he fourth quarter swoon continued in earnest this month resulting in an annual loss for the markets. While the final trading day closed higher (DJIA up 265, NASDAQ up 51 and the S&P up 21) it was nowhere near close enough to avoid the worst December since 1931. Though surprised by the resiliency of the US dollar, last year’s intent to migrate further into foreign equities was largely preempted by tariff uncertainty. My other 2018 concern of rising federal deficits stifling the economy did not manifest itself as yet – though I remain skeptical of administration claims that growth can outpace the deficit. For the month, the S&P index dropped by 9.18% while my portfolio dropped by ‘only’ 8.44%. For the year the S&P posted an unusual loss of 6.65% while my overall loss was 3.57%. In an otherwise ugly ending to the year, my primary goal of exceeding the S&P’s return was attained marking the 33rd year (of 38) that I’ve been able to make this claim.
Octobers carry the weight of history on their shoulders and this year was true to form with some wild swings. Though some sectors touched bear market territory (think housing), basically this month was a mere – but tumultuous – correction. As we head towards this years’ finish line, there is no room for complacency as my fear is that storm clouds are forming heading into 2019 – basically a tale of two economies. At the forefront of my mind are the two companies delivering notice of dividend cuts effective January. I’ll dive into them in more detail next week but Owens & Minor (OMI) a soon to be former Dividend Achiever which will probably be sold (-71.15% cut) and General Electric (GE) which will cut for the second year in a row this time by -91.67% to which I’ll probably add. At least I have two months lead time to execute a strategy on my terms as the losses are already baked in. October saw the S&P of drop 6.96% while my portfolio outperformed the index by decreasing 5.8%. YTD I’m ahead of the S&P by 1.36%.
- lost COBZ, added additional BOKF as stock/cash merger completed
- initiated new position: CL
- initiated new position: BHBK
- initiated new position: BNCL
- initiated new position: HTH
- initiated new position: SF
- rebalanced and added to my ETF group (CUT, EWA, EWW, JPMV, VGK)
- averaged down on OZK
- added to CLX prior to ex-div
My main focus resides on dividends. Market gyrations are to be expected but my goal is to see a rising flow of dividends on an annual basis. I’m placing less emphasis on the quarterly numbers as the number of semi-annual, interim/final and annual cycles have been steadily increasing in my portfolio.
- October delivered an increase of 32.12% Y/Y, the impacts being dividend increases, special dividends and reinvesting merger cash proceeds into the portfolio.
- October delivered a 10.52% increase over last quarter (Jul).
- Dividend increases averaged 15.56% with 74.77% of the portfolio delivering at least one increase (including 2 cuts (GE, SRC).
- 2018 Dividends received were 104.04% of 2017 total dividends exceeding last year’s on October 19th.
Note: I updated my Goals page to provide a visual of these numbers. Based on Mr All Things Money’s instruction set with a conversion to percentages. My code only updates when the monthly Y/Y number is exceeded. Otherwise, the prior year actual is used.
GE‘s rail unit to spin then merge with WEB
GE to spin 80% of the health business
NVS proposed spin of Alcon scheduled for shareholder approval Feb 2019
On Oct 4, MSG filed a confidential Form 10 to spin the sports business
XRX merger with Fujifilm
cancelled (still being litigated).
SHPG to merge into TKPYY
GBNK to merge into IBTX (shareholders approved)
GNBC to merge into VBTX (semi-reverse)
BNCL to merge into WSFS
BHBK to merge into INDB
My repositioning was completed and my 2018 dividends pretty much locked in. I’ll now focus on 2019 as it appears I need a head start with the dividend cuts looming. 🙂
Hope your October was equally as good – or better!
The upward trend continued this month fueled by the progress on the tax plan. If finalized, my guess is that the first half of 2018 will be good for corporations (i.e., dividends) with reality setting in later in the year that the average consumer received a raw deal and has less disposable income than advertised. That is unless trickle down really works. The wild card being the government (or lack thereof) as a second felony plea was accepted with individuals tied to the campaign or administration. The S&P index increased by 2.81% while my portfolio increased by 3.22% largely fueled by Financials. For the year I’m still ahead of the index by 3.12%.
Headlines impacting my portfolio (bold are owned):
- 11/1 – OMI buys HYH‘s Surgical and Infection Prevention (S&IP) business
- 11/2 – SBUX sells Tazo line to UL
- 11/6 – AVGO bids to acquire QCOM at $60 cash & $10 stock per share
- 11/6 – BCE acquiring ARFCF
- 11/9 – AAPL acquires InVisage Technologies
- 11/13 – GE cuts dividend by 50%
- 11/13 – AMT buys Idea/VOD Cellular towers in India
- 11/13 – VER selling Cole Capital to CIM Group
- 11/14 – Baupost Group initiates 3,565,361 sh position (abt 6.25%) in AMC
- 11/14 – MSG to sell WNBA team (Liberty)
- 11/15 – SQ launches ability to buy and sell Bitcoin
- 11/16 – PYPL sells $5.8B loan package to SYF
- 11/16 – IRM buys China assets from SFG.CO
- 11/20 – MSG acquires Obscura Digital
- 11/27 – PNC acquires The Trout Group, LLC
- 11/28 – BLK to acquire C‘s Mexican asset management business
- increased position in existing DRE holding
- November delivered an increase of 18.3% Y/Y with the about 60% of the increase being attributable dividend increases and the remainder purchases.
- November delivered a 1.0% decrease over last quarter (August) due to two payouts being moved to December.
- Declared dividend increases averaged 11.9% with 71.75% of the portfolio delivering at least one increase (including 2 cuts (XRX and YUM) and and 1 suspension (TIS)). Note: GE’s announced cut is counted as 2018.
- YTD dividends received were 109.86% of total 2016 dividends which exceeded last years’ total on October 25th.
Spirit Realty Capital (SRC) – Nov 21, Form 10 was filed confidentially with spin completion targeted for 1H 2018.
AGU/POT (Nutrien) remains pending with the US being the only approval pending.
My 2018 strategy is forming with the focus turning towards Consumer Staples and Utilities (existing holdings). I expect to incorporate a side strategy on lower yielding but faster growing companies which I’ll publish in the next week or two. Of course I will continue to also pursue opportunities as they arise.
And how was your month?