Buys and Sells for Week 6/11

Last month’s inflation numbers came in above what was expected (5% versus 4.7%) and it did little to market volatility insinuating it was already priced in or maybe investors are waiting to see if this is temporary. I am old enough to have lived through high inflationary times before and 5% is a far cry from ringing the panic bell so I’ll continue buying. Here are my trades for the week:

  1. Kimberly Clark (KMB) – increased position – I know the short term earnings growth story for KMB is dismal but I will continue to build a position while share prices are down. Grabbed 1 shares @ $129.27 and a 3.53% yield.
  2. Verizon (VZ) – increased position –  VZ has been hovering just above the mid-50s, was hoping to see price action drop below $55 but it appears $56-$57 is the current bottom. Grabbed 3 shares @ $57.09 and a 4.41% yield.

May Dividend Income

After 34 years of clocking in and out of work and religiously saving 10% annually in my 401K every year, in good times and bad, I have decided to share my monthly dividend income to show what regular saving and investing can accomplish.

For the month of May I made $2,475.74; an increase of 12.16% versus this time last year. This was just a touch below my desired minimum of 12.5% growth.

On the home front my expenses have remained the same which means my savings rate has stayed steady at 24.9%. Not much really changed for me during the month of May with the exception of getting fully vaccinated for COVID.

There was no major movements in the overall stock markets other than which spin doctor did the occasional brief of if inflation is transitory or worse. But for the most parts markets must have it priced in as their were no violent swings. I did add three new positions with Broadcom (AVGO), Investors Bancorp (ISBC), and Kimberly Clark (KMB) and I consistently keep adding to my Algonquin (AQN) and Merck (MRK) positions. As far as a watch list, there are no screaming value plays that jump out at me so I’ll continue to monitor a little over 50 dividend stocks for any opportunity that arises.  Unless there is a pullback, I plan on staying with small $200 buying lots for the foreseeable future.

DateSymbolCompanyAmount
5/3/21GISGENERAL MILLS INC$84.20
5/3/21TAT&T INC$613.84
5/3/21VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC$57.87
5/6/21BLVVANGUARD BD INDEX FDS LONG TERM BOND$14.08
5/6/21VCLTVANGUARD SCOTTSDALE FUNDS LONG-TERM COR$15.09
5/7/21HYGISHARES TR IBOXX HI YD ETF$18.00
5/7/21PFFISHARES TR PFD AND INCM SEC$53.32
5/10/21APDAIR PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS INC$33.65
5/14/21ABBVABBVIE INC$188.00
5/17/21HASHASBRO INC$34.46
5/17/21OHIOMEGA HEALTHCARE INVESTORS INC$722.72
5/17/21PGPROCTER AND GAMBLE CO$113.48
5/20/21PSECPROSPECT CAP CORP$155.54
5/21/21ARTNAARTESIAN RES CORP$193.62
5/25/21FASTFASTENAL$11.35
5/28/21ODCOIL DRI CORP OF AMERICA$17.28
5/28/21SBRASABRA HEALTH CARE REIT INC$84.60
5/28/21WSMWILLIAMS-SONOMA INC$10.69
5/28/21M1 FinanceM1 DIVIDEND GROWTH ACCOUNT$53.95

Buys and Sells for the Week 6/4

I had similar trades from last week but with slightly better prices and one stupid blunder on my part. Here are my trades for the week:

  1. Kimberly Clark (KMB) – increased position – Finally got my below $130 mark. Grabbed 1 shares @ $129.83 and a 3.51% yield.
  2. Merck and Co. (MRK) – increased position –  Price slowly comes down and I slowly buy. Grabbed 2 shares @ $75.48 (pre spinoff) and a 3.44% yield.
  3. Investors Bancorp Inc. (ISBC) – increased position –  I meant to buy $200 dollars and forgot to change the buy setting from shares to dollars and ended up buying 200 shares, Doh! Luckily I like ISBC it just stung a little as I was not planning on dropping this much cash. Grabbed 200 shares @ $14.77 and a 3.79% yield.

My Take On AT&T

There have been a lot of articles, posts, and emotional reactions about AT&T’s spin-off & merger of their Warner Brothers assets with Discovery as well as their proposed dividend cut.  On the negative side, many felt the dividend cut was a betrayal while others accused leadership of yet another failed merger resurrecting DirectTV pains and comparisons.  On the positive to neutral side, people scrambled to evaluate the value of the old and new companies (post spin-off) while the spin doctors were saying this will benefit all involved and offer growth opportunities to both companies.

When the news first dropped, I was initially surprised as I thought they were turning a corner with their HBOMAX subscriptions (after an initial embarrassing rollout).  They got the Roku drama behind them, did a great job bundling HBOMAX with the mobile business, and did a successful hybrid movie rollout between streaming and theaters.  For the first time in a long time, I thought AT&T finally had a path to growing the company.  They finally have a growth machine and they are getting rid of it? Combine that with the dividend cut and my initial reaction was sell but I also knew this was an emotional reaction and decided to step back and take time to better understand what is happening.

After having a week to digest the news I no longer have the urge to rush out and sell.  I still have questions on what the financials will be and undecided if I want to sell or hold but for now at least I feel I have some clarity as to why.  The popular explanation as to why is to reduce debt on their balance sheet and focus on their 5G assets while those on the negative side believe they overpaid for an asset they did not know how to manage or integrate and trying to get out of yet another bad deal.  I do not agree with either statement and offer an alternative explanation.

When the streaming wars first started most planned budgets, outside of Netflix, were from $1b to $2b range but that has quickly escalated.  This is no longer a “War”, this competition is escalating into a full all out Nuclear War with no end in sight.   Amazon grew their streaming content budget from $7b in 2019 to $11b in 2020, Disney spent $7b in 2020 and is predicting they will be spending $14b-$16b by 2024, Apple initially planned a $1b budget but had to run that up to $5b in their first year and now spends $11b annually, and finally we have Netflix who budgeted $17b for 2021 and will grow that to $19b in 2022.   The amount of money required to generate new content is increasing dramatically year to year and I have not even mentioned Viacom/Paramount or Peacock streaming. 

We are witnessing an arms race in the media sector, and it is something that has the potential to distort AT&T’s core telcom business while limiting their media business.  Rolling out 5G is not a low-cost endeavor and combine that with the media arms race there were bound to be conflicts as to how much budget can be allocated to either.  By separating the two assets each can pursue and focus on their own investment/growth strategy and it is this perspective the spin-off makes sense to me.

As far as the negative view that AT&T made another bad investment decision I disagree.  No one foresaw a pandemic that would accelerate the streaming war to not just investment in content but also accelerated media company mergers. Unlike the DirectTV deal the media market is far from being a declining or obsolete business. Additionally, previous AT&T management would have held the assets years longer and incurred even more debt before admitting defeat and must sell or spin-off when it is too late so I see this as a proactive decision.

For now I see no risk holding T while collecting dividends until the deal becomes more defined and a better decision can be made. Until that time I have no plans to add additional shares and stopped using the DRIP.

Buys and Sells for the Week 5/28

I made no trades last week but decided to close the month out with a few buys and go relax on a long weekend. Here are my trades for the week:

  1. Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN) – increased position –  Another buy and steadily adding when prices are below $16/share. Grabbed 13 shares @ $15.33 and a 4.44% yield.
  2. Kimberly Clark (KMB) – increased position –  Would have preferred a price below $130 but close enough. Grabbed 1 shares @ $131.55 and a 3.47% yield.
  3. Merck and Co. (MRK) – increased position –  Still negative sentiment keeping prices below $77/share. Grabbed 2 shares @ $76.06 and a 3.42% yield.

Buys and Sells for the Week 5/14

Markets were in a steady decline mid-week which in turn started to open up some buying opportunities. But before you could finish saying “buy!” the window slammed shut and markets clawed back loses by the end of the week. Luckily I reacted quick enough for a few transactions. Here are my trades for the week:

  1. Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) – new position – AVGO dropped to something of a more reasonable price and I got a chance to increase my exposure to tech. Grabbed 2 shares @ $421.90 and a 3.41% yield.
  2. Investors Bancorp Inc. (ISBC) – new position –  ISBC helped to expand my very limited bank stocks. Grabbed 69 shares @ $14.43 and a 3.88% yield.
  3. Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN) – increased position –  I have been steadily adding when prices drop below $16/share and this week was no different. Grabbed 13 shares @ $15.13 and a 4.1% yield.

Buys and Sells for the Week 5/7

Just when I thought the dividend raise party was over Leggett & Platt (LEG) surprised me with a 5% raise. I thought the markets might give up a little to inflation fears especially after Janet Yellen’s comments earlier in he week. By Friday though markets shrugged it off and continued higher Here are my trades for the week:

  1. Brookfield Property REIT (BPYU) – sold position BPYU was being taken private and once I found a replacement I did not feel like waiting for the buyout price of $18.17 and instead sold all my shares @ $18.13.
  2. CTO Realty Growth Inc. (CTO) – new position –  CTO is my BPYU replacement. Grabbed 54 shares @ $52.15 and a 7.54% yield.
  3. Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN) – increased position –  When AQN dips below $16 it’s my signal to add a few more shares. Grabbed 12 shares @ $15.83 and a 3.92% yield

April Dividend Income

After 34 years of clocking in and out of work and religiously saving 10% annually in my 401K every year, in good times and bad, I have decided to share my monthly dividend income to show what regular saving and investing can accomplish.

For the month of April I made $3,909.49; an increase of 36.23% versus this time last year. I realize the year over year gain is slightly exaggerated as April of last year was the start of many a dividend cut or suspension but this is my largest April payout ever.

On the home front my expenses have remained the same which means my savings rate has stayed steady at 24.9%. I finally got my first dose of a COVID vaccine and will be getting the second shot later in May, glad to finally get this out of the way. I gave myself my 12th haircut in April, this has been one of those COVID things I had to learn how to do myself and now that lockdowns have been lifted this is one of the few things I think I will continue to do even though I can see a barber, I actually enjoy cutting my own hair.

In April I received dividend raises from 8 different companies and so many companies reported great earnings. Hopefully all of you got to experience the joy of getting a raise. As far as a watch list, there are no screaming value plays that jump out at me so I’ll continue to monitor a little over 50 dividend stocks for any opportunity that arises.  Unless there is a pullback, I plan on staying with small $200 buying lots for the foreseeable future.

DateSymbolCompanyAmount
4/1/21AGRAVANGRID INC23.13
4/1/21BEPCBROOKFIELD RENEWABLE CORP66.52
4/1/21PPLPPL CORP763.54
4/5/21WMTWALMART INC14.48
4/6/21IRMIRON MOUNTAIN INC480.3
4/6/21TUTELUS CORPORATION47.55
4/7/21BLVVANGUARD BD INDEX FDS LONG TERM BOND31.97
4/7/21MRKMERCK &CO. INC123.62
4/7/21VCLTVANGUARD SCOTTSDALE FUNDS LONG-TERM COR15.77
4/8/21HYGISHARES TR IBOXX HI YD ETF17.92
4/8/21MPWMEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST INC179.68
4/8/21PFFISHARES TR PFD AND INCM SEC51.47
4/12/21GSKGLAXOSMITHKLINE ADR203.84
4/15/21APTSPREFERRED APARTMENT COMMUNITIES INC82.97
4/15/21AQNALGONQUIN PWR UTILS CORP180.89
4/15/21KBALKIMBALL INTERNATIONAL INC2.38
4/15/21LEGLEGGETT &PLATT INC69.85
4/15/21WPCWP CAREY INC554.17
4/16/21CPTCAMDEN PROPERTY TRUST12.73
4/19/21BCEBCE INC93.65
4/22/21PSECPROSPECT CAP CORP155.54
4/28/21AMNFARMANINO FOODS DISTINCTION INC31.95
4/30/21BGSB&G FOODS INC256.47
4/30/21BNSBANK OF NOVA SCOTIA25.94
4/30/21CMCANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE265.04
4/30/21OGEOGE ENERGY CORP133.63
4/30/21M1 FinanceM1 DIVIDEND GROWTH ACCOUNT24.49

Buys and Sells for the Week 4/30

IBM gave me a miniscule dividend raise of $0.01 per quarter but it was what I expected. Chevron surprised me with a 4% raise but it is such a small position for me that it barley moved the income needle. Earnings season is in full tilt and most companies are beating expectations, a couple that did not looked like buying opportunities. Here are my buys for the week:

  1. Unilever (UL) – increased position –  UL reported good quarterly numbers and luckily I bought before the numbers came out. Grabbed 3 shares @ $56.43 and a 3.38% yield.
  2. Kimberly-Clark (KMB) – new position –  KMB quarterly report was not the best and their forward guidance of just 1% growth for 2021 triggered a sell-off. KMB growth should return in the second half of 2022, decided it was time to finally initiate a position with a window to accumulate shares before prices rise. Grabbed 7 shares @ $128.76 and a 3.54% yield.
  3. Merck & Company (MRK)increased position –  MRK sold off after reporting lower than expected earnings but remained firm on their full year forecast. Why sell when the company is still confident they can meet their annual numbers? Grabbed 4 shares at $73.85 and a 3.52% yield.

Buys and Sells for the Week 4/23

It was a great week for growing income without a lot of investing as I received dividend raises from The Southern Company (SO) 3.13%, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) 5% and Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) 9.1%. I also received a bonus from Pfizer who decided to not reduce their dividend payout from the Viatris (VTRS) spin-off. I was not booking the VTRS dividend until PFE announced a cut so this is like getting an additional 3.4% dividend raise from PFE on top of the 2.6% raise from last December.

With all the action this week I still found time trade, here are my buys for the week:

  1. Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN) – increased position –  My fidelity brokerage account does not allow a DRIP into AQN and have to remember to pick up some additional shares on occasion to compensate. Grabbed 12 shares @ $15.94 and a 3.89% yield.