With Q1 in the books it’s time to take a look back and see the events that occurred during the quarter. Also it’s a good time to take a look forward and see what is on the radar.
Let’s start with the dividends that were received during the quarter. What is great is that this ignores all of the market volatility and otherwise “noise” we have started seeing during the first part of 2018.
For the first quarter I collected a total of $1,794 in dividends! That amount was 38% higher than the $1,300 I received in the first quarter of 2017 and a bit higher than the $1,638 received during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Dividend Increases For This Year
|Name||2018 Increase||Increase Month|
|Omega Healthcare Investors||1.50%||January|
|T. Rowe Price||22.80%||February|
This is the list of companies that have announced their dividend increases thus far this year. As you can see there are some very generous raises and I expect many more to come. One tailwind will be the tax reform that was passed, extra free cash flow will force the hands of boards across the country to reward shareholders with this newly found windfall.
Also note that right now CVS has officially frozen their dividend as they go through the process of merging with Aetna.
Here are the list of transactions that I’ve made this year. Several of these such as Prudential, Corning and Home Depot have come prior to the new dividend payout rate. Of prime importance is that these companies were within the range of being fairly valued, this was not just chasing dividend payments. I do firmly believe however, that the dividend raise sums up the past year in the eyes of management.
A strong dividend increase typically signifies a strong year and management seeing more strong times ahead. There are exceptions however, that is not a hard and fast rule. From that list I actually sold my shares of Amgen and Gilead Sciences. Part of the rationale (besides not fully dedicating the time to understand their drugs and pipelines) is that top line sales have stalled and the large increases could appear as a way to appease shareholders.
Anyway, my sales were in part to reduce the overall number of individual holdings that I have. Target happened to catch near it’s peak in the upper 70s. Kors was a legacy holding from when I first started dabbling in individual stocks and never really fit my portfolio. I eventually sold at a nice gain after being in the red for many years.
Wells Fargo and Smucker fell into the realm of limited upside potential. Wells Fargo has their size limited by the Federal Reserve until further notice due to multiple fraud situations at the company. Smucker has been experiencing limited top line growth and it was easier to not own a holding that didn’t offer me anything materially different than the average provided by an ETF.
I took much of that money to bolster existing holdings to focus on fewer ideas that have better prospects.
Now that we are in Q2 it’s time to look ahead and see what is coming up. Over the next three months I am primarily looking to both Apple and Johnson & Johnson for their yearly dividend increase announcements. Both companies have enormous cash hoards that have been repatriated back to the US. This in turn allows that money to now be paid out to shareholders. Interesting side note, when Apple had $200B+ overseas, they had borrow money here in the US to pay and increase their dividends.
|Name||2018 Increase||Increase Month|
|Johnson & Johnson||April|
|Tanger Factory Outlets||2.20%||April|
|United Technologies Corporation||June|
|W.P. Carey||Every quarter|
Here are some of the companies that I believe will be increasing their payments over the next quarter. The list is small in absolute terms but like I said I am expecting big things. I actually expect large payouts from Travelers and Ameriprise also. Travelers has been a very steady eddy, raising about 10% a year fairly consistently. Ameriprise has raised an average of 13% over the past three years.
I’ve had a nice start to the year, I am hopeful that this volatility will continue and even increase. I have some cash on the sidelines in both my taxable and non-taxable accounts. I would love nothing more than buying some discounted dividend growth companies with. What’s on your radar?