ~30%, an average fast casual operator at ~40% or even Chipotle (at its peak before the food illness issues) at ~70%. This means that the average SBUX store earns back its investment a third of the way into its second year – very compelling unit economics. The math likely changes with higher investments in Reserve stores and premium Roasteries in the coming years but if these seek to elevate the overall SBUX experience and thus drive pricing power through the entire system, it’s the right move for the long term.”

These numbers show how massive the value creation of Starbucks is. I won’t go through the details of other relevant fundamentals. You can read more about that in my previous blog post about Starbucks.

Have you been buying shares of Starbucks lately or do you plan to in the month of July?

Looking forward to your view.

Dividend Income June 2018 “What Happened?”

It’s that time of the month again. ☺️ This is only the second time I’m publishing my monthly dividend income and I have to say I already like these regular posts very much. The DGI community reaches out to eachother to read, learn and motivate. My blog is a success already as it gives me the opportunity to communicate with so many people around the world who are in the same boat. It’s so cool! And it motivates me even more to buy (new) dividend growth stocks to only see the snowball effect getting bigger and bigger with time. Just like we want it. Last month my dividend income grew 869% YoY. Let’s see how I did this month.

Dividend Income & Two Increases

The amount of dividend income for June was $127.26. In this month I got two raises as compared to the dividend payment three months ago. Southern Company gave me a nice raise of their dividend with 3.45%. They have a respectful streak of growing their dividends for 16 years. Exxon Mobil paid me 6.49% more than last quarter which was their 35th time increasing their annual dividend. Wow! I’m very pleased with the increase of this Big Oil company after a lower growth rate during the last couple of years. This month excluded dividend payments by the companies ConocoPhilips, IBM, Wells Fargo and Walmart as I sold these positions at the end of 2017 and at the start of 2018. ConocoPhilips paid me $2.28 back in April, whereas IBM, Wells Fargo and Walmart respectively contributed $19.50, $14.82 and $12.75 to my quarterly dividend income.

In June I bought 27 stocks of Starbucks for a price of $54.00. The stock currently trades for about $48 a share, which equals an all-time high of 3% dividend for this company. In the coming days I’ll probably buy another bunch in order to average up my yield on cost. If management sustains the 20% dividend increases a year for the coming two years, then stepping in at a price of $48 will result in a yield on cost of 4.3% in 2020. Surreal!

Selling IBM, Wells Fargo & Walmart

My positions in IBM and Wells Fargo were partially based on Warren Buffett owning large stakes in these companies. When I first bought IBM in 2015 I thought they would hit back in two or three years after finding a formula for monetizing Watson and their big patent portfolio. I was convinced IBM was a regular turnaround story so I built up a nice position in two years. Reality set in when the Oracle of Omaha sold a part of his IBM position for Berkshire Hathaway. Only then I realized that margins would stay under pressure for a longer period of time because of increased competition by more successful competitors in the cloud computing business like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft. Their most recent dividend increase showed a lower growth rate than the years before. So after that announcement I sold my entire position in IBM.

The story of Wells Fargo is more or less the same; I sold my shares because of a slower dividend growth rate. I built my position during two years. It used to be a terrific company, a bit boring, but a steady deliverer. But the stock tanked when Wells Fargo announced they had discovered millions of fake bank and credit card accounts. This is a company which will do fine sooner or later, but I didn’t feel comfortable owning it any longer. In fact, the other day I read Wells Fargo announced an increase of their quarterly dividend with 10%. So they may be already on their way back.

I sold Walmart after the sales and earnings numbers of the fourth quarter of 2017 showed pressured margins and deceleration in e-commerce sales growth. The company increased their dividend with only 2%. At that period in time, Mr. Market offered better alternatives in terms of dividend yield, growth prospects and valuation.

Now, I didn’t sell these positions with a loss, but I surely missed out big wins with Apple, Boeing and JP Morgan as these were the companies I considered as an alternative back then. So my loss is actually the missed compounding of investment in those businesses. Boeing is already a triple and JP Morgan a double as compared to the price levels at which I decided not to buy these stocks but IBM, WFC and WMT. These flawed investments show how important it is to have a smart buy strategy. The oppprtunity costs can be huge.

Breakdown of Dividend Income YoY

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My passive income in the month of June last year was $110.30 so that’s an increase of more than 15%. I know that isn’t close to the YoY dividend growth of 869% for the month of May. But when building a dividend growth stock portfolio you happen to have months that grow bigger and faster than others. A dividend growth of 15% YoY is still solid considering the shake up of my portfolio. You can see the loss of the above mentioned dividend payments has nearly been compensated by the quarterly dividend of DAL, O, PEP, SO and XOM. In June I benefited nicely from my position in XOM which I’ve been building up quite consistently the last three years. The share prices of DAL, O, SO and XOM still look attractive these days.

The dividend income for the month of June leads to the next graph:

DCFB551D-0105-4FB1-9884-AA31C6B35461.pngDividend Income QoQ

My dividend income in the month of March was $130.14 so that’s a decrease of 2.2%. I really don’t like a setback, but sometimes you need to step back and re-assess your portfolio. In contrary, I’m more than pleased that all months of 2018 show a steady upward dividend income in comparison with the same months last year. I really hope the QoQ growth number for September 2018 will be higher than my $127.26 for this month.

Dividend Income FY2018

We are halfway 2018 so the total dividend amount for the first six months is a good indication where I’m heading for this year. I already collected $763.35 this year whereas my total dividend income in 2017 was $827.81. It’s truly inspiring to foresee that the total YoY growth number will be amazing for 2018. The snowball is still rolling. That’s for sure.

I’m very curious how you did this month. Please share your progress and insights.

Recent purchase: Starbucks

 

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Wow, I didn’t see this one coming! Last week I wrote about a handful of businesses which were high on my conviction list: GIS, JNJ, KMB, SKT and VTR. I was pretty sure JNJ would become my next purchase.

But quite unexpectedly, the stock price of Starbucks came down with more than 9% on the day after its management announced a 1% growth in comparable store sales globally in Q3 FY18 instead of the previous growth numbers of 3%. Starbucks also laid out their strategic priorities and operational initiatives to accelerate growth and create long-term shareholder value. Besides a slower pace of licensed stores openings and closure of underperforming company-operated stores in densely populated areas, management announced an increase of its quarterly dividend to $0.36/share from $0.30/share and expects to return $25B to shareholders via buybacks and dividends through FY20, up from a prior target of $15B. The steep dive of its stock price and 20% increase of their quarterly dividend made me initiate a position in Starbucks.

The business

Starbucks really doesn’t need an introduction here as it’s the largest and most well-known coffee business in the world. Their culture and business model have made them a very succesful corporation in less than 50 years. It’s a fully vertically integrated business controlling much of their supply chain, from source (growing beans) to manufacturing (roasting the beans) and sales (retail stores).

The funny thing is I don’t like coffee. I don’t like it at all ☺️. In my country, the Netherlands, Starbucks still has a relatively small footprint. But wherever I see a location of Starbucks I always notice the atmosphere in their stores of putting the customers’ feeling and experience at the top of priority. I found out only recently that CEO Howard Schultz stated he wanted Starbucks to be a “place for conversation and a sense of community. A third place between work and home” (Starbucks Company Information). Schultz summarized this concept in nearly the same wording in an interview: “We’re in the business of human connection and humanity, creating communities in a third place between home and work” (Pelley, 2006).

The company clearly uses its corporate social responsibility as a way of distinguishing itself from competitors; they’re focusing on protecting the environment and encouraging fair-trade. Starbucks branding is essential for their success as their in-store experience of customer focus generates customer loyalty which creates some kind of barriers against competition. Starbucks doesn’t advertise as it wants to stay out of regular marketing methods and let the customer experience speak for itself. By doing this, they try to uphold the status of being an upscale company.

Starbucks’ differentiation technique is high quality coffee and excellent service, but customers started shifting towards cheaper alternatives of direct competitors McDonalds or Costa coffee where they got similar services. As a consequence its net margins have declined in recent years from 14.39% in 2015 to 12.89% in 2017. That’s clearly a worrisome sign, but gaining the global brand recognition of Starbucks isn’t an easy thing to do, would take a very long time and demand a major financial undertaking. That’s why the price came down significantly this week: “has their business model come under pressure?”

China has a legendary tea-drinking culture that goes back thousands of years. However, coffee consumption in China has nearly tripled in the past four years, with imports of coffee growing 16% a year compared to about 2% in the U.S., according to the International Coffee Organization and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An average person in mainland China consumes just three cups of coffee per year compared to 250 cups per person in the U.K. and 363 cups in the U.S., according to Euromonitor International. The growth figures and potential are staggering especially in some large cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Starbucks relies heavily on China as one of their long-term growth markets besides the U.S. The Starbucks’ China/Asia Pacific segment is growing like crazy with revenues up 54% to $1.2 billion in the second quarter. Urbanization and industrialization will remain big societal factors in China and will thrive their economy. Consuming Western products is a luxury fashion statement for the rapidly growing middle class and millenials in particular. So Starbucks is just spot-on with their strategy of aggresively growing the footprint of company owned stores in China. There’s a huge potential.

The purchase

I have to say that I was a bit early for the show and bought 27 shares for the price of exactly $54 a piece (including transaction fee) on Wednesday, the 20th of June. That equals to a forward P/E of 22.5. I hesitated to buy two chunks of smaller amounts, but unfortunately I didn’t. The price ultimately declined to around $50 a share. I’m confident with this P/E number as growth prospects for the longer term are still intact. I preyed for this stock quite a time and felt excited stepping in.

At the P/E ratio of 22.5, I closed in a forward dividend yield of 2.67%. They’re paying me $0.36 per quarter. So 27 shares totals to $38.88 on a yearly basis. This is definitely below my preferred step-in yield of 4%, but the dividend growth and payout ratio are phenomenal. Hopefully, market expectations stay depressed for a longer period of time which would give me the opportunity to double down on this one. I read fellow investors expected the stock price to continue its decline in the short-term towards prices around $48. I really hope so, instead of analyst firms making recommendations to buy or hold shares. Starbucks’ dividend yield is already at an all-time high, but a price of $48 would mean doubling down on a dividend yield of exactly 3%. “Where can I sign, sir?

Starbucks has increased their quarterly dividend for 7 years in a row. That’s not a hell of a streak, but I’m convinced their shareholders rewards program will lean heavily on increasing their quarterly dividend in the future. They would become a dividend contender by then and that’s the first line to cross for getting credibility as a dividend growth stock. The most recent 20% increase is in line with previous ones; the 5 year dividend growth rate is in the 20-25% range. Applying the 72-rule means increasing the dividend annually with 20% will result in a double in just 3.5 years. Sweet! In fact, the 5-year yield on cost of Starbucks sits around 6.60% at the moment which is ranked higher than 99% of the 398 companies in the restaurants industry according to GuruFocus.

The dividend payout ratio based on analysts consensus of earnings of $2.66 in 2019 and a ftm dividend of $1.44 comes down to 54%. This gives the company enough opportunities to continue increasing their dividends in the future. Add in the prospective stock buybacks and a consensus average earnings growth rate of 14% as expected by analysts and you have to conclude we’re into something good.

GuruFocus states that Starbucks highest return on capital (Joel Greenblatt) was 121.97% which equals the current return on capital. These numbers are beyond comprehension. This is surely a good business as it creates tremendous value for its shareholders. Their RoC is even ranked higher than 93% of the 332 companies in the global industry!

The company announced an addition of $10B to their shareholder returns program in cash and share buybacks, up from its $15B for FY20. That’s more than 33% of the company’s market capitalization. Nice!

Well, that’s it. Adding a good business with a high dividend growth rate and tremendous business growth prospects doesn’t seem a bad thing to do. I like to end with a nice quote of Howard Schultz: “We’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business serving coffee.”

What did you buy lately and have you considered buying shares of Starbucks?