Chevron reports Q1’14 results

In somewhat belated news, Chevron – one of my core holdings – reported Q1 numbers that were down from the previous periods and missed expectations. Investors, or rather analysts were looking for $2.47 on $54.B in revenue versus the reality of $2.36 from $53.3B. That translated to a drop of 6% in revenue while profits fell by 27%. Continue reading

Back to the Fork, or, Plan ‘C’ anyone?

“Erstens kommt es anders, zweitens als man denkt” –German Proverb

Seems like just yesterday that, in a fit of pique, I pulled my personal John Galt and decided to take my intellectual capital and my toys and go home. Having discovered that recent job interviews were mere unpaid consulting gigs to feed junior in-house resources, I took a snit and decided to retire early. Way early. Hence the title of this blog. And in just under a year since the inspiration, and a little over six month since making the move, I find myself “redirected”. I remember my FB entry that day: “Came to the fork in the road; taking it”.

“Man plans, God laughs” –Yiddish proverb

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“What to do??”

Years ago I had a Russian on my team; endowed with great technical skills, he would still periodically find himself with a dilemma, perhaps with a choice of differing approaches to resolution. He would come to me and lay out the problem, describe the various solutions, Continue reading

HCP increases dividend

A Dividend Aristocrat is any S&P500 company that has increased its dividend on an annual basis, without interruption, for 25 years or longer. Standard & Poors tracks performance and maintains an ETF (SPY) made up of these companies, so it is reasonable to expect that any company that achieves this benchmark will strive to continue to Continue reading

BCE Inc. reports Q4 results

Today BCE reported earnings of $540M, up 16%, and largely in line with analysts expectations; for the year, net earnings came in at $2.55, down from $3.17 the previous year, partly as a result of CRTC costs associated with the Astral Media acquisition.

For the coming year, BCE expects earnings of $3.10 to $3.20.

BCE, a core holding, makes up the largest percentage of my portfolio as a result of it’s standing as a top-5 dividend yielding issue on the TSX60. Today’s announcement of a 6% increase to the dividend makes it the tenth over the last 5 years, totalling almost 10% compound Dividend Growth.

Put another way, I just got a raise!

2013 Portfolio Update

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 3.20.30 PM

It will be 12 years this May since neglect of my RSP holdings forced me to take action, sell off an over-sized foreign holding and finally buy in to my DOGS of the TSX theory. If you’ll recall from a previous post, I adapted the DOGS of the Dow strategy to the – at that time – TSX100 Composite index, now the S&P/TSX 60. The Dogs of the Dow is a stock-picking strategy in which one buys the top 10 best yielding companies in the Dow Jones Industrial 30, in equal number, and re-balances annually.

In my application, I invested equal sums in 5 of the top six yielding companies on the TSX, re-balanced and re-invested dividends annually, on the anniversary.

It was based on the performance of this method that I chose an early retirement.

Walgreen Reports Q1’14 results

Walgreen, one of my core holdings based on it’s dividend growth record, reported first quarter results today, in line with analysts’ expectations.

From their report:

・Adjusted first quarter earnings per diluted share increase 24.1 percent to 72 cents, compared with adjusted earnings per diluted share of 58 cents in year-ago quarter; GAAP earnings per diluted share increase 66.1 percent to 72 cents compared with 43 cents in last year’s first quarter
・GAAP and adjusted net earnings in this year’s quarter include the positive impact of 7 cents per diluted share attributable to a deferred tax adjustment applicable to Alliance Boots
・Adjusted first quarter earnings increase 24.4 percent to $688 million, compared with adjusted earnings of $553 million in year-ago quarter; GAAP earnings increase 68.3 percent to $695 million compared with $413 million in last year’s first quarter
・First-quarter sales reach record $18.3 billion as comparable store front-end sales increase 2.4 percent and retail prescription market share increases 50 basis points compared with year-ago quarter to 19.4 percent
・Strong focus on cost management limits adjusted selling, general and administrative expense dollar growth to 0.4 percent compared with the year-ago quarter; GAAP SG&A dollar growth decreases 0.4 percent compared with last year’s first quarter

These numbers raise TTM earnings to $2.85, a year-over-year increase of almost 28%, for a trailing PE of 21x.

Noteworthy to the Dividend Growth investor is the negative free cash flow per share of $0.21. Payout ratio is measured against a company’s FCF, and any decreases there could lead to decreases in growth, if not, in a worst-case scenario, actual decreases in dividend payouts. That said, Walgreen has a record of dividend increases stretching 38 years.