Seeking Alpha

David Fish's  Instablog

David Fish
  • on Dividend Quick Picks & Lists
Send Message
Dave Fish is Executive Editor for The Moneypaper and co-manager (since 1999) of the MP 63 Fund (Symbol: DRIPX), a fund that invests exclusively in companies that offer Direct Investment (or Dividend Reinvestment) Plans. He is also the author of the U.S. Dividend Champions spreadsheet (and PDF),... More
My company:
The Moneypaper
My blog:
Daily Trade Alert Author Page
My book:
The Moneypaper's Guide to Direct Investment Plans
  • Dividend Champions, New and Improved 13 comments
    Oct 5, 2010 12:20 AM | about stocks: BRC, BXS, DUK, FL, MDLZ, MKC, NS, SHEN

    The Dividend Champions spreadsheet has been updated through 9/30/10

    To download the latest version of the U.S. Dividend Champions spreadsheet or PDF, go here: http://dripinvesting.org/Tools/Tools.asp

    During the past month, I have again been working on some significant changes to improve the Dividend Champions listing, and those include expansion of the Champions and Contenders tabs to include fundamental data obtained from Yahoo! Finance and the addition of two new tabs to segregate Summary totals from the Champions and Contenders (with charts) and Changes that are company-specific, rather than Revisions to the spreadsheet design. I'll discuss this month's changes in order of the tabs (from left to right).


     

    Dividend Champions and Contenders Columns Added

    I've added several new columns on the right side of these listings to reflect fundamental data that is available at Yahoo! Finance, and added columns with additional calculations that may be of interest. Data from Yahoo! includes the following:

    TTM EPS (or trailing twelve months Earnings Per Share). This is generally the total of the most recently reported four quarters. Since most companies have yet to report third-quarter earnings, this number is currently the sum of the last two quarters of 2009 and the first two quarters of 2010.

    PEG Ratio (P/E Ratio divided by Growth Rate). Yahoo explains that this number uses the 5-year future growth rate, so the divisor of this ratio is composed of estimates.

    TTM P/Sales (trailing twelve months Price/Sales Ratio). Divides the current price by the total sales in the past twelve months.

    MRQ P/Book (Most Recent Quarter Price/Book Ratio). Divides the current price by the book value per share as reported in quarterly filings.

    TY Est EPS (This Year Estimated Earnings Per Share). Currently adds together 2010 actual earnings with estimates for the remaining quarters.

    NY Est EPS (Next Year Estimated Earnings Per Share). Analysts' consensus for the next fiscal year's earnings per share.

    Market Cap (Market Capitalization). Represents the number of shares outstanding multiplied by the market price. Note that I wasn't able to properly “parse” this data, so sorting based on this column will not be very successful. I had better luck separating the 52-week High and Low.

    52-week Low is the lowest closing price for the stock in the past year.

    52-week High is the highest closing price of the stock in the past year.

    In addition to this data, I have inserted columns to calculate the P/E (price/earnings) ratio, based on the current price and the trailing twelve months earnings; the Payout Ratio, based on the TTM EPS and the current dividend rate; Next Year vs. This Year Estimated EPS Growth; and the current price's percentages above the 52-week Low and below the 52-week High. I also “locked titles” so that the header rows and left-most columns (with company name and symbol) always stay in view, which might make scrolling to the right and back a bit more comfortable.

    You might notice that some data is not included, such as the companies' Cash and Debt totals and debt-to-capitalization ratio. These are simply not available from Yahoo!, hence their absence. The other important thing to remember is that all of this data has to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, any earnings per share number may or may not have unusual or one-time items, so each ratio that includes it has the prospect of being distorted. The same holds true of estimates in general and, of course, the timing of earnings announcements may have an effect on summary earnings totals. In addition, certain companies may have exaggerated numbers, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs), which typically are judged by Funds From Operation (FFO), not earnings per share. So the gist of all this is that I need to remind everyone that the listing should only be considered a starting point for more in-depth analysis.

    Only one new company joined the Champions listing this month, after having graduated from the Contenders list on the occasion of its 25th year of dividend increases. That was Brady Corp. (BRC), a provider of identification and security products. The number of Champions remained the same, due to the deletion of BancorpSouth (BXS), which announced a fourth-quarter dividend that was unchanged and resulted in the total 2010 payout being equal to that of 2009. I have also deleted seven Contenders and 15 Challengers since the last update (August 31) because of the same reason and expect to delete more between now and the end of the year,as other companies fail to extend their streaks. Familiar companies that were recently deleted include Progress Energy (PGN), Foot Locker (FL), and Kraft Foods (KFT).


     

    Two New Tabs Added

    In order to make the Champions and Contenders tabs more user- and printer-friendly, I moved the summary totals (of prior months' totals) to a new Summary tab. On that tab, I then added a page of charts that show the trends for Number of Companies, Average Price, Average Yield, and Average Percentage (of the latest increase). A second new tab was added to show company-specific changes, which were removed from the Revisions tab. On the Changes tab, there is now a table for companies that have been deleted, including the reason and date of deletion. Below that is a text-based chronological listing of companies that were added or modified in some way. Unnecessary lines were removed from the Revisions tab, which is now intended only for listing spreadsheet or PDF modifications.


     

    Final Words

    I believe that I have now completed most of the major revisions that I had planned. One possible change that is under consideration (and was mentioned by a commenter) would entail moving the Dividend History data to the Champions and Contenders tabs, locating those columns to the right of existing ones. However, I'm not sure whether users would be comfortable with that arrangement, which might require a lot of scrolling horizontally, so please comment with any opinions – pro or con – about whether that changes would be welcome.

    Between now and year-end, I will focus on two main tasks: Deleting companies that fail to extend their streaks, and Adding a column for Total Dividends Paid in 2010. The latter may not appear until November or December and would not replace 2009 in the calculation of 5- and 10-year DGRs until the December 31 update. As to the companies with streaks that are on “death watch,” there are five Champions, 10 Contenders, and 19 Challengers that may be deleted. Taking into account one Contender, McCormick & Co. (MKC), that should graduate to Champion status and two Challengers (NuStar Energy LP (NS) and Shenandoah Telecommunications (SHEN)) that should graduate to Contender status, the projected totals at year-end would be 96 Champions, 124 Contenders, and 179 Challengers, for a total of 399 companies with dividend streaks of at least five years.



    Disclosure: Author owns KFT.
Back To David Fish's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (13)
Track new comments
  • I found a compromise regarding the divhistory being on a separate tab. I reformatted the spreadsheet by adding 3 more columns to the Champs and Contenders tabs, next to the most recent increase column: A/D, 5 yr CAGR and 10 yr CAGR. This is what mattered to me. As for the annual amount details, it's OK to leave them on a separate tab; they can be easily consulted if needed and do not need to be shown on the main page.
    5 Oct 2010, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » That sounds like a good solution, although I'm still open to changing it. We'll see what anyone else says.
    What you described is something I have done once or twice for the "Smackdowns" the last couple of months.
    P.S. I reposted this instablog to give SA another chance to make it into an article (which they apparently chose not to do when I first posted it). I may delete this second copy by Wednesday either way, just to "tidy up." Also, if they don't want this to be an article, then they won't want another "Smackdown," so I'll save myself the time and effort of doing them.
    5 Oct 2010, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • I don't care what SA wants, I look forward to your Smackdowns, so please consider continuing them, even as "only" instablogs.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Robert
    5 Oct 2010, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » OK, will do. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I think that this article (originally submitted Sept. 30) got shoved aside by the flurry of other pieces they received (although I don't see why they would limit the number that they turn into articles).
    5 Oct 2010, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • I too enjoy the smackdowns and your articles in general.
    5 Oct 2010, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • probably the limit is just the time needed to review, etc. before accepting as an article.
    8 Oct 2011, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks. I enjoy writing them, but was a little surprised that SA didn't post the 9/30 update as an article, especially since I was announcing major changes, etc. Hopefully, it was just an omission due to their heavy volume of articles or something of that sort.
    5 Oct 2010, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • David - I echo what notbob wrote. Always look forward to your articles, comments, Smackdown, and spreadsheets. Keep up the good work!
    5 Oct 2010, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Well, it appears that SA has decided not to publish this as an article...even after I submitted it for a second time. So anyone looking for the update at the end of the month should check the site where it's posted (a few hours after the last trading day of the month) and not wait for the SA Update Article...which may or may not get published.
    6 Oct 2010, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • David, what site is it posted at?
    1 Nov 2010, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Here:
    dripinvesting.org/Tool...
    1 Nov 2010, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Hey David,

     

    Another article seems to have discovered an anomaly in the data for Sysco (SYY) on the current sheet compared to the company's dividend history page. Currently listed as a 41 year streak, yet the company info, http://bit.ly/nbu5fF , only goes back to 1973 (38 years). Furthermore, that page lists 1973 and 1974 as 8 identical payouts of $0.0003.

     

    Maybe the company info doesn't go all the way back? And maybe they ran out of decimal places so their 1973 and 1974 only appear to be the same?

     

    Thoughts?

     

    Thanks for your great work putting all this together, and providing it!
    8 Oct 2011, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I think you're right that the website doesn't quite go far enough back and that the decimals on those first years just aren't long enough. The 41-year streak is something they mention in their press releases when announcing a dividend increases, so I think that can be considered more accurate...otherwise, they wouldn't state it that way, which they've done for many years (although the press releases only go back so far on the Internet).
    8 Oct 2011, 03:57 PM Reply Like
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

StockTalks

More »

Latest Comments


Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.