Saturday, December 31, 2016

Some Recent Sells

This last day of 2016, I'm posting another catch-up article – this time to report a few sells executed in December. Only one of the sells involved closing out a position. With the other three sells, I'm getting rid of shares held in my FolioInvesting brokerage account, but not the corresponding shares held in my Scottrade account.

Recall that my DivGro portfolio is distributed across several brokerage accounts. As far as possible, I try not to have the same stock in multiple accounts. I prefer simplicity, and splitting a position across multiple accounts adds unnecessary admin. When I consolidated all my brokerage accounts into the DivGro's fold, some duplicate positions came along for the ride.

Another reason I want to "clean things up" is to cater for options trading – specifically covered calls – which requires 100 shares for every options contract. Split positions across multiple accounts do not qualify for covered call trades. I'll be using the cash from these sells to round out more of my positions to 100 shares or multiples of 100 shares.

Following are details of four sell trades executed on 23 December.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Some Recent Buys (Part 3)

Today I'm completing a 3-part series of articles on my December buys. For various reasons, I couldn't report on these trades earlier. All the buys are additions to existing positions rather than new positions. Part 1 detailed four buys and Part 2 detailed three additional buys.

This article presents my final buys in 2016, all executed earlier this week. Tomorrow, I'll post my last article for 2016 detailing a few sell transactions.

I've been consolidating DivGro and preparing for options trading, closing several positions and using the cash to round out remaining positions to 100 shares (or multiples of 100 shares). With a solid foundation of dividend growth stocks, I can boost dividend income by selling covered calls on the stocks I own.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Some Recent Buys (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of several December buys that have gone unreported so far. The buys are all additions to existing positions rather than new positions.

For several months now, I've consolidated my DivGro portfolio with the goal of preparing for options trading. To do so, I closed several positions and used the cash to round out remaining positions to 100 shares (or multiples of 100 shares) for covered call trading.

I'm also moving much of my portfolio to Interactive Brokers because of the company's competitive commissions, especially for options trading. This process will take some time to complete and I'll probably have a short period in which no trading would be possible.

Anticipating a short trading hiatus, I've completed several buys and sells (not yet reported) this month. Following are summaries of three buys I executed on December 7th and 9th:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Some Recent Buys (Part 1)

I have yet to report my buys for December. In addition to spending some 30 hours traveling back from South Africa, I've been quite busy doing the research for and writing my recent Seeking Alpha article Top Holdings of Dividend ETFs. I'm happy to say the article is generating a lot of interest and is keeping me quite busy replying to comments.

Several buys have gone unreported and the goal of my next three articles is to detail them. All the buys are additions to existing positions. In some cases, I immediately sold call options on the underlying shares but I'll defer reporting those trades to my next options update article.

Following are summaries of four buys I executed on December 5th and 6th.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Options Update: December 2016

In June this year I started trading options in DivGro. The idea is to use to boost dividend income with options income, in effect leveraging the ownership of a substantial portfolio of dividend growth stocks. While my focus will remain on dividend growth investing, options trading provides an interesting and potentially lucrative sideline activity.

Every month, I compile an update of all options activity shortly after options expiration Friday. Doing so allows me to report any options that expired or got assigned. I also report new options trades and provide a running tally of options income to date.

Soon I'll write about my goals for 2017, which will include a new goal related to options trading.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Goals for 2017

The year 2016 is almost over, so it is time to set new goals for 2017!

I believe in setting stretching yet achievable goals. It is not useful to entertain goals that are impossible to achieve. On the other hand, setting goals that are easy to achieve will not require special effort and will not leave you with a special sense of accomplishment.

Stretching goals demand extra effort and focus. They require commitment, patience, and constant monitoring. Sometimes, when progress is not sufficient, they require a course correction.

In this article, I'll do a quick review of my 2016 goals and present my goals for 2017.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 Dividend Increases: December 12-23, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list helps me identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past few weeks, 12 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Friday, December 23, 2016

DivGro Pulse: December 2016

The goal of my monthly pulse articles is to monitor the health of DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks. I provide various charts to visualize recent performance. I also provide updated fair value estimates and compare those estimates to current market prices. My goal is to help inform investment decisions.

These articles are strategy focused. I consider undervalued stocks to see if they are suitable for further investment. Underperforming stocks, on the other hand, could be candidates for the chopping block. Additionally, I may analyze a handful of stocks not yet in my portfolio to see if any of those pique my interest.

Last month, I identified three positions I wanted to close. I closed two of these positions at the end of November. The third, PennantPark Investment (PNNT), will remain in DivGro until the end of December or possibly into January 2017.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Recent Sell: Union Pacific Corporation


Founded in 1862 and based in Omaha, Nebraska, Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) operates the largest public railroad in North America, with 32,000 miles of track linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States. UNP hauls coal, industrial products, intermodal containers, agricultural goods, chemicals, and automotive products.

I bought shares of UNP on several occasions starting in February 2014. Most recently, I bought 44 shares to round out my position to 100 shares.

On 26 September 2016, I sold one contract of option UNP Dec 16 2016 97.50 C for $2.18 per share, collecting $210.30 in options premium income after commissions.

Last Friday, the option was exercised and I sold my shares for $97.50 per share.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Top Holdings Of Dividend ETFs

In my first exclusive article for Seeking Alpha, I presented the Blogger's Portfolio, an imaginary portfolio compiled by aggregating the public portfolios of dividend growth investment (DGI) bloggers. At the time, McDonald's Corporation (MCD), The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and AT&T Inc (T) topped the list of most popular dividend growth stocks held by DGI bloggers with public portfolios.

I repeated the exercise last year, creating the 2015 edition of the Blogger's Portfolio with data from 43 public portfolios listed on my blogroll. The most popular stock, held by no fewer than 36 out of 43 portfolios, was Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). AT&T and Coca-Cola swapped places, while McDonald's dropped to seventh place.

Soon I'll present the 2016 edition of the Blogger's Portfolio.

With this article, I'm presenting a similar analysis using a different data source – the top 25 holdings of dividend ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The analysis produced a ranked list of the 45 top dividend growth stocks held in dividend ETFs.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Recent Sell: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through approximately 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet, and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries.

I bought shares of WFC in June 2016 and locked in a yield on cost (YoC) of 3.27%. After my purchase, the stock price steadily climbed until news broke about the accounts scandal in which bank employees opened accounts without customer's authorization. The stock price dropped more than 12%, then recovered nicely along with the market after Trump's election victory.

Now that WFC is trading well above my entry price, I've decided to close my position.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 Dividend Increases: December 5-9, 2016

Summary

  • Companies can only raise their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch is one way to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 10 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Monthly Review: November 2016

I'm writing this monthly review at my parent's home in South Africa. Three weeks ago, my father underwent quintuple bypass surgery. While he is still weak, he is recovering slowly but steadily. We're all grateful to be on this side of the operation... it was quite stressful, especially for my 80-year old mother.

In between helping my parents, I've had ample time to tinker with DivGro and to continue writing articles. One Seeking Alpha article, 10 Dividend Growth Stocks For November 2016, has received more than 10,000 page views, the first time I've reached that milestone! Meanwhile, my new options update and pulse article series are generating lots of interest.

This month, I closed two of my DivGro positions and added shares to another position. Along with three dividend increases, the net result is that DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) increased by about $216 to $11,505. I'm quite close to achieving my 2016 goal of increasing PADI to $12,000, but it will be touch-and-go!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For December 2016

Summary

  • Every month, I rank a selection of the CCC dividend growth stocks and present the top 10 ranked stocks as candidates for further research.
  • To introduce variation, I use different screens to trim the list of more than 750 stocks.
  • I rank these candidates and assign a 7-star rating to each stock. Stocks with 5 stars or better are worthy of further analysis.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for December, as well as their ratings.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: November 28-December 2, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • This past week, 9 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including 1 of the stocks I own.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Closing Two Positions

In my latest DivGro Pulse article, I reiterated my plans to sell three stocks. Today I'm reporting on selling two of these stocks. The third, PennantPark Investment (PNNT), will remain in my DivGro portfolio until the end of December and possibly into January 2017. I first want to collect PNNT's last 28¢ quarterly distribution. The company cut its distribution by 29% last week.

This year, I've repositioned DivGro for options trading. While my focus will remain on generating a reliable and growing dividend stream, I want to leverage my stock ownership and boost dividend income with options income.

Repositioning involved closing several positions and buying more shares of existing positions, rounding out the number of shares to 100 or multiples of 100 shares. As a result, I've reduced the number of positions in DivGro from a high of 66 at the end of June, to 51 at the end of October.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Options Update: November 2016

The main goal of DivGro is to generate a reliable and growing dividend income stream. I'm fully committed to investing in quality, undervalued dividend growth stocks.

This year, I've added an interesting sideline activity to DivGro, namely using options to boost dividend income. By selling calls against stocks I own or selling puts on stocks I'd like to own, I can collect options income and so boost DivGro's dividend income.

I compile my monthly options update articles shortly after options expiration Friday. That way, I can report on options that expired and those that got exercised. Usually, these articles will also report new options trades and provide a running tally of options income to date.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: November 21-25, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past week, 7 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

DivGro Pulse: November 2016

This is the third edition of my new monthly article series in which I'm monitoring the health of DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks.

These pulse articles are strategy focused. I provide updated fair value estimates and compare them to current market prices. Undervalued stocks are candidates for further investment. I rate stocks on a 7-star scale and consider 6-star or 7-star stocks to be quality dividend growth stocks.

I also provide various charts to visualize recent performance. If a stock performs poorly, it could be a sign of some underlying problem. Hopefully, these charts will help identify potential problems and inform my investment decisions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11 Dividend Increases: November 14-18, 2016

Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • This past week, 11 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monthly Review: October 2016

I'm rather late with my monthly review post. Some heavy options trading activity last month resulted in two fairly lengthy options update posts, which spilled over into the first week of the month when I usually prepare my monthly reviews.

This month, I closed one of my DivGro positions, Caterpillar, Inc (CAT). I'm concerned about CAT's near-term future and the sustainability of its dividend. I also trimmed my Cisco Systems, Inc (CSCO) after a covered call option was exercised. I used the cash to add shares to an existing DivGro holding, Pfizer Inc (PFE).

The net result of my October trades is that DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) decreased by about $49. I'm still on schedule to achieve my goal of increasing PADI to $12,000 before year's end.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For November 2016

Summary

  • I rank a selection of David Fish's CCC dividend growth stocks every month. The top 10 ranked stocks are great candidates for further analysis. 
  • I use different screens every month to trim the list of more than 750 stocks to a more manageable number of candidates.
  • I rank these candidates and assign a 7-star rating to each stock. Stocks with 5 stars or better are worthy of further analysis.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for November, as well as their ratings.

Monday, November 14, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: November 7-11, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • Recently, 9 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends.

Friday, November 11, 2016

19 Dividend Increases: October 31-November 6, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch is one way to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 19 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Options Update: October 2016 (Part 2)

In Part 1 of my October Update of my October options update, I covered new covered calls and cash-secured puts and provided a running tally of my options income to date. I reported ten new options trades, four covered calls, and six cash-secured puts. In all, I have executed 23 options trades of which 16 remain open. 

In Part 2, I'll discuss assignments and present expired and open positions. One assignment added new shares to my DivGro portfolio and a few covered calls expired, so I have several uncovered positions to consider. These positions offer opportunities to generate more options income.

As I mentioned in Part 1, I consider myself a beginner options trader with lots yet to learn. If you're an experienced options trader and see anything I do that looks suspicious, please let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Options Update: October 2016 (Part 1)

Time again for an options update!

I usually write these articles shortly after options expiration Friday, but I decided to delay this one by a week because I sold a weekly option that expired last Friday. I wanted to include details on that trade in this month's update. I won't be trading weekly options again in the foreseeable future. Weekly options have lower volume and strike prices have wider spreads.

Last month I added nine new options trades. This month I'm reporting ten new options trades, as well as two expirations, a partial exercise, and an assignment. As usual, I'll give an update of all open trades and a running tally of my options income to date.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

18 Dividend Increases: October 24-28, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the past week, 18 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Recent Sell: Caterpillar Inc


Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, IL. CAT manufactures construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It provides technology for construction, transportation, mining, forestry, energy, logistics, electronics, financing and electric power generation.

I bought shares of CAT on two occasions, in August 2013 and in February 2015. After my initial purchase, the stock shot up nicely but in summer of 2014 things turned around. CAT slid all the way down to about $58 before turning around and launching somewhat of a recovery.

This short article explains why I closed my CAT position.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

One More Home Run!

Almost two years ago, I wrote about the San Francisco Giants beating the Kansas City Royals in game 7 of the World Series, the annual championship series of Major League Baseball in North America. Of the 57 runs scored in that series, only two were home runs.

I don't think we'll see only two home runs between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians this year! In Game 1 of the 2016 World Series, catcher Roberto Perez hit two home runs to back up a shut-out performance by starting pitcher Corey Kluber and reliever Andrew Miller. The Indians won 6-0.

In case you're wondering what baseball has got to do with dividend growth investing, I use the term home run to describe any position in my portfolio that has crossed the 100% mark in total returns.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

15 Dividend Increases: October 17-21, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • This week, 15 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DIY Investing With Simply Investing

A few weeks ago I started corresponding with Kanwal Sarai of Simply Investing. With more than 17 years of dividend investing experience, Kanwal has a wealth of knowledge to share. He does so through regular blog posts, a self-paced online investing course, live seminars, and a monthly subscription-based report, called the Simply Investing Report.

In this article, I'll be reviewing the Simply Investing Report. Kanwal provided two monthly issues for me to review. I'll briefly describe the report contents and how Kanwal suggests using the report. As part of the subscription, subscribers get access to a spreadsheet containing data of stocks covered in the report. I used this data to compare Kanwal's valuations with my own. I find the comparison fascinating!

Kanwal has graciously offered a one-year subscription to one reader of this review! If you're interested in a free subscription, be sure to read the review for details on how to qualify!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

DivGro Pulse: October 2016

Last month I started a new monthly article series in which I'll be monitoring the health of DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks. These pulse articles will be strategy focused. I'll provide updated fair value estimates and compare those estimates to current market prices. I'll also provide various charts to visualize recent performance. My goal is to help inform investment decisions.

In contrast, my monthly review articles present a summary of the past month's activities along with a snapshot of DivGro's current state, including metrics such as projected annual dividend income (PADI), average yield on cost (YoC), percentage payback and projected annual yield.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: October 10-14, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase their dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past week, 7 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including 1 of the stocks I own.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quarterly Review, Q3-2016

Quarterly reports summarize the actions I've taken during the preceding quarter. I provide a summary of dividend income, dividend adjustments, and portfolio performance. I also create charts to review the performance of individual stocks. If stocks start to perform poorly, I want to be aware of that so I can decide if any actions are warranted.

In the third quarter of 2016, I worked hard to prepare DivGro for options trading. I closed several positions to raise cash so I could round out the number of shares of other positions to 100 shares or multiples of 100 shares. This process will continue into the fourth quarter, and I'm hoping to complete this preparation by year's end.

Meanwhile, I've executed several options trades this quarter. While I'm reporting the total options income received in this article, most of those options are still open. This means that I have not yet secured the options income. In my monthly options update articles, I keep a running tally of the total amount received in options income, as well as the total secured so far. See my September 2016 update for the latest tally.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: October 3-7, 2016

 Summary

  • Companies can only raise their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the past week, nine companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Monday, October 10, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For October 2016

Summary

  • Every month, I rank a selection of the CCC stocks, an invaluable source for dividend growth investors compiled by David Fish.
  • I use different screens to trim the list of more than 750 stocks to a more manageable number of stocks. Using different screens introduces some variation.  
  • I rank the remaining stocks using a multi-stage dividend discount model and fundamental analysis, and assign a 7-star rating to the top 10 ranked stocks.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for October along with their ratings. These stocks are great candidates for further analysis.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Monthly Review: September 2016

Over the past three months, I've closed no fewer than 14 positions in my DivGro portfolio. I've used some of the cash to round out the number of shares of several positions to 100 or multiples of 100. The reason is I'm implementing a strategy to boost dividend income by writing covered calls against the stocks I own.

This month, I closed one more position and increased another position to 100 shares, ready for covered call trading. I also increased the number of shares of two other positions, although I'm not planning to write covered calls one those positions.

The net result of my trades in September is that DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) increased by about $531, reversing the downward trend of the last two months. I'm on schedule to achieve my goal of increasing PADI to $12,000 before year's end.

Monday, October 3, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: September 26-30, 2016

 Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 7 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including 1 of my DivGro holdings.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Stock Analysis: The Boeing Company

Founded in 1916 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, The Boeing Company (BA) is an aerospace firm that designs, develops, manufactures, sells, services, and supports commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide. The company employs approximately 160,000 people in the United States and more than 65 countries.

BA is organized into two business units: Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space, and Security. These units are supported by Boeing Capital Corporation, Shared Services, and Boeing Engineering, Operations and Technology.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another Round Out Buy


26 September 2016: Bought 44 shares of UNP at $94.40 per share.

Founded in 1862, Omaha, Nebraska-based Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) operates through its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company. The company operates the largest public railroad in North America, with 32,000 miles of track linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States. UNP hauls coal, industrial products, intermodal containers, agricultural goods, chemicals, and automotive products. UNP owns a quarter of Mexican railroad Ferromex.

UNP is a Dividend Challenger with a 9-year streak of annual dividend increases. The company pays quarterly dividends of 55¢ per share in the months of March, June, September, and December. At my buy price of $94.40, the stock yields 2.33%.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Recent Sell: Texas Instruments Incorporated

Texas Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ:TXN) designs, makes and sells semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The company operates mainly through two segments, Analog and Embedded Processing. It markets and sells products through a direct sales force and through distributors. TXN was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

I transferred shares of TXN into DivGro in December 2015. At the time, I listed several reasons for liking TXN, including the stock's yield of 2.62% and a 10-year dividend growth rate of 30%. Since then, TXN's yield has dropped to 2.19% on strong share price performance.

I'm very happy with my investment in TXN. The stock has performed very well, returning about 26% on an annualized basis in the 3 years I've owned shares. However, I've been preparing DivGro for options trading and I'm sacrificing this position for that goal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boosting Ford's Performance with Options


Founded in 1903 and based in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company (F) manufactures and distributes automobiles worldwide. The company has 67 plants across the world and offers vehicles under the Ford and Lincoln brand names. Ford sells its products through distributors and dealers, as well as through dealerships to fleet customers. The company provides vehicle financing products through a wholly owned subsidiary, Ford Motor Credit Company LLC.

I own 600 shares of Ford at an average cost basis of $12.94 per share. As a dividend growth investor, I like Ford for its relatively high yield. I also like the stock because it allows me to boost that yield with covered calls. Ford is a popular stock for options trading – in August, the average daily volume of Ford options totaled nearly 7,200 contracts, about 4,500 of which were call contracts.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: September 19-23, 2016

 Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks, because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 11 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including one of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Blogroll Renovations

Welcome to my 400th blog post! 

I have an extensive blogroll at DivGro. Maintaining the blogroll is a challenge, as blogs come and go. I rely on new bloggers to tell me about their new blog. Rarely, though, does a blogger plan to stop blogging. It just kind-of happens. And because it just happens, there's no way for me to know when it happens...

It is quite eerie to read the final post on abandoned blogs. Did the blogger have even a little sense that the post would be their last? As I get older, I think back about the last time I did various things, like seeing school friends or even distant family. At the time, I had no inkling that that would be the last time I would see them!

Anyway, enough about nostalgia. The fact of the matter is that I have to revisit my blogroll frequently to fix things, otherwise the page would become less useful fast!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

11 Dividend Increases: September 5-16, 2016

 Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks, because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 11 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including one of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Options Update: September 2016

Last month, I wrote my first article in a new monthly series about options trades in DivGro. These articles will follow option expiration Friday, usually the third Friday of the contract month.

As I mentioned last month, readers not interested in options can just skip these articles.

Personally, I'm interested in boosting my dividend income with options. By selling calls against stocks I own (covered calls) or selling puts on stocks I'd like to own at a preferred price (naked or cash-covered puts), I can collect option premiums and so boost my dividend income.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stock Analysis: Hormel Foods Corporation

Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL) is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products. The company sells its products through sales personnel, as well as through independent brokers and distributors. Customers include retailers, hospitals, nursing homes and marketers of nutritional products. HRL was founded in 1891 and is based in Austin, Minnesota.

HRL was the top ranked stock in the August edition of my 10 Dividend Growth Stocks series of articles on Seeking Alpha. The stock made the list again in the September edition, this time in second place. The stock is a Dividend Champion with a track record of 50 consecutive years of dividend increases and a 10-year dividend growth rate of 14.4%. HRL pays quarterly dividends of 14.5¢ per share in the months of February, May, August, and November.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DivGro Pulse: September 2016

Today I'm starting a new monthly article series. My goal is to monitor DivGro's health as a dividend growth portfolio – taking the proverbial pulse to determine if there are areas of concern that require attention.

My monthly review articles will continue to present a summary of the past month's activities along with a snapshot of DivGro's current state, including metrics such as projected annual dividend income (PADI), average yield on cost (YoC), percentage payback and projected annual yield.

In contrast, the pulse articles will be strategy focused. I'll provide updated fair value estimates for each stock. Comparing a stock's current price to its fair value estimate will help inform investment decisions. I'll also provide various charts to visualize recent performance, including one plotting current price relative to the 52-week trading range.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Home Run #6

I'm happy to report my sixth home run stock! Recall that I call a stock a home run stock when it passes the 100% profit mark taking total return into account.

While my goal with DivGro is to build a growing dividend income stream, its fun to see some stocks perform well enough to become home run stocks. These stocks present dividend growth investors with some tricky questions. Are the stocks suitable for further investment, or are they now overvalued? Is it appropriate to increase the average cost basis of a position by buying more shares?

When I look at my portfolio, I see many stocks that have gone up significantly after I bought shares. Buying more shares would increase my average cost basis, something I've tried to avoid so far. But is increasing average cost basis necessarily a bad thing?

Monday, September 5, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For September 2016

Summary

  • I rank a selection of the CCC dividend growth stocks every month. The top 10 ranked stocks are great candidates for further analysis. 
  • The CCC list is an invaluable source for dividend growth investors. Every month I use different screens to trim the list before doing a preliminary ranking.  
  • For the top ranked stocks, I do a final ranking using additional data and assign a 7-star rating.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for September, as well as their ratings.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

10 Dividend Increases: August 22-September 2, 2016

 Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list helps me identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 10 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 1 of my DivGro holdings.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monthly Review: August 2016

Over the past couple of months I've been positioning DivGro for option trading. To do so, I increased the number of shares of several positions to 100 or multiples thereof. My goal is to boost dividend income by selling covered calls against several of the stocks I own, collecting option premiums in return.

I closed five positions this month and increased my holdings of three positions to 100 shares each, readying them for option trading. I also initiated a position in Cisco Systems, Inc (CSCO), a great candidate for option trading!

DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) decreased further this month. Nevertheless, I'm on schedule goal-wise and I'm confident to reach my goal of $12,000 before year's end. Good news is that I've achieved my goal of earning $10,800 for 2016.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Confessions Of A Recovering Trader

I did a bad thing.

I acted on an impulse and bought shares of a stock that wouldn't pass DivGro's selection criteria. In fact, I looked at the stock chart and based on what I saw, I decided to buy shares worth more than double the amount I usually spend on buys.

Before founding DivGro in January 2013 and subscribing to the philosophy of dividend growth investing, I was an avid trader. I looked at technicals and ignored fundamentals. I studied stock charts and trends, trying to determine the best entry points and looking for patterns that would suggest future price action.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Recent Sell: Digital Realty Trust, Inc


In July I celebrated adding 3 more home runs to DivGro. One of those home runs were Digital Realty Trust, Inc (DLR), a publicly-traded U.S. real estate investment trusts (REITs) that owns, acquires, repositions and manages technology-related real estate.

DLR's performance has been spectacular. The share price more than doubled from my buy price, though lately the REIT has pulled back to a just under $100 per share. DLR now yields 3.54%, much less than my initial yield on cost (YoC) of 6.30%. While DLR has paid and increased its dividend for 12 years running, dividend growth has slowed in recent years.

It is hard to say goodbye to a winner, so I'll just say good buy and move along!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Options Update: August 2016

This article is the first in a new series of articles about my options trades in DivGro.

Some readers may not be interested in options, so they can just skip these articles. Others may be interested in learning about options or just following along. And I'm sure there are several dividend growth investors, who, like myself, are interested in boosting dividend income with options trades.

As for myself, this series will help me to track my options trades and to learn more about options. Certainly, some of the learning will come from research I do before writing articles, but I hope I'll also learn from questions and comments from those readers that share my interest in options trading.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Recent Sell: Deere & Company

I've parted ways with Deere & Company (NYSE:DE). The company has paid the same quarterly dividend of 60¢ per share for 9 straight quarters. While this does not constitute a dividend freeze, yet, I have some concerns about the company's fundamentals. Last week, DE announced Q3 earnings and the results reflect continued weakening in difficult construction and farming markets.

Last Friday, shares spiked up about 13% to over $87 per share after DE posted an earnings surprise and guiding higher for fiscal year 2016. While EPS (earnings per share) for Q3 of $1.55 beat the consensus forecast by 61¢ per share, revenue dropped 11% from the year-ago quarter. Aggressive cost cuts and share buy backs helped DE increase EPS by 2¢ from $1.53 in Q3 2015.

The market's response to DE's less bad news gives me an opportunity to exit my DE position at a slight gain. I'm happy to be out of this position – DE is now going for 22.7 times next year's earnings, a significantly inflated earnings multiple for a company with declining revenues.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Recent Buy: Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc (CSCO) designs, manufactures, and sells internet protocol-based products and services and delivers integrated solutions to develop and connect networks around the world. The company serves businesses of various sizes, public institutions, governments, and communications service providers. CSCO sells its products directly, as well as through channel partners, such as systems integrators, service providers, other resellers, and distributors. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

The stock is a Dividend Challenger with a track record of 6 consecutive years of dividend increases and a 3-year dividend growth rate of 31.6%. CSCO pays quarterly dividends of 26¢ per share in the months of January, April, July and October.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: August 15-19, 2016

 Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list helps me identify candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 9 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Closing Three More Positions

Regular readers will know that I'm busy preparing DivGro for options trading. I'm hoping to boost dividend income by selling call options against stock I own. The strategy is called covered call writing – typically, you sell one contract for every 100 shares you own and collect an option premium in return.

In the past 2 months, I've been closing some DivGro positions and using the cash to round out the number of shares of other DivGro positions. The idea is to own 100 shares (or multiples of 100 shares) of stocks so I can sell call options on these stocks and boost my dividend income.

Recently, I bought additional shares of 3 stocks and increased my share count to 100 shares, making these stocks eligible for options trades.

Friday, August 19, 2016

More Round Out Buys

Last month I closed several positions so I could round out the number of shares of some DivGro positions to 100 (or multiples of 100). The reason for doing so is to prepare DivGro for options trading. Each option controls 100 shares, so I would need to own at least 100 shares of a stock before entering into an options trade.

Today I'm reporting 3 additional round out trades. I'm increasing the number of shares of 3 DivGro holdings to 100 shares, making them eligible for options trading.

With the markets trading at record highs, most of the stocks in my portfolio are trading at a premium. Its not a great time to buy, but I'm biting the bullet and buying shares even at a premium to fair value.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For August 2016

Summary

  • Every month I rank a selection of David Fish's CCC stocks to identify top candidates worthy of further analysis. 
  • I trim the CCC list of more than 750 stock to a more manageable number of candidates. Using different screens every month ensures some variation. 
  • I rank the remaining stocks using a multi-stage dividend discount model and fundamental analysis, and assign a 7-star rating to the top 10 ranked stocks.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for August.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

9 Dividend Increases: August 8-12, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the last week, 9 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Monday, August 8, 2016

13 Dividend Increases: August 1-5, 2016

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch is one way to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • This past week, 13 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Monthly Review: July 2016

One of my goals this year is to find opportunities to boost dividend income with options. Writing or selling covered calls is a safe way to earn extra income on top of the dividend income you already receive just for owning dividend paying stocks. You can sell one contract for every 100 shares you own and collect an option premium in return.

I closed nine positions this month and reduced my position in one stock trading well above fair value. The main reason for selling so many stocks is to collect cash for round out buys. With the markets trading near all-time highs, it is a good time for selling, but not for buying!

With more sells than buys this month, DivGro's projected annual dividend income (PADI) took a little nosedive. Fortunately, I'm still ahead of schedule goal-wise. In fact, I'm quite sure that I'll reach my $12,000 target before year's end.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

21 Dividend Increases: July 25-29, 2016

Includes: BBT • CBOE • CBS • CMA • COLB • CTBI • EMBT • EQM • ETP • HSY • K • PAG • PROV • RAY • RSG • SOHO • SPG • SUN • SXL • TILE • TRNO 

Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks, because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • This past week, 21 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Recent Buy: Nike Inc

This article originally appeared on The DIV-Net on Wednesday, August 26, 2016.


24 June 2016: Bought 47 shares of NKE at $52.84 per share.

Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) is engaged in the design, development, marketing and selling of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. The company's portfolio brands include the NIKE Brand, Jordan Brand, Hurley and Converse. NKE sells its products to retail accounts, through NIKE-owned retail stores and Internet Websites, and through a mix of independent distributors and licensees.

NKE was the top ranked stock in the June edition of my 10 Dividend Growth Stocks series. The stock is a Dividend Contender with a track record of 14 consecutive years of dividend increases and a 10-year dividend growth rate of 16%. NKE pays quarterly dividends of 16¢ per share in the months of January, April, July and October.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

14 Dividend Increases: July 18-22, 2016

Includes: BHB • BMTC • HEP • LFUS • LFUS • LNN • LTXB • MBWM • MMP • NTRS • SWK • TCP • TLP • WES 

Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks, because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • This week, 14 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Three Round Out Buys

Earlier this month I reported selling several stocks, including three winners (NTTRS, O – but only half), three more winners (TDWPCAVA) and four more positions (PMCVXSTWDMDP).

My reason for this sudden selling spree is that I want to prepare DivGro for options trading. Recall that I'm hoping to boost dividend income by selling options against some of my DivGro positions. Each option controls 100 shares. Covered call writing, the strategy I'm most interested in, requires that I own 100 shares for every call option I write.

Many of my DivGro positions consist of fewer than 100 shares, so I would have to round out the number of shares to 100 (or multiples of 100) before writing covered calls. Today's article is about buying shares to round out 3 positions and to make them eligible for options trades.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

16 Dividend Increases: July 4-15, 2016

Includes: BSET • CMI • DFS • DUK • EDR • EPD • GEL • HCSG • NNN • OHI • OXY • PAYX • PNC • R • SJM • WBA 


Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list helps me identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past few weeks, 16 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including 3 of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Yowzah!

Yow'zah!an exclamation indicating excitement, usually associated with the observation of an event or object that greatly exceeds the ordinary
      Urban Dictionary

After blogging for nearly 1,300 days since the start of DivGro, today I crossed the half million page view milestone! What a journey it has been! With this post, as with my previous milestone post, I'd like to celebrate a little and hopefully encourage other dividend growth investment (DGI) bloggers to keep going and help this wonderful community go from strength to strength!

The last time I wrote a milestones article, I reported reaching 200,000 page views (pv's) at a daily average of 249 pv's. That article was the 201st one posted on DivGro. At the time, my most popular article was Popular Dividend Growth Stocks, with 2,640 pv's.  The runner-up, Tracking your DGI Portfolio, had 2,140 pv's. And, at the time of writing that article, I had four articles with at least 1,000 pv's.

Today, I'd like to give updates on these milestones and report a few more...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Recent Buy: Wells Fargo & Company

24 June 2016: Bought 54 shares of WFC at $46.51 per share.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet, and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.

WFC is a Dividend Challenger with a 6-year streak of dividend increases and a 10-year dividend growth rate of 4%. The company cut its dividend in March 2009 to preserve capital in the midst of the Great Recession, and resumed dividend increases in 2011. WFC pays quarterly dividends of 38¢ per share in the months of March, June, September and December.

With this buy, DivGro's projected annual dividend income increases by $82.08.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Closing Four More Positions

The markets are climbing higher and higher...

Today, the Dow surged to a new record high, closing at 18,347.67 – about 35 points above the previous record set on 19 May 2015. The S&P 500 built upon its record close yesterday, pushing the record high up another 15 points to 2,152.14. The Nasdaq is now in positive territory for 2016, but still 3.6% under its record close.

Amid these record-setting movements, I've been closing some of my DivGro positions. Last week I closed five positions and reduced one, reported here and here. Today I'm reporting on four more sells.

Monday, July 11, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For July 2016

Includes:  AAPL • BA • BEN • CVS • EXPD • GD • LOW • TGT • TRV • VFC 


Summary

  • Every month, I rank a selection of the CCC dividend growth stocks to identify top candidates worthy of further analysis. 
  • I use different screens every month to trim the CCC list of more than 750 stocks to a more manageable number of candidates.
  • Using a multi-stage dividend discount model and fundamental analysis, I rank the remaining stocks and assign a 7-star rating to the top 10 ranked stocks.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for July.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Selling Three More Winners

sold three winners recently and today I'm reporting on selling three more.

So, why am I selling stocks that are performing well and continue to pay increasing dividends? The main reason is that I'd like to trim the number of positions in DivGro and increase the size of some of my core holdings.

As mentioned earlier, I'm hoping to boost my dividend income by selling options against some of my DivGro positions. Covered call writing is a safe way to earn extra income on stocks you own. Typically, you sell one contract for every 100 shares you own and collect an option premium in return. Currently, many of my DivGro positions involve fewer than 100 shares, so by increasing those positions, I'll have more opportunities to execute options trades.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Selling Three Winners

As a dividend growth investor, I select and buy stocks with a solid track record of paying and increasing dividends. I try to assess the likelihood that companies will continue to pay and increase their dividends, taking things like earnings growth potential, dividend safety and payout ratio into account. If I like what I see, I buy shares with the intent of holding onto them and collecting dividends.

Sometimes, a company decides to cut or eliminate its dividend. I really hate when this happens, because I prefer growing dividends over shrinking ones! Usually, when a company decides to cut or eliminate its dividend, I sell my shares. Experience has taught me that hanging on to shares after a dividend cut is foolhardy.

Dividend growth investing is a long-term strategy. You buy stocks that pay dividends, reinvest those dividends (if you can) and compound returns over time. So, why sell stocks if they perform well and continue to pay increasing dividends?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Every quarter, I review my portfolio of dividend growth stocks, DivGro. These reviews provide a synopsis of actions I've taking throughout the quarter and present a summary of dividend income, dividend adjustments and portfolio performance.

To evaluate the performance of individual stocks, I create charts for stocks I've owned for longer than one year. The charts present data such as annualized total returns, yield on cost, and year-over-year dividend increases. Underperforming stocks are easily identified in this way.

Lately, I've been adding to existing positions more frequently than opening new positions. I haven't eliminated positions often. My reasons for eliminating positions include dividend cuts and in some cases, mergers and acquisitions.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Three More Home Runs!

I hit my first home run with DivGro in October 2014, when General Dynamics Corporation (GD) crossed the 100% profit mark. I initiated a position in GD in March 2013 at $67.61 per share. The stock is trading around $138 per share, still placing it in home run territory. With dividends added, GD has returned 117% and on an annualized basis, a remarkable 35%!

My second home run came February this year, when Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) reached the 100% milestone.  I bought shares of NTT in February 2013 at $22.43 a share. The stock is trading near $48 per share, still in home run territory! With dividends added, NTT has returned 124%, or 37% annualized – even better than GD!

Today, I'm happy to report 3 more home runs! All of these stocks have passed the 100% profit mark a while ago when taking total returns into account, but they've only recently crossed doubler status as far as the stock price is concerned.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Quarterly Review, Q2-2016

In the second quarter of 2016, I finalized the portfolio consolidation process initiated last year. DivGro now contains all my dividend growth stocks, regardless of the brokerage account that hold them. The stocks are spread over 5 different accounts: one trust account at Scottrade, another trust account at FolioInvesting, and 3 IRA accounts, also at FolioInvesting.

Each quarterly report summarizes the actions I've taken during the preceding quarter. I also provide a summary of dividend income, dividend adjustments, and portfolio performance. In order to evaluate the performance of individual stocks, I create charts for stocks I've owned for longer than a year. If stocks do not perform acceptably, they should be replaced.

Monday, July 4, 2016

6 Dividend Increases: June 13-July 1, 2016

Includes:  GIS • JW.A • KR • O • WOR • WPC


Summary

  • Companies can only increase their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the past few weeks, 6 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I own.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Monthly Review: June 2016

This month I initiated my first option trades in DivGro, one covered call and one cash-secured put. I've been trading options for several years, though not within the context of my dividend growth portfolio. One of my goals this year is to find opportunities to generate extra income with options. Selling options and collecting the premiums provide a nice way to boost dividend income.

Market volatility increased in June due to Brittain's so-called Brexit vote and the somewhat unexpected result. I'm quite happy to report that DivGro outperformed the markets in June, gaining 2.04% versus 0.80% for the Dow and only 0.09% for the S&P 500.

A fellow dividend growth investor and blogger, Investment Hunting, is running a blogger interview series in which he asks DGI bloggers a series of about 20 questions. I decided to participate and reveal a little more of my background and what I do for a living. You can read the interview here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Recent Buy: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.


24 June 2016: Bought 35 shares of WMT at $72.15 per share.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) is the world's largest retailer. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas and founded in 1945, WMT is a multinational retailer consisting of more than 11,000 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries. It is the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees.

WMT is a Dividend Champion with an impressive streak of 43 consecutive years of dividend increases. The company pays quarterly dividends in January, April, July and October.

At my buy price of $72.15 the stock yields 2.77%. Adding 35 shares of WMT to DivGro increases projected annual dividend income by $70 to $11,464.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For June 2016

Includes: ADP • HFC • HRL • LAZ • NKE • ROST • TGT • TRV • VFC • VLO 

Summary

  • Every month, I rank a selection of the CCC dividend growth stocks to identify top candidates worthy of further analysis. 
  • I trim the CCC list of more than 750 stocks by using a series of screens, then rank the remaining stocks based on fundamental analysis.
  • This article reveals the top 10 ranked stocks for June. Each stock is assigned a 7-star rating, with only the best stocks earning 7 stars.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Would You Buy Target For Less Than $62?

2016-06-09: Sold to Open 1 Contract of Option TGT JAN 20 2017 65.00 P

Last week I wrote about my first options trade for DivGro. As mentioned in that article, one of my goals this year is to find opportunities to boost dividend income. I don't want to do this by chasing yield. Rather, I'd like to use options to generate a little extra income in addition to the dividend income I already receive.

One way to boost income is to sell covered calls against stocks I own in my DivGro portfolio. I can sell one call for every 100 shares I own and collect the option premium in return.

Another way to boost my income is to sell a cash-secured put on a stock I would like to own at a strike price I'm willing to pay. The put buyer will have the right to sell me 100 shares of the stock at the strike price before the option's expiration date.

Monday, June 13, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: May 30-June 10, 2016

Includes: AMT • AVGO • CBRL • HP • TGT • UHT • UNH 

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the past few weeks, 7 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 2 of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Monthly Review: May 2016

May was a busy month for me as I completed a project at work that I've been working on for almost a year. Trading in DivGro was light. I added shares to 2 positions and initiated a new position, increasing the number of positions in DivGro to 64.

I expect to focus more on adding shares to existing holdings rather than increasing the number of new positions. That said, there are a few candidates that I'm considering, but they're trading at levels I'm just not comfortable buying!

As usual, this monthly review gives a snapshot of DivGro and my trading activities in the past month. I'm well on my way to this year's goal of $12,000 in projected annual dividend income. When that target is reached, it means that the portfolio will be generating $1,000 per month of dividend income, on average, in perpetuity!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Recent Buy: United Parcel Service

12 May 2016: Bought 25 shares of UPS at $101.84 per share.

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

UPS is a Dividend Challenger with a track record of 7 consecutive years of dividend increases and a 5-year dividend growth rate of 9.2%. The company pays quarterly dividends of 78¢ per share in the months of March, June, September and December.

At my buy price of $101.84 the stock yields 3.06%. Adding 25 shares of UPS to DivGro increases projected annual dividend income by $78.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My First Option Trade

2016-06-01: Sold to Open 6 Contracts of Option F AUG 19 2016 13.00 C

One of my goals this year is to find opportunities to generate extra income by writing covered calls  against DivGro positions in my Scottrade account.

Writing or selling covered calls is a safe way to earn extra income on top of the dividend income you already receive just for owning dividend paying stocks. You can sell one contract for every 100 shares you own and collect an option premium in return.

When selling covered calls involving dividend paying stocks, you hope to keep the shares in order to continue collecting dividends.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

8 Dividend Increases: May 23-27, 2016

Includes: BG • DCI • EE • EXR • FLO • LOW • OMC • TIF 

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • This past week, 8 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Recent Buy: Valero Energy Corporation

May 20, 2016: Bought 32 shares of VLO at $55.84 per share.

Founded in 1955 and based in San Antonio, Texas, Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) is an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company's refineries produce conventional and premium gasoline, including gasoline meeting the specifications of the California Air Resources Board. VLO's ethanol segment produces ethanol and distillers grain.

VLO is a Dividend Challenger with a 6-year streak of dividend increases. The company pays quarterly dividends of 60¢ per share in the months of March, June, September and December. At the current share price of $55.28, the stock yields 4.34%.

Monday, May 23, 2016

11 Dividend Increases: May 16-20, 2016

Includes: CB • CLX • GNTX • GPI • JPM • KEY • MMC • MSA • NOC • RBCAA • SYBT 

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • I like monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks, because I consider such stocks to be candidates for further analysis.
  • Recently, 11 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends, including 2 of my DivGro holdings.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Recent Buy: Apple Inc


May 3, 2016: Bought 26 shares of AAPL at $94.07 per share.
May 12, 2016: Bought 30 shares of AAPL at $90.20 per share.

Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players. The company also sells a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content. AAPL was founded in 1977.

AAPL has a 5-year streak of consecutive dividend increases. The company pays quarterly dividends of 57¢ per share in the months of February, May, August and November.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

10 Dividend Growth Stocks for May 2016

Includes: HFC • HOG • HRL • JLL • NKE • PII • PRU • TROW • VFC • VLO

Summary

  • Every month I rank a selection of David Fish's CCC stocks to identify top candidates worthy of further analysis. 
  • This month I decided to do a preliminary ranking of most of the CCC stocks using data provided in the CCC spreadsheet.
  • After selecting 40 of the top-ranked stocks, I collected additional data from several online sources and ranked the stocks again using all available data. 
  • This article reveals May's top 10 ranked stocks.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

7 Dividend Increases: May 9-13, 2016

Includes: CTWS • FDS • LII • LYB • MSA • SCI • TEL 

Summary

  • Companies can only raise their dividends regularly if earnings grow sufficiently.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • In the last week, 7 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Monthly Review: April 2016

In April, I completed the consolidation of my portfolios of dividend paying stocks. DivGro now contains stocks and closed-end funds (CEFs) from 5 different accounts. I'll be managing DivGro as a single portfolio using the investment strategies developed when I started this blog.

This monthly review is the 40th I've compiled since creating DivGro. I'm somewhat astonished to see the progress... DivGro's market value just crossed the $300k level and, more importantly, projected annual dividend income is approaching $12,000. When that target is reached, it means that the portfolio will be generating $1,000 per month of dividend income, on average, in perpetuity!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

17 Dividend Increases: May 2-6, 2016

Includes: BPL • CAH • CPK • FNV • JCOM • MAN • MAR • MIC • NHC • PAG • PEP • SBRA • SBSI • SEP • TSCO • UFS

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise dividends show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.
  • I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the past week, 17 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including 1 of the stocks I own.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Recent Buy: Gap Inc


April 28, 2016: Bought 105 shares of GPS at $23.40 per share.

Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) is a global apparel retail company that offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products under the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy brands, among others. The company operates in the specialty, outlet, online, and franchise channels. It has 375 franchise stores in 41 countries. GPS was founded in 1969, and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

GPS has an 11-year streak of consecutive dividend increases. The company pays quarterly dividends of 23¢ per share in the months of January, April, July and October.

I already own 60 shares of GPS, acquired in March 2015 at a cost basis of $41.42 and a yield on cost (YoC) of 2.22%. The stock price has been trending lower since then, so I'm lowering my cost basis and increasing average YoC with this buy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

28 Dividend Increases: April 25-29, 2016 (Part 2: Non-Financials)

Includes: AAPL • AVY • GILD • GWW • IBM • JNJ • JNS • LM • POR • UGI • UTX • XLNX • XOM 

Summary

  • Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch is one way to identify candidates for further analysis.
  • In the last week, 28 companies on my watch list announced dividend increases, including 5 of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.
  • I presented the Financials and a few MLPs that announced dividend increases in Part 1.
  • This article presents the non-Financials that announced dividend increases in the last week.

Monday, May 2, 2016

28 Dividend Increases: April 25-29, 2016 (Part 1: Financials and MLPs)

Includes: AMP • APU • BBT • CFR • CMA • COLB • ETP • FFIN • IVZ • PFG • PFS • PSA • SXL • WBS • WFC • WTBA 

Summary

  • Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in future earnings growth potential.
  • One way to identify dividend growth stocks for further analysis is to monitor dividend increases.
  • This past week, 28 companies on my watch list decided to increase their dividends.
  • In this article, I present the Financials and a few MLPs that announced dividend increases.
  • A follow-up article will present the non-Financials that increased their dividends this past week.

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