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We’re halfway through 2018, and the projected annual dividend income for the Dividend Meter portfolio is getting close to the $10k barrier.  At the end of June, 2018, the meter reading checks in at $9,729.62, an increase of $157.22 from the month of May.  Here’s what moved the needle in June:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
6/28/2018 $9,729.62 DFS dividend increase, raises meter reading $19.60
6/28/2018 $9,710.02 Purchased 9 additional shares of QCOM at $55.12 (in IRA Rollover) with accumulated cash dividends of approximately $500, raises meter reading $22.32
6/19/2018 $9,687.70 SBUX dividend increase, raises meter reading $28.80
6/8/2018 $9,658.90 Purchased 9 additional shares of KHC at $58.25 (in Regular brokerage account) with accumulated cash dividends of approximately $500, raises meter reading $22.50
6/5/2018 $9,636.40 Contributed $1,000 to 2018 Roth IRA, used contribution and approximately $40.00 in accumulated dividends to buy 17 shares of CCL at $60.91, raises meter reading $34.00
6/5/2018 $9,602.40 Purchased 12 additional shares of KHC at $58.78 (in IRA Rollover) with approximately $700 in accumulated cash dividends, raises meter reading $30.00

2018 Roth IRA Contribution Completed

On June 5th, a new position was added to the Dividend Meter portfolio, Carnival Corporation (CCL), with the final Roth IRA contribution of 2018.  With the Roth IRA fully funded at $5,500.00 for 2018, no additional new cash deposits are planned for the portfolio.  Dividend income growth for the rest of the year will need to come from individual stock dividend increases, reinvestment of cash dividends, and any strategic buy and sell transactions that present themselves during the next six months.

Summary of June 2018 Dividend Income

Due to multiple requests for monthly dividend income details, the following summary will be provided going forward:

Date Symbol Security Description Dividends
 06/29/2018  PEP  PEPSICO INC $14.84
 06/22/2018  WM  WASTE MANAGEMENT INC $20.93
 06/22/2018  SWM  SCHWEITZER-MAUDUIT INTL INC $106.21
 06/20/2018  QCOM  QUALCOMM INC $71.30
 06/20/2018  AVY  AVERY DENNISON CORP $10.40
 06/18/2018  RDSB  ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC SPON ADR B $94.00
 06/15/2018  KHC  KRAFT HEINZ CO COM $68.13
 06/15/2018  FAF  FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CORP COM USD0. $38.00
 06/15/2018  HSY  HERSHEY CO $26.24
 06/15/2018  CMP  COMPASS MINERALS INTL INC $62.64
 06/12/2018  JNJ  JOHNSON & JOHNSON $45.00
 06/11/2018  SIX  SIX FLAGS ENTMT CORP NEW COM $90.48
 06/08/2018  AMGN  AMGEN INC $75.24
 06/07/2018  DFS  DISCOVER FINL SVCS $34.30
 06/07/2018  ADM  ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND $41.21
 06/01/2018  PFE  PFIZER INC $117.98
 06/01/2018  F  FORD MTR CO DEL COM $102.90
 06/01/2018  BA  BOEING CO $49.59
 06/01/2018  AFL  AFLAC INC $38.48
Total = $1,107.87

Next Month

With the stock market trading sideways, there does not appear to be any obvious buy/sell transactions that will take place in July.  July is also a quiet month for dividend increases and actual dividend payments.  So next month, look for a detailed tutorial on how to set-up alerts for new 52-week Highs or 52-week Lows in Google Sheets using the Dividend Meter Data Feed.

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In addition to providing a summary of May’s portfolio activity, this month’s blog post will feature a detailed “how-to” tutorial for adding sector allocation pie charts to your Google Sheets investment spreadsheet.  First, a big thank you to the Dividend Meter fan who inquired about using the Dividend Meter Data Feed metric, =DIVMETER($C2,“sector”), to import an industry classification for the purpose of creating a diversification pie chart.  The idea was so fantastic, we promptly added a column to import Sector, and two pie charts to our own investment spreadsheet: one chart to represent diversification by stock value, and another to represent percentage of dividend income received by sector classification. (click on the image below to enlarge):

For us, the most important pie chart is the “Sector Allocation by Dividend Income“, since management of the Dividend Meter portfolio focuses on consistently growing dividend income vs. overall portfolio value.  It was alarming to see that 23.6% of our portfolio income comes from REITs.   We certainly aren’t going to be selling off REIT positions indiscriminately in the near future, but just knowing the percentage of 23.6% will help guide us in making investment decisions going forward, so we can make portfolio changes that bring the REIT income percentage down to a more comfortable 15% over time.  We actually sold off our smallest REIT position, New Senior Investment Group (SNR), during the month of May, due to communication from the Company which indicated the current dividend might be cut.  Here’s a summary of May’s activity:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
5/22/2018 $9,572.40 Contributed $1,500 to 2018 Roth IRA, used contribution and approximately $300 in accumulated dividends to buy 43 shares of GIS at $41.70, raises meter reading $84.28
5/10/2018 $9,488.12 Bought 47 additional shares of PPL at $27.80 with SNR sale proceeds and approximately $200 in accrued cash dividends, raises meter reading $77.08
5/10/2018 $9,411.04 Sold 147 shares of SNR at $7.45 after announcement of possible dividend cut, lowers meter reading by $152.88
5/1/2018 $9,563.92 PEP dividend increase, raises meter reading $7.84
5/1/2018 $9,556.08 AAPL dividend increase, raises meter reading $30.00

How to Add Sector Pie Charts

Ok, let’s get right to the “how-to” of adding sector pie charts to your investment spreadsheet:  First, you’ll need to add a new column to your spreadsheet to import “Sector“.  Initially, we thought it would be easier to create the pie chart by adding the sector column next the value of the stock holdings, but it’s not necessary.  You can add the column anywhere – Google Sheets makes it easy to edit the pie chart data sources, as we’ll explain further down.  To add the column, simply right-click on the letter of any column and choose “Insert 1 right” or “Insert 1 left“:

Next, you will need to add the Dividend Meter import formula to import “Sector“.  (Please note:  You will need to activate a Dividend Meter Data Feed subscription for this to work.  A 7-day trial is available.)  To make it easy, copy a working metric code from another column, paste the code in the function box after clicking the top cell of the new Sector column, and then just type over the pasted code with “sector”, so it looks like this:  =DIVMETER($C2,“sector”)

Confirm the top cell is importing the Sector correctly, for example General Mills should show “Consumer Defensive“, and then drag the cell down to copy to additional rows.  Simply click the small blue box in the lower right corner of the cell, hold down your mouse button, and drag down:

If you have added the Sector column next to Value, you can highlight the data in these two columns, and then click “Chart” from the “Insert” menu:

Select the desired chart type – we chose the 3D Pie Chart:

Important!  Check the the Aggregate box to total stocks with the same industry classification:

To adjust what data the pie chart displays (for example, allocation by dividend income) click the Data Range button.  You can then click “Add Another Range” to look at a different column in your spreadsheet.  The Data Range for our own “Sector Allocation by Dividend Income” chart looks like the following, since Sector is contained in column E, and  Dividend Income is in column K:

That’s it!  Now you can resize or drag the chart anywhere you want in your spreadsheet.  If any Dividend Meter Data Feed subscribers need help adding charts, be sure to contact us.  Have a great summer and be sure to check in next month.

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Projected annual dividend income for the Dividend Meter portfolio rose $112.87 during the previous month of April, breaking the $9,500.00 barrier:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
4/26/2018 $9,526.08 AVY dividend increase, raises meter reading $5.60
4/26/2018 $9,520.48 JNJ dividend increase, raises meter reading $12.00
4/13/2018 $9,508.48 Contributed $1,500 to 2018 Roth IRA, bought 15 KMB (new position) at $106.37 with deposit and approximately $100 in accrued dividends, raises meter reading $60.00
4/12/2018 $9,448.48 SKT dividend increase, raises meter reading $8.91
4/11/2018 $9,439.57 ADP dividend increase, raises meter reading $4.80
4/11/2018 $9,434.77 Purchased 11 additional shares of GIS at $44.87 with approximately $500 in accumulated cash dividends, raises meter reading $21.56

Most of April’s projected dividend income increase came from a new 2018 Roth IRA deposit of $1,500 and subsequent purchase of 15 shares of KMB, Kimberly-Clark Corporation.  KMB is new position for the Dividend Meter portfolio.

Why Kimberly-Clark?

Kimberly-Clark is a consumer staple company, producing many necessary goods that dominate the household isles in supermarkets: diapers, tissues, feminine products, etc.  With a 46-year history of increasing stock dividends, the Company is an established Dividend Aristocrat.  In addition to KMB’s track record of being a reliable dividend-growth machine, the buy of KMB for our portfolio is a classic Dividend Yield Theory play.  The purchase of KMB shares represents a good time to revisit how buy and sell decisions for the stock portfolio are influenced.  Here’s a five-year chart of KMB with dividend yields added to corresponding high and low points:

From the chart and dividend yield analysis, we set a “buy” yield signal on our spreadsheet of 3.6% and a “sell” yield signal of 2.6%.  Our Google Sheets alert formula looks like this:

=IF(I37>0.036,“BUY”,(IF(I37<0.026,“SELL”,” “)))

I37 represents the spreadsheet cell that contains the current dividend yield for KMB.   At its current stock price of $103.73, Kimberly-Clark sports a dividend yield of 3.83%, flashing a green indicator on our watch list spreadsheet.  The Dividend Meter Stock Data Feed makes it easy to import stock prices and annual dividend figures – allowing us to monitor hundreds of dividend growth stocks for undervalued and overvalued opportunities.  In addition to KMB, many other consumer staple companies are showing up with green buy indicators on our spreadsheet, and during the next month, we may add to current positions such as GIS (General Mills), KHC (Kraft Heinz), PEP (Pepsico), and of course, KMB (Kimberly-Clark).  Good luck with your investing and be sure to check in again next month.

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Despite the recent volatility and overall stock market decline in March, the Dividend Meter portfolio checks in with a gain of $115.60 in annual dividend income, produced by only two transactions and a dividend raise during the past month.  The last remaining shares of Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) were sold from the portfolio and the proceeds reinvested in The Kraft Heinz Company (KHZ).  Also, additional shares of Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc.were added to the portfolio with accumulated cash dividends from multiple other positions:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
3/15/2018 $9,413.21 Purchased 64 additional shares of KW at $17.15 with approximately $1100 in accumulated cash dividends, raises meter reading $48.64
3/13/2018 $9,364.57 Sold 22 DPS at $117.95, used proceeds to buy 38 additional shares of KHC at $67.78, raises meter reading $43.96
3/8/2018 $9,320.61 QCOM dividend increase, raises meter reading $23.00

Month-end Portfolio Spreadsheet Summary:

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February was a big month.  Not only did annual dividend income for the Dividend Meter portfolio rise $406.38 compared to the end of January, but development of the new Dividend Meter Data Feed was completed.  More on the Data Feed in a moment – first, here’s a rundown of February’s portfolio activity:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
2/28/2018 $9,297.61 ETN dividend increase, raises meter reading $37.68
2/22/2018 $9,259.93 PPL dividend increase, raises meter reading $17.34
2/20/2018 $9,242.59 DIN cuts dividend, sold all 30 shares of DIN at $61.51 and bought 127 shares of KIM at $15.37 with proceeds and approx. $100 in accrued cash dividends, raises meter reading $25.84
2/20/2018 $9,216.75 WM dividend increase, raises meter reading $7.20
2/13/2018 $9,209.55 Sold 44 shares of DPS at $116.09 (all shares in Regular brokerage account) and bought 71 KHC at $71.81 with proceeds, raises meter reading $75.42
2/8/2018 $9,134.13 UFS dividend increase, raises meter reading $6.08
2/7/2018 $9,128.05 SIX dividend increase, raises meter reading $37.12
2/7/2018 $9,090.93 Contributed $1,500 to 2018 Roth IRA, sold 36 shares (all shares) of DPS in Roth IRA at $118.32, bought 50 EIX at $60.26 and 169 KW at $16.475, raises meter reading $165.92
2/6/2018 $8,925.01 ADM dividend increase, raises meter reading $7.38
2/5/2018 $8,917.63 Purchased 5 additional shares of AMGN in Regular Brokerage account with approximately $900 in accumulated cash dividends, raises meter reading $26.40

First 2018 Roth Contribution and Green Mountain Keurig’s big acquisition of Dr. Pepper

On January 29th, 2018, Dr. Pepper Snapple announced plans to merge with Green Mountain Keurig, vaulting shares of Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) higher by more than 20% in one day.  The big move in Dr. Pepper’s stock price sent the dividend yield down to about 2%, our predetermined sell yield indicator.  We began selling shares of Dr. Pepper (owned in three accounts: Roth IRA, Regular Brokerage, and Rollover IRA) in February, starting with the Roth IRA account. The first 2018 Roth IRA contribution was also added to the sell proceeds, and the total available cash was invested in two new higher yielding stocks: Edison International (EIX), an electrical utility company, and Kennedy-Wilson Holdings (KW), a diversified REIT consisting of multifamily rentals and commercial property.

Later in February, additional shares of Dr. Pepper Snapple were sold from a Regular Brokerage Account and the proceeds invested in The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC), another new position for the portfolio.  KHC is a company we’ve always wanted to own, ever since attending a Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting in 2015 (below is a really cool picture from the shareholder meeting exhibit hall that year).  With KHC moving down from a high of $93.88 set in May 2017, and now sporting a 3.7% dividend yield, we decided to initiate a position in The Kraft Heinz Company.

Introducing the new Dividend Meter Google Sheets Add-on and Data Feed

We are very excited to announce the availability of the new Dividend Meter Google Sheets Add-on and Data Feed tool!  Now, you can import stock market data (U.S. stocks only) directly into your spreadsheet with simple formula commands.  The Data Feed provides many more data points than what were previously available from free sources.  To see a list of available data metrics, visit our FAQ page, and below is a current screenshot of the Dividend Meter Portfolio’s spreadsheet using many of the new data metrics.

With the Dividend Meter Google Sheets Add-on and Data Feed, you can build your own custom spreadsheets and create fantastic watch lists.  Visit our Data Feed page to get started.  The service is available for only $10.00 per month and you can try it free for 7 days.

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In February, the first 2018 Roth IRA deposit will be made to the Dividend Meter portfolio, so last Friday’s steep drop in the stock market is a welcome pullback for stock prices.  Before we get to a preview of February, here’s how dividend income rose $227.52 in January:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
1/31/2018 $8,891.23 AFL dividend increase, raises meter reading $20.72
1/16/2018 $8,870.51 OHI dividend increase, raises meter reading $11.04
1/12/2018 $8,859.47 Sold 53 KSS at $63.41, used proceeds to buy 197 shares of KIM at $17.00, raises meter reading $104.04
1/10/2018 $8,755.43 Purchased 20 additional shares of PPL with approx. $600 in accumulated cash dividends, raises meter reading $31.60
1/8/2018 $8,723.83 Sold 20 WM at $87.72, used proceeds plus approximately $200 in accumulated cash dividends to buy 181 AES at $10.87, raises meter reading $60.12

Sold Kohl’s – Bought Kimco Realty

In the short term, the purchase of Kimco Realty (KIM) appears to be very premature. But quite honestly, I wasn’t comfortable holding a pure play clothing retailer in the portfolio, and with Kohl’s (KSS) nearing a predetermined dividend Sell yield of 3%, I decided to go ahead and make the swap for Kimco, a retail REIT.  The transaction significantly boosts dividend income, and keeps a small percentage of the overall portfolio still invested in retail, albeit in real restate.  By the way, the original purchase of Kohl’s shares occurred on January 5th, 2017 at $42.35 per share with a dividend yield of 4.72%.  The KSS shares were sold on January 12, 2018 at $63.41 per share (yield of 3.47%) for a gain of nearly 50% in one year.

Sold More Waste Management

With shares of Waste Management (WM) continuing to trade with a dividend yield of less than 2%, additional shares of WM were sold in January and invested in AES Corporation (AES) – essentially trading trash service for electricity.  The current dividend yield for AES is 4.50%, with projections of approximately 10% annual dividend growth for the next few years.

February Preview

  • $1,500.00 in new capital will be added to the portfolio for a 2018 Roth IRA contribution.
  • Six potential dividend increases from:  ETN, PPL, CMP ADM, WM, and DPS (Although the pending merger with Keurig Green Mountain could impact the expected Dr. Pepper Snapple dividend hike.)
  • Dividend cut from SNR? (New Senior Investment Group Inc.)

Data Import Update

Stay tuned for very positive news soon.

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Happy New Year!  2017 is in the books, and it’s time to provide a year-end Dividend Meter portfolio update.  First, let’s take a look at what happened in December:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
12/19/2017 $8,663.71 PFE dividend increase, raises meter reading $27.76
12/12/2017 $8,635.95 AMGN dividend increase, raises meter reading $35.36
12/11/2017 $8,600.59 BA dividend increase, raises meter reading $33.64
12/11/2017 $8,566.95 AES dividend increase, raises meter reading $10.28
12/8/2017 $8,556.67 Purchased 23 additional shares of ADM at $41.25 with just over $900 in accumulated cash dividends, raises meter reading $29.44

Four dividend hikes and a purchase of more shares of ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Company) with paid cash dividends resulted in an annual dividend income increase of $136.48 compared to November’s Dividend Meter reading.

2017 Recap

  • Total annual dividend income rose $1,655.65 compared to the end of 2016, an increase of 23.62%.
  • The only new capital added to the portfolio was $5,500 for a 2017 Roth IRA contribution.
  • No withdrawals from any of the accounts.
  • No dividend cuts in 2017!

Spreadsheet Updates

Last month we began the process of evaluating dividend data import alternatives for the spreadsheet.  While we continue to explore and evaluate other potential data solutions, work on our own solution has made significant progress in the past few weeks.  We are now monitoring more than 500 dividend growth stocks, and in addition to tracking annual dividend amount and earnings-per-share, we are gathering the following additional data points:

  • Declaration Date of Last Dividend Increase
  • Percentage Increase of Last Dividend Increase
  • Upcoming Dividend Ex-Date
  • Upcoming Dividend Payable Date

We are also examining dividend yield histories for the 500+ companies we are following to determine a proprietary Dividend Meter “Low Yield” and “High Yield” for each stock.  A “Watch List” tab has been added to the spreadsheet that imports the Low Yield and High Yield data points from the Dividend Meter Data File tab, compares the figures to the current dividend yield, and flashes a simple red indicator if the stock is potentially overvalued, and a green indicator for an undervalued condition.  The indicators are simply starting points for additional research before we make buy or sell decisions, but the ability to scan over 500 stocks at a glance with the indicators is awesome.  You can see how the new spreadsheet works and monitor progress of the indicator research with the email address widget on the right-hand sidebar of our website.  Be sure to check back next month for updates – we wish you much success with your investments in 2018.

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Whoa, what happened to my Dividend Meter spreadsheet?  I know many of you, including myself, were incredibly frustrated this past month when the automatic import of dividend data stopped working.  For those unaware, the Dividend Meter spreadsheet used common import formulas to retrieve dividend data from a popular finance portal’s free and open API service. The API service is no longer available.  While this news is disappointing for Dividend Meter fans, it has also served as a catalyst to explore alternate solutions – solutions that potentially could provide a superior dividend tracking spreadsheet. Before we get to a summary of solutions currently being explored, let’s take a brief look at what happened to the Dividend Meter portfolio in November:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
11/9/2017 $8,527.23 SIX dividend increase, raises meter reading $27.84
11/8/2017 $8,499.39 ADP dividend increase, raises meter reading $4.80
11/4/2017 $8,494.59 SWM dividend increase, raises meter reading $9.88
11/3/2017 $8,484.71 Sold 50 AWR, used proceeds and approx. $30 in accumulated cash dividends to buy 257 AES, raises meter reading $72.36
11/2/2017 $8,412.35 SBUX dividend increase, raises meter reading $24.00

November Summary

Four stock dividend increases and a swap of all remaining shares of American Water States (AWR) for AES Corporation (AES) combined to push the annual dividend income for the portfolio past the $8,400.00 and $8,500.00 barriers in November.  Selling the remaining shares of American Water States was a difficult decision – it’s one of a small handful of companies that have raised their dividend for more than 50 consecutive years. However, with the recent price increase of AWR shares, the dividend yield dropped further into the “sell” zone.  I felt it was a good time to take advantage of AWR’s lofty valuation and trade all remaining shares of the stock, yielding 1.88%, for a different utility company yielding 4.50%: AES Corp., a diversified electricity generation company.

Now on to potential solutions for fixing your Dividend Meter spreadsheet….

Manual Dividend Meter Fix

Let’s start with some good news – the formula for importing stock prices from Google Finance into your Google Sheets dividend tracker still works:   =(GOOGLEFINANCE($C2, “price”))   (Note, $C2 is the cell reference for the stock symbol).  The stock price is the data figure that changes most frequently, so it’s great to still be able to import this variable into your spreadsheet for free from Google Finance.  The only other data point you need to calculate dividend yield is the annual dividend rate, which typically only changes once a year.  So, if your portfolio of stocks isn’t that large, it shouldn’t be too time-consuming to verify the current dividend rate for your stocks periodically and manually update your spreadsheet for the annual dividend figure.  If you still want to see the Dividend Payout Ratio on your spreadsheet, then you have more work to do to update the EPS share data point (this changes quarterly after each earnings announcement).  After EPS is collected, then the Dividend Payout Ratio is simply a calculation (Annual Dividend dividend by Earnings-Per-Share), and not a data figure that needs to be imported.

Other Finance Data Providers

I have started evaluating other finance data providers, keeping in mind the following attributes:  Affordable, Easy-to-Use, Reliable, Quality Data, and an Expansion of Dividend-related Data Points.  Honestly, it’s too early to pass judgement or recommend any other data provider as a potential solution, so I won’t mention any specific companies yet.  The “Expansion of Dividend-related Data Points” characteristic of a data provider has been elusive.  The data providers I’ve looked at seem to provide the basics:  stock price, dividend, payout ratio.  But I haven’t come across an ideal solution yet.  I would love to have these additional data points:  Ex-Date, Payable Date, Date of Last Dividend Increase, Percentage Increase of Last Dividend Raise.  My desire to import certain stock dividend data points has led me to explore the creation of a proprietary solution:  The Dividend Meter Data File.

The Dividend Meter Data File – a Potential Future Solution

Often, the easiest solution of extracting meaningful information from a larger pool of data is to utilize an existing formula within both Excel and Google Sheets:  Index and Match.  It’s possible to upload or import a massive data file into Excel or Google Sheets on one particular tab, and then use another tab to quickly and efficiently extract what you need to replicate, even enhance, the functionality of the Dividend Meter spreadsheet using Index and Match.  My own current spreadsheet is using this method now, and you can see how it works by submitting your email address in the “View the Spreadsheet” box to the right.

You’ll notice a new tab on my spreadsheet (shown below), “Dividend_Meter_Data_File”.  The Dividend Meter Data File tab is auto-populated with data using a simple Google Sheets ImportRange formula:

=IMPORTRANGE(“1WXa9VSIm_I8H44sLRwAH–Xp9hLpnzY7_Q7BxlGAlto”,“Sheet1!A1:W5000”)

The strange code between the quotation marks in the above formula references a master data file that is currently being populated by a new partner of mine, an aspiring finance student who has started the work of manually (to avoid any violations of Terms of Service) collecting and verifying stock dividend data.  Eventually, access to the data file could be made available to Dividend Meter subscribers for a very low monthly fee.  But first, many hours of work need to be invested in building and keeping the data up-to-date.  Stay tuned for further updates…..

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The needle on the Dividend Meter gauge chart rose a modest $77.37 during October. Here’s a summary of the activity:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
10/25/2017 $8,388.35 AFL dividend increase, raises meter reading $5.92
10/25/2017 $8,382.43 Sold 25 PII, used proceeds to buy 36 shares of DPS at $84.70 in Roth IRA, raises meter reading $25.32
10/16/2017 $8,356.91 With approximately $425 in accumulated cash dividend in Roth IRA, bought 17 shares of SKT at $25.05 per share, raises meter reading $23.29
10/12/2017 $8,333.62 OHI dividend increase, raises meter reading $11.04
10/4/2017 $8,322.58 With approximately $435 in accumulated cash dividends in IRA Rollover, bought 5 shares of DPS at $86.92, raises meter reading $11.60

Trading Polaris for Dr. Pepper

On October 24th, 2017, Polaris Industries Inc. (PII) released a stellar earnings report, vaulting the stock more than $16.00 (or 15%) in one day.  The huge move in Polaris’ stock price pushed the dividend yield very close to a predetermined sell yield of 1.8%. With Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) continuing to move down in October, an opportunity to lock in gains on PII and raise overall dividend income for the portfolio presented itself.  Polaris (PII) was sold at $123.30 and the proceeds were used to buy more shares of Dr. Pepper at $84.70 (dividend yield of 2.74%).

Polaris Industries was originally identified as a buying opportunity in April of this year when the dividend yield was at 3%.  Twenty-five PII shares were purchased on April 12, 2017 at $81.19 per share.  After selling at $123.30, a whopping gain of over 50% was realized in only six months.

Looming Dividend Cut in November?

With a still-to-be-announced dividend raise from Starbuck’s (SBUX) and cash dividends waiting to be reinvested in November, it seems inevitable the Dividend Meter will break the $8,400.00 annual dividend income barrier.  However, it is possible one of the portfolio’s smaller speculative high-yield positions, New Senior Investment Group (SNR), will cut its dividend.  Last year, SNR announced a quarterly dividend on November 2, 2016, so the new dividend announcement could happen any day – stay tuned…

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Déjà vu. September portfolio activity was nearly identical to August for the Dividend Meter: Two dividend increases and a purchase of more shares of DFS (Discover Financial Services) combined to modestly boost total annual dividend income by $39.00:

Date Total Annual Dividends Notes
9/26/2017 $8,310.98 OGE dividend increase, raises meter reading $22.80
9/15/2017 $8,288.18 With approximately $480 in accumulated cash dividends in IRA Rollover, bought 8 shares of DFS at $58.51 per share, raises meter reading $11.20
9/7/2017 $8,276.98 VZ dividend increase, raises meter reading $5.00

The purchase of DFS on September 15th at $58.51 per share was very timely, since the stock steadily moved higher during the second half of September to finish the month at $64.48 / share. With a recent dividend hike of 17%, a dividend payout ratio of only 25%, and projected earnings growth of over 10% next year, Discover Financial Services has plenty of room for continued dividend growth.

October Preview

We’re still waiting for a dividend declaration from SBUX (Starbucks Corp.), which could happen any day now in October. Other portfolio positions that could announce dividend increases in October include: OHI (Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc.), and AFL (Aflac, Inc.).  Any new incoming cash dividends will likely be used to purchase more shares of DPS (Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.) – if the stock continues to trade with a dividend yield greater than 2.6% (or less than $89.00 per share).

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