About 6 months ago, I wrote about how stock splits are more a marketing strategy than anything else. In fact, the real stock value doesn’t change and the individual investor who cares about buying a stock at $30 instead of $90 after a split 1:3 won’t affect much the market. After all, institutional traders (banks, insurance companies, financial firms and pension plans) are the real players in this market. How can you and I influence the stock market when one player can buy $10M worth of shares in a month?


    On the other hand, Eric from The Passive Income Earner, brought up a good point: stock splits make DRIPs easier for small investors. Since the stock price is smaller, it makes it easier to buy the next share.


    The most recent Apple (AAPL) split made me reconsider my dividend holdings. Not necessarily because I think the AAPL split makes the stock more interesting, but because reading about it gave me a trade idea. After all, stock splits are a great marketing strategy: I would have not read about Apple last week and I would have not thought of adding more shares to my portfolio…


    What Recently Happened With Apple (AAPL)


    At the end of April, Apple released its most recent earnings. If you had polled analysts before AAPL released its results, they were not very excited about it. There hasn’t been any new product launches and competition with Samsung and Google is still very tough. Nonetheless, AAPL surprised the market with EPS going from $10.18 to $11.62 this quarter. Sales were also up from $43.53B to $45.6B. Apple’s biggest earner is still the iPhone and it sold 6 million more units than Wall Street anticipated. Another stock buyback was announced ($60B to $90B), the dividend was increased by 8% and there will be a stock split to make the stock more affordable.


    The stock split occurred last week dividing the stock by 7. This means you can now buy AAPL for a little under $100 a share. I’m not considering adding more Apple to my portfolio because of the split but because this company seems to be back on a roll. They are still sitting on a pile of cash, growth seems to be picking up again and a new range of products is on the verge of happening. If Microsoft was able to surf on Windows for decades, why Apple couldn’t do it with its perfect product ecosystem? (going from phones to mp3 players with tablets, computers and going after TVs).


    But first, I need to find money to invest in Apple…


    What is Going on with Chevron (CVX)


    Thanks to my new investing tool; Dividend Stocks Rock, I follow about 45 companies closely. Newsfeed and financial statements are on my desk each morning to pick up the most recent facts about all these companies. While doing my review for the last earnings season, I noticed a few things about companies I own that bugged me…


    Chevron’s recent quarter wasn’t a fairy tale. Profits fell 27% as all core business segments struggled. 95% of CVX profits come from its Exploration and Production segment and this part of the business dipped 27% as well. The stock didn’t hit the bottom of the graph price because investors keep hoping on major projects that are about to go into production. The recent 7% dividend increase should be enough to keep investors waiting a little bit longer.


    While CVX has always been a good dividend payer, it seems almost unfair to me to compare the growth potential of both CVX and AAPL. I know they are very different from each other in terms of sector and business models, but as an investor, I’m looking after the best possible trade; period. This is why I intend to sell CVX and buy more AAPL.


    Rebalancing my JNJ Holdings


    If I sell all my shares and go all-in in Apple, I would show about 14% concentrated in one stock. That’s a little bit too much. At the other end of my portfolio, my smallest position is JNJ. And Johnson & Johnson is rocking the market right now…


    JNJ is up 9% this year and had nothing but good news for investors when posting its first quarterly results. Prescription drugs increase, profit jumps and a 2014 outlook increase as well. JNJ published a sales increase of 3.5% and a profit jump of 8%. Both results were beyond analysts’ expectations. JNJ sales were led by international sales (+10.8%). JNJ is also working on a new diabetes drug which could push the stock to higher levels.


    So, in the upcoming week I will:


    #1 Sell CVX

    #2 Buy more AAPL

    #3 Buy more JNJ


    What do you think of these trades? Are you still confident in CVX?

    9 Comments   |   Read more >
  • I’ve started this “tradition” on my blog in 2012. The goal is to pick 20 US and 10 CDN dividend stocks that I think will outperform their peers. This is the reason why I use VIG and XDV as my benchmarks. I keep track of my results for accountability purposes. I find that too many analysts and blogs just drop the ball on their picks when they are not that great. By posting monthly results, I have no other choice but to face my performance and explain it. You can look at my previous picks and returns:


    Best Dividend Stock Picks 2012 (-1.47% vs VIG (US dividend ETF), + 8.32% vs XDV (CDN dividend ETF)

    Best Dividend Stock Picks 2013 (+11.07% vs VIG, + 0.77% vs XDV)

    My 2014 Best Dividend Stock Pick is for sale on Amazon.

    2014 book cover










    Top US Dividend Picks 5.18% (vs VIG at 2.66%)

    best us dividend stocks

    I looked at my first update of the year and my portfolio showed -4.03% while the VIG was at -5.01%. It is interesting to see that only four months later, the stock market has taken a whole new direction and my picks did almost 10% (9.21%) in such a short period.


    Recently, Apple (AAPL) has been put on a strong uptrend. The stock wasn’t going anywhere until it issues its latest financial results at the end of April. Sales were surprising and Apple started to show some growth potential. The stock gained about $100 in 30 days and is now among the best performers in my picks.

    ycharts_chart (66)


    Lorillard (LO) shows a similar pattern with +10.85% within the past three months. They are my “later bloomers” for this year.


    ycharts_chart (67)

    I’ve finally decided to not drop the ball on Mattel (MAT). I almost pulled the trigger and sold it but I decided to give it another chance. Since their very bad results in February, the stock is up by 7%. There might be a chance of recovering more after summer if results are better than expected. Since there aren’t much expectation around the company, it shouldn’t be that complicated!


    ycharts_chart (68)


    Top Canadian Dividend Stocks + 3.36% (vs XDV at 3.11%)

    best canadian stocks

    Black Diamond Group (BDI), Gluskin Sheff (GS) and Telus (T) keep their big winners position since the beginning of the year. Note that GS jumped by 10% in June (which is not reported in this chart) after the announcement of the acquisition of Blair Franklin Asset Management.


    Surprisingly, Canadian banks rocked with the latest quarterly report bringing back ScotiaBank (BNS) and Royal Bank (RY) up again. This is good news for the upcoming months!


    I’m pretty much in line with my benchmark since the beginning of the year struggling to seriously put my picks ahead of my benchmark. Rogers (RCI.B) and the North West Company are still dragging way behind. If one stock could start to pick up, I’ll be in a better position to beat my benchmark at the end of the year!


    Dividend Yield
    Payout Ratio
    Ex-Dvd Date
    CPGCrescent Point Energy Corp44.456.21746.546/27/2014
    COSCanadian Oil Sands Ltd22.816.1481.298/22/2014
    PWTPenn West Petroleum Ltd10.075.56N/A6/26/2014
    TATransAlta Corp135.54N/A8/29/2014
    BCEBCE Inc49.844.9691.5206/12/2014
    ERFEnerplus Corp24.684.38452.0306/03/2014
    NANational Bank of Canada45.54.2238.366/24/2014
    RCI/BRogers Communications Inc43.824.1853.6906/11/2014
    CMCanadian Imperial Bank of Commerce/Canada95.664.1844.496/25/2014
    BMOBank of Montreal76.284.0946.867/30/2014
    SJR/BShaw Communications Inc26.994.0861.5806/11/2014
    PPLPembina Pipeline Corp42.814.06149.146/25/2014
    POWPower Corp of Canada29.183.9854.6306/05/2014
    FTSFortis Inc/Canada32.543.9378.388/13/2014
    SLFSun Life Financial Inc36.73.9250.868/25/2014
    POTPotash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc39.353.8664.4207/09/2014
    ARXARC Resources Ltd31.253.84155.386/26/2014
    TRIThomson Reuters Corp37.593.83848.038/22/2014
    TRPTransCanada Corp50.483.876.816/26/2014
    RYRoyal Bank of Canada74.643.845.27/22/2014
    TCK/BTeck Resources Ltd24.173.7253.906/12/2014
    TTELUS Corp40.953.7167.2606/06/2014
    BNSBank of Nova Scotia69.633.6846.066/27/2014
    TDToronto-Dominion Bank/The53.763.546.7207/07/2014
    AGUAgrium Inc97.363.3434.016/26/2014
    CVECenovus Energy Inc32.273.3110.5706/11/2014
    HSEHusky Energy Inc36.573.2864.9606/03/2014
    BBD/BBombardier Inc3.692.7532.5206/11/2014
    ENBEnbridge Inc51.532.72234.168/13/2014
    MFCManulife Financial Corp19.852.6231.968/15/2014
    TLMTalisman Energy Inc11.22.61N/A06/11/2014
    GGoldcorp Inc25.522.56N/A6/17/2014
    SUSuncor Energy Inc41.732.228.0206/02/2014
    THITim Hortons Inc58.722.1836.88/21/2014
    LLoblaw Cos Ltd45.72.1441.9406/11/2014
    WNGeorge Weston Ltd792.1336.2506/11/2014
    CNQCanadian Natural Resources Ltd44.132.0427.5806/11/2014
    YRIYamana Gold Inc8.092.01N/A6/26/2014
    CTC/ACanadian Tire Corp Ltd104.591.9121.387/29/2014
    CCOCameco Corp21.681.8549.666/26/2014
    SNCSNC-Lavalin Group Inc52.381.83389.788/15/2014
    MRUMetro Inc66.971.7912.948/25/2014
    SAPSaputo Inc58.631.5733.5407/10/2014
    CNRCanadian National Railway Co65.761.5227.7206/05/2014
    BAM/ABrookfield Asset Management Inc46.61.4918.418/27/2014
    MGMagna International Inc110.941.4918.198/27/2014
    SLWSilver Wheaton Corp22.521.3542.619/17/2014
    ABXBarrick Gold Corp17.61.24N/A8/27/2014
    ECAEncana Corp25.251.2209.3206/11/2014
    AEMAgnico Eagle Mines Ltd32.991.05N/A8/29/2014
    IMOImperial Oil Ltd53.390.9714.6706/02/2014
    FMFirst Quantum Minerals Ltd22.870.8121.138/27/2014
    GILGildan Activewear Inc59.030.813.6608/12/2014
    CPCanadian Pacific Railway Ltd181.480.7728.116/25/2014
    ELDEldorado Gold Corp6.220.32N/A08/12/2014
    VRXValeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc142.34N/AN/AN/A
    KKinross Gold Corp4.08N/AN/A9/17/2014
    BBBlackBerry Ltd8.27N/AN/AN/A
    CCTCatamaran Corp47.77N/A0N/A
    GIB/ACGI Group Inc36.9N/A0N/A


    4 Comments   |   Read more >


    As I wasn’t busy enough, I’ve decided to launch another blog! I added a free blog section to my dividend investing platform Dividend Stocks Rock. What’s the difference between The Dividend Guy Blog and DSR Blog? The length! I was looking for a place where I could write in-depth articles (about 2,000 words each). Check out my first one: My Dividend Growth Model Fully Explained


    Here what is interesting to read this Weekend:


    Top Canadian Dividend ETFs listed at My Own Advisor

    Why Dividend Growth Investor doesn’t do discounted cash flow analysis on dividend stocks.

    Dividend Mantra’s 2 stocks on his watch list (I like BAX!)

    Dividend Growth Investing provides you with his dividend investing plan.

    Why Verizon is better than AT&T @ Dividends4Life

    Combat inflation with Dividend Stocks @ Dividend Growth Investing & Retirement

    The Danger with the 4% withdrawal rule @ Passive Income Earner


    Dividend Stocks Analysis


    Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) @ Dividend Ladder

    Becton, Dickinson & Co (BDX) @ Dividend Growth Stocks

    Cracker Barrel  Old Country Store (CBRL) @ Passive Income Pursuit

    Nextera Energy (NEE) @ Dividend Engineer

    1 Comment   |   Read more >
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