The markets ended the month generally flat while whip-sawing in between on geo-political news (North Korea), domestic disturbance (Charlottesville) and natural disaster (Harvey) taking center stage. I did deploy a minimal amount of new capital along with dividends received in some positioning moves. The S&P ended the month up .05% while my portfolio lagged by dropping -0.34%. The differential can be explained by two events, 1) higher exposure to Texas (e.g., hurricane), and 2) the month-end rise in the US dollar causing my foreign issues to drop a little. For the year, I remain ahead of the index by 4.47%.
Headlines impacting my portfolio (bold are owned):
- 8/3 – IVZ in talks to buy Guggenheim Ptnrs ETF business
- 8/3 – VLO agrees to export refined fuels to Mexico through iEnova (SRE subsidiary)
- 8/3 – SRC announces spinoff of Shopko properties
- 8/4 – Ackman requests delay in ADP brd nomination deadline as “8% owner”
- 8/4 – LAMR acquires Philadelphia market billboards from Steen Outdoor
- 8/8 – ONB acquires Anchor Bank (MN)
- 8/10 – PYPL acquires Swift Capital (Del.)
- 8/10 – INVH and SFR agree to merge (BX stake to be abt 41%)
- 8/15 – KEY acquires Cain Brothers (pvt)
- 8/16 – TU acquires Voxpro (pvt)
- 8/16 – PLD buys out CCP (CYRLY) JV
- 8/20 – GS approved for Saudi Arabian stock trading license
- 8/22 – PAYX acquires HR Outsourcing Inc. (a Clarion Capital portfolio company)
- 8/22 – CLX sells Aplicare line to Medline (pvt)
- 8/22 – BX considering an IPO/sale of Gates Global
- 8/30 – KSU forms JV with Bulkmatic for bulk fuel terminal in Mexico
- 8/31 – BNS confirms discussions to acquire Chile operations from BBVA Spain
- Added to VLO
- Added to LARK
- Added to AROW
LARK and AROW were positioning moves ahead of anticipated stock dividends (3% announced by AROW post purchase)
- August delivered an increase of 22.24% Y/Y with the about half of the increase being attributable dividend increases and the other half purchases.
- August delivered a decrease of 12.99% over last quarter (May). Semi-annual payers, a date change due to a merger, and normal BX dividend being the culprits. Also a Singapore dividend paid in August (locally) has yet to be paid via Citi’s ADR (now likely Sept.), so I expect September to be firing on all cylinders.
- Declared dividend increases averaged 10.92% with 62.71% of the portfolio delivering at least one increase (including 2 cuts and 1 suspension)
- YTD dividends received were 75.91% of total 2016 dividends which if the current run rate is maintained would exceed last years’ total in early November
Brighthouse Financial (BHF) (MET spin) has been received.
AGU/POT (Nutrien) remains pending, SGBK/HOMB received regulatory approval and is expected to close late September.
Overall another positive month with the only disappointment being the Q/Q dividend decline – which was unexpected. The primary metric (annual dividend increase) remains on target and well ahead of inflation.