Things started to settle a little after all the research last week. Still some residual activity but at least I’m getting some time to visit other blogs and do some comparison shopping – so to speak. One garnering my attention was Passive Canadian Income’s doubling of his Alimentation Couche-Tard (better known in the US as Quik-Trip) stake. I was intrigued as the same week I had doubled my Casey’s position on the news they were buying some Quik-Trip stores in Oklahoma. The magnitude of his purchase was greater in that Casey’s is little more than a sideshow for me as I am still grappling with how it fits in the portfolio with the low yield – a question addressed in his piece.
I laid out the pertinent data he used to get a side-by-side picture:
Interesting to note the similarities. Couche-Tard has better dividend growth while Casey’s is longer. Couche-Tard is the second largest C-Store (behind Japan’s 7&I) while Casey’s is fourth. Unmentioned – but one basis for my Casey’s investment are RINs (fuel blending) which are an added profit source when selling the surplus to refiners. Overall, unless one has a country bias or other rationale (like RINs), Couche-Tard is a little better even when accounting for recovery of the Canadian tax on dividends.
Subsequent to last week’s post, I look an even closer look at Apex Clearing. A rarity in the SPAC space, they are profitable and expanding their service offerings. Then I noticed they were hovering just above the $10 line. So I ‘un-paused’ my SPAC hiatus and placed an order to nibble on Northern Star (NSTB) which will become APX at $9.98. With Friday’s close at $9.91, I may have to nibble come more next week.
One area where I’d been remiss was in proactively following up on dividend raises – or more specifically the lack therof. This was brought to my attention with the Casey research. Basically, I glanced down the sheet and Equifax (EFX) was staring right back at me. I bought it in 2015 – prior to the data breach – got a raise in December 2016 and should have questioned the lack of raises thereafter, no later than January 2019. Their last raise was December 2016.
I do own stocks that pay no dividend or have a history of no raises – but they currently have a strategy in play. The strategy in play with EFX ended in 2017 and I kept it on the basis of the housing and refinance boom, of which most is now in the rear view mirror (I think). I have about a month before it goes ex-dividend after which it will be jettisoned unless I find a compelling reason otherwise.
This just proves I enjoy the hunt more than the maintenance. Looking at my annual strategies that have now run their course appears to be an area ripe for pruning and a source of more dry powder! Food for thought – follow the money. I want to investigate a little deeper on how consumers are spending their stimulus checks now that the first report is out.
Hope your week is profitable and safe.