New Buys: Delta Airlines, International Paper, CVS

It’s been quite a busy April for me so far - I made three new purchases which is a monthly record for me.

On April 10 I bought 25 shares of Delta Airlines (DAL) for a total of $1,124. 

Then on April 13 I made two more purchases: I invested $1,497 in International Paper Co. (IP) - equaling 30 shares - and  bought 15 shares of CVS for a total of $1,170.

In this post I explain the reasons why I made these three additions to my portfolio and what this means for my forward dividend income. 

Earlier in the year -  in January - I made an initial purchase of Delta shares.  During the last three months the price of DAL dropped about 10% - from $50 to under $45.

Given this price drop I decided to double my position in Delta to 50 shares. The reasons why I liked Delta in January still hold true - especially the pretty astonishing dividend growth rate of 50%.

In their April 20 report S&P Capital IQ marks DAL as a 5 star strong buy with a 12 month target price of $65. 

A brand new position in my portfolio is International Paper (IP), which was my second buy this month.

International Paper Co. operates as a paper and packaging company in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The company operates through four segments: Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, Printing Papers, and Consumer Packaging.

The company sells its packaging products, paper products, and other products directly to end users and converters, as well as through agents, resellers, and paper distributors. International Paper Company was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

IP’s dividend is at an above market median of 3.48% - although the payout ratio a relatively high 84%. In recent years the dividend growth was in the double digits, but has slowed to 5% this year.

IP’s Earnings per Share (EPS) show a decline of -5.8% which is a little misleading since 2013 was an outlier year.

The Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio is 24.19, below the Industry average but a little above the company’s 5 year average.

In their April 15 report S&P Capital IQ marks International Paper Co. as a 4 star buy with a 12 month target price of $60. 

Finally, CVS. In 2016 I initiated a position in CVS and decided to add 15 shares given the recent price development.

Even though the price dropped from above $100 to around $80 in the last year - CVS’s dividend features remain attractive. The yield is at a decent 2.50%, the payout ratio is a modest 41% and the dividend growth remains at around 20% year over year.

In their April 15 report S&P Capital IQ marks CVS as a 3 star hold with a 12 month target price of $82. 

With these three purchases my forward annual dividend income has increased by $83.26.

What do you think about these three buys? What did you buy recently? Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!

Investment Goals for 2017: Q1

At the beginning of the year I formulated my five investment goals for 2017. Now that the first quarter (Q1) is behind us, it is time to check in on these goals and see how I am progressing.

My five goals for the year are:

  1. Contribute $30,000 to the portfolio
  2. Achieve forward dividend income of $3,500 by the end of 2017
  3. Receive $3,000 dividend income throughout 2017
  4. Keep forward dividend income as a % of my Portfolio at >3.5%
  5. Keep trading cost < $150 

Goal #1  - contributing $30,000 to my portfolio in 2017 - means that every quarter I need to invest at least $7,500. When I formulated this goal back in January I knew this would be a stretch.

However, I am happy to report that I actually beat my numbers. In the first quarter of 2017 I contributed a total of $9,833 to my portfolio. If I can keep this up this would mean an addition of almost $40,000 for the entire year.

How did I deploy this new capital? I started the year by buying 17 additional shares of Starbucks, followed by a new position of 25 shares in Delta Airlines. I closed the month of January off by buying 18 shares of Amgen.

In February I made two buys - both adding to existing positions. I bought 34 shares of Qualcomm (making it a total of 50 shares). Later in that month I decided to double my position in Magna - buying an additional 25 shares.

March - the last month of the quarter - saw just one buy. I added 15 shares of Accenture to the portfolio for a total of $1,815.

Goal #2 is about getting my 12 month projected forward dividend income to $3,500 by the end of the year.

At the last day of 2016 my projected forward dividend income was $2,395 and it increased to $2,740 by the end of this first quarter. This means that in Q1 my 12 month projected forward income increased by $345 (see red line in the chart below).

To get from $2,395 at the end of 2016 to $3,500 at the end of 2017 I need a total increase of $1,105.

 Since $345 * 4 = $1,380 I did well this quarter - and am well underway to hit this goal for the entire year.

Goal #3 is about the dividends I will receive between Jan 1st and December 31st of this year. My goal is $3,000 for 2017. As of March 31st my projection is to receive ~ $2,739 in dividends in calendar year 2017 (seen green line below against my target in blue).

This goal should definitely be attainable but keep in mind that the year is getting shorter (as is the nature of passing time). The ‘receive new dividends in 2017 window’ is closing with each that day that passes.

In other words, each company that I buy next will not pay out a dividend in Q1 2017. However, if I keep up the buying activity - Q2, Q3 and Q4 should see enough dividend payouts to make my goal of $3,000.

Through goal #4 I track my forward dividend income (goal #2) as a percentage of my portfolio - i.e. my yield on cost (YOC).

In buying stocks I try to maintain a balance between high yielders (such as most REITS) and low yielders with above average dividend growth rates (stock like SBUX, DAL). Overall my goal is to obtain a minimum of 3.5% YOC.

My current YOC is 3.97% - meaning that I am not only on track for this goal but also that my portfolio has some more room for low yielders with above average dividend growth rates.

Finally, goal #5 is about keeping my trading cost low. As I do not my consider myself a trader but an investor, my ideal holding period for a stock is forever. By definition this allows me to keep my trading cost modest - buy once, (almost) never sell and simply start collecting the dividend.

I actually got some unexpected help in achieving this goal - my broker Fidelity cut it’s trading fees from $7.95 to $4.95.  Five out of my six Q1 purchases were still under the old fee structure (unfortunately!) so my first quarter trading cost came to $44.70.

This number means I am above the target ($44.70 * 4 comes to $178.80) and I need to lower my trading cost going forward.

With the new fee structure I have about 21 trades left until I reach my $150 dollar ‘threshold’, which comes out to about 2.4 trades for the remaining 9 months. I rarely make more than 2 trades per month so I have no concern there.

All in all I think my investment year 2017 is off to a great start. Perhaps I should have formulated more ambitious goals? I’d say a 4 out of 5 scores ain’t bad - on to the next quarter!

What do you think about these goals? How did you do in this first quarter? Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!