In my last post I'd said that I'd look for dividend growers with a long dividends record. I produced a list of 117. I've whittled down the list further. The list comprises of non-micro companies (I don't have details of the threshold I used, but it should be above £200m) with dividends increasing every year, and a record of at least 10 dividends, including projected dividends. This whittles the list down from 117 to 67 companies (so about half of them have only short divvie histories). Here's a list of EPICs:
$ passes | tr -d \\n
ABF AGK AMEC AVV BAB BAG BATS BBY BG. BLT BNZL CLLN CNA CPG CPI CRDA CSN CWK DGE DLN DNO DOM DPLM FDSA FGP FSJ FSTA GNK GRG GSK HFD HILS HLMA HMY HSX IAP IMT IRV ITRK JHD JMAT MER MTO NG. NWG PAY PHP PNN PSON PZC RPC RPS RTN SGE SPX SRP SSE SXS SYR TLPR TSCO ULE ULVR VCT VOD WEIR WTB
The original list amounted to 537 companies, and just over 10% of them are in turn able to exhibit a long track record. As I mentioned before, special dividends and share splits will likely throw the numbers out; so some companies would have been unfairly rejected.
For the nerdy types, the list was compiled on UNIX, using Python and "Beautiful Soup", and Gfortran. Yip, good ol' Fortran, I had to see if I could get that one in there! The Fortran code was surprisingly intuitive and simple to write - so maybe it's a case of getting some good data structures. I have sometimes quipped that more programmers should be forced to write in Fortran, as its lack of fancy libraries forces the programmer to boil their algorithms and data down to the barest of forms.
FCCN - French Connection - General Retailers - 59.9p/£57.4m
I see that on 17-Nov-2011, FCCN shares dropped a massive 15.5% on tough trading conditions. I see that during the interims, revenues were £102.8m, and the operating profit before exceptionals was £0.2m. FCCN is heading into net-net territory, as it has a NCAV of £54.2m. Its margins do look the thinnest of thin, though, so I can well imagine it making losses if it's not careful. Difficult! On the one hand, "net-net", on the other hand, it's been a pretty weak company since 2005 by the looks of it, so maybe this is a net-net to avoid. I see, for example, that at the interim stage it 2005, it had a NCAV of £72.8m. It did improve a little thereafter, but then started going down again. Maybe things will keep heading south until they run out of money.
PIC - Pace - Tech hardware and Equip - 46.7p/£142.5m
Here we go again. On 17-Nov-2011, PIC dropped 24.5%, after announcing that it would suffer due to problems with hard drive supplies from Thailand. That puts PIC on a PER of 2.39. I hear that the word "covenants" was mentioned, with the news that they are safe. The word "covenants" to investors is a bit like the word "Macbeth" to actors: it doesn't matter the context or legitimacy, the mere mention of it is enough to bring bad luck. Difficult to imagine this dog getting any cheaper, but I've been wrong at every stage on PIC.
Thought for the day
"None of this means, however, that a business or stock is an
intelligent purchase simply because it is unpopular; a contrarian
approach is just as foolish as a follow-the-crowd strategy. What's
required is thinking rather than polling." -- Warren Buffett