Dividend Munchers Easter 2019 update (and still beating Neil Woodford) says Nigel Somerville

Johnny Mercer MP & the mini bond scandal, a useful dupe with a grossly inflated sense of self worth. Read HERE

I have been remiss in not updating on my little portfolio of FTSE-100 dividend munchers for a while: it is time to make amends. This was a small portfolio put together in the hope of beating bank interest, but from a point of view of being bearish on the market. It has been a bumpy ride, but at least I am still ahead of Neil Woodford! The four stocks so far are BT (BT.A), Centrica (CNA), ITV (ITV) and a half-portion of Vodafone (VOD)...

Optibiotix – er should you not have declared this related party deal with your chairman? Read HERE

The best performer is BT: having entered at 225.4p the shares are currently marginally higher at about 230p and I’ve had 15.17p in dividends to clock up an overall gain of 8.7% in around a year. When I bought this one it seemed to be a stock you could just forget about – so long as it could afford to carry on with the dividend, and the yield on offer is currently 6.6%. But with a still relatively new chairman and now a new CEO, the next set of results will attract a bit more attention than usual. Can BT afford to carry on paying its generous dividend or might it get chopped? It still has pension liabilities to deal with and growth had more or less stalled. On the plus side, it could sell off some assets which could transform things – the most obvious being OpenReach which the regulators have ring-fenced from BT at a management level anyway. On a smaller scale, there were suggestions last year that BT could sell off its masts and then there is the Italian arm which caused a spot of bother. Or we could see a restructuring and load of P45s as BT pushes to make itself more efficient, and further efforts to push its TV package as part of its quad-play? With a new team at the helm, now would seem to be the most obvious time to hack the dividend if it is going to. On the other hand, if it is going to sell off a few bits, why not start that now? And all the while, activist investors are on the share register who will be pushing for something more radical than more of the same. Well, BT has its first round of numbers under the new CEO Philip Jansen due out on 9 May – the 2018 FY results so we shall know the truth soon enough, and especially about that juicy dividend. Fingers crossed, we should get some sign that the deep value within BT can be released but at the very least I’m hoping my dividend is safe, so I can forget about this share once more.

Ascent Resources – and there’s the placing as it exploits permit ‘delight’. Read HERE

Centrica has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. With gas and electricity providers struggling as an industry, questions are being raised over whether Centrica’s generous dividend can really survive. With the shares having headed sharply south, its yield is now up to a stonking 11.35% - which means that the market has it down as a racing certainty to be chopped. At the last report it was still losing customers, still suffering nuclear difficulties, earnings per share came in below the dividend and seem set to fall further. And with eleven of its industry rivals having gone to the wall recently, it is clearly a tough environment to be in. But rather than hunker down and focus on the job, there have been big pay rises and bonuses. So whilst staff are being fired and shareholders suffer, the man at the top got a whopper of a pay packet. I’ve said my piece on this already, but the bottom line is that this is quite simply unacceptable. Sure, have a bonus and a big pay rise if you deliver improved performance but you can’t take it in the middle of all this. It just sends all the wrong messages, and tells me – the little guy – that the boardroom is only interested in itself. With the AGM on 13 May, I shall be taking a long careful look at my broker account to see about registering my protest – for what it is worth. Aside from that, Centrica does look strong enough to see out the current industry malaise, and Chris Bailey regarded Centrica’s dealings over the price cap as pretty successful. Jobs are being cut and cost taken out of the business but I would like to see those customer losses reversed. There remains much to do, but I don’t think selling up now is the right thing to do. But I would like to sell its management, which risks cutting jobs, hacking the dividend and paying itself a monster pay-rise for missing all its own targets. My entry point here was just shy of 143p so with the shares down at a lowly 105.75p I’m licking my wounds (even if I chopped a bit at 162.8p). But having bagged 12p in dividends so far the drop isn’t quite as dramatic, although a still painful (official) 17.7%. I’m sure the rising possibility (give me strength) of a Corbyn-led government is also dragging the shares lower – something I hope will change over the coming months. But I am hopeful that Centrica will ride out the storm and that profits will recover to pay a decent income – and that therefore the share price will head northwards once more. Meanwhile, we have a trading update to look forward to on 13 May, the day of the AGM. Let’s hope the update really is worth looking forward to…..

I believe that I3 Energy has potential, so I've bought some myself says Gary Newman HERE

Vodafone was the most obvious early blunder when I piled in for a half-sized holding at over 190p. The stock is now just 142.56p – and that is off the low point set just last month almost at 130p. Thankful for small mercies…..With 4.3p in dividends clocked up I am now (only!) 23% off on this one but I have not lost hope of some recovery. For a start the broker community appears heavily divided on where they think the shares are going. The most recent note – from Deutsche Bank saw the chopping of the price target from 268p to 250p and Numis came in with 220p in February, along with Bank of America at 200p and Citigroup was also positive. Against them we have RBC Capital Markets and Macquarie at just 125p. Clearly someone is going to end up with egg on their face but it does suggest that there could be some upside as we are at the lower end of that spectrum. My overall impression is that Vodafone has been paying heavily for 5G licenses, but more recent sharing deals could take the sting out of that. And, like BT, Vodafone could sell off its mobile masts to bring in a few shekels. But the highlight for me comes on 14 May when Vodafone releases its FY18 numbers under the now promoted CEO, its former FD. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for good numbers – and not too much emphasis on adjusted EBITDA (bullshit squared numbers). We’ve seen Vodafone share price nose-dive before, only for it to recover and I fancy the same will happen again.

Biome Technologies – AGM, Q1 update; Bioplastics potential but Stanelco RF Technologies concerns? Read HERE

Finally, ITV seems to be having a better run of things. This is another one where I sliced a bit off after an early rise (but ignore that for the purposes of the portfolio overall score). Having bought in at 143.7p, the shares bottomed out at almost 120p but are now back up to 140.3p and I have 8p of dividends in the bag so I’m up by a fairly marginal 3.2%. With a spot of luck, Chris Bailey’s heroine will produce a steady improvement in numbers as we go forward, but that stake held by Liberty Media seems to underpin ITV: if McCall delivers than all is good. If she doesn’t than Liberty will strike. With the dividend raised a notch last time, I'm quite happy to hold on, and look forward to the trading update on 8 May. And so to the overall scores... Last time I was 6% down and now I am off by 4.9% - better, and still beating Neil Woodford whose equity income fund is down by 7.8% over the past year (including dividends), but not quite what I was looking for. But with BT reporting under its all-new management and numbers from Vodafone next month, as well as trading updates from Centrica and ITV, I fancy there could be some big moves coming up. Let’s hope those moves are northwards! And I am still prevaricating over the next investment. Will it be Centamin (CEY) or possibly a Neil Woodford reject? I hope to make a decision in the next month or so.

Purplebricks Remains a Sell. Lucian Miers writes HERE

Filed under: BT, Centrica, ITV, Vodafone, Johnny Mercer, Optibiotix, Ascent Resources, I3, Biome, Purplebricks

Versarien - the point at which it must deliver is approaching says Lucian Miers

09/17/2019

5 slam-dunk sells for 2019 - September update. Nigel Somerville writes...

09/16/2019

Barclays & Lloyds fess up to new PPI horrors... but that is fine. Chris Bailey writes...

09/12/2019

Finding it hard to find any reason not to invest in Jadestone Energy says Gary Newman

09/11/2019

Ferrexpo - time for another go says Lucian Miers...

09/10/2019

Intu Properties - when even a takeover cannot help...

09/09/2019

Boohoo says boo hoo to the doubters. Chris Bailey writes...

09/06/2019

President Energy can weather the economic problems in Argentina considers Gary Newman

09/05/2019

IQE - why that shiny new debt facility?

09/04/2019

Horizonte Minerals - after positive news on funding...

09/03/2019

Whilst some go back to school, M&S goes back to the FTSE-250...

09/02/2019

Optibiotix - interims do not impress but it really is a strong buy argues Tom Winnifrith

08/30/2019

Another Crack at Wayfair says Lucian Miers

08/29/2019

Motels, gold and the stock no active investor should buy. Chris Bailey writes...

08/28/2019

ITM Power - a buy on a long term investment basis considers Peter Brailey

08/27/2019

Rockhopper Exploration - update following further positive news on Sea Lion

08/23/2019

Ferguson plc & woe betide the future of the UK stockmarket?

08/22/2019

Wood Group - I remain a buyer says Chris Bailey

08/21/2019

ConvaTec - still a buy after further management change?

08/20/2019

A share tip of the year for 2019 update...

08/19/2019

GVC raises numbers but please no more number of the beast share sales says Chris Bailey

08/16/2019

The thoughts of Lucian Miers on the Burford fiasco

08/15/2019

Gold - rushing ever-higher. What I will do reviews Nigel Somerville...

08/14/2019

Eco Atlantic - what to do after a great first drill?

08/13/2019

Spin City at G4S. Chris Bailey writes...

08/12/2019

Aviva, Cineworld and Funding Circle reviewed by Chris Bailey

08/09/2019

Thomas Cook - doing the Fandango. Lucian Miers writes...

08/08/2019

Chris Bailey confesses he is now a Dominos Pizza customer, but to buy the shares?

08/07/2019

Volex - ahead of expectations. Buy say Tom Winnifrith & Steve Moore

08/06/2019

Petra Diamonds could still turnaround considers Gary Newman

08/05/2019

Opportunities in Barclays, Lloyds and ConvaTec? Chris Bailey reviews...

08/02/2019

Fresnillo - big drop in share price an opportunity? Gary Newman reviews...

08/01/2019

Columbus Energy Resources - a buy ahead of South West Peninsula drilling?

07/31/2019

Tesla Q2 another milestone on the road to bankruptcy and ruin says Lucian Miers

07/30/2019

Amino Technologies - a recovery buy suggest Tom Winnifrith & Steve Moore

07/29/2019

I remain calm and collected amidst the heat, M&A activity & as Sage stumbles says Chris Bailey

07/26/2019

RockRose Energy tip up nearly 450%, so what now reviews Gary Newman

07/25/2019

PZ Cussons - losses in Africa... but still a buy? Chris Bailey reviews...

07/24/2019

Block Energy - let winner run or take a healthy profit?

07/23/2019

Sell Netflix short as US subscribers back off says Lucian Miers

07/22/2019

OptiBiotix Health - scientific and commercial update adding to confidence?

07/19/2019

Thoughts On Thomas Cook & Kier from Lucian Miers

07/18/2019

Burberry - excitements sufficient? Chris Bailey reviews

07/17/2019

KEFI Minerals - Q2 2019 operational update, shares remain a Buy says HotStockRockets

07/16/2019

Angling Direct could have long-term potential says Gary Newman

07/15/2019

Hurricane Energy - Lancaster early production system delivering, Buy says Peter Brailey

07/12/2019

I remain to be convinced that asset sale will justify the valuation of Sound Energy says Gary Newman

07/11/2019

Imperial Brands goes progressive on its dividend...and the market likes it

07/10/2019

Tesla and me - Chris Bailey writes...

07/09/2019

Woodford Patient Capital Trust - still a sell says Lucian Miers

07/08/2019

Versarien - the only question is WHEN do the shares collapse says Lucian Miers

07/05/2019

Sainsbury - still searching for a strategy?

07/04/2019

Creightons - we having said we expected the results to highlight the value…

07/03/2019

PetroTal - rapid growth possible; Buy says Peter Brailey

07/02/2019

Explorers don't get any more exciting than Eco Atlantic, which is why I have been buying says Gary N

07/01/2019

Vela Technologies - Vibe Group gathering momentum & other potential. A buy from HotStockRockets

06/28/2019

OptiBiotix Health - North America deal; this is big, very big says Tom Winnifrith

06/27/2019

A Welcome Slice Of Luck and Thoughts On Purplebricks. Lucian Miers writes...

06/26/2019

I am poorer for not spotting Porvair...but should I care? Chris Bailey reviews...

06/25/2019

Whitbread - looks to continue to have a plan

06/21/2019

Ashtead - what to do after results statement? Chris Bailey reviews...

06/20/2019

Why the share prices of those involved in West Newton, Union Jack and Reabold, have not rocketed

06/19/2019

Board love at DS Smith whilst PZ Cussons is seemingly bored of talking. Chris Bailey writes...

06/18/2019

Boohoo & Reckitt Benckiser - management matters says Chris Bailey

06/14/2019

KEFI Minerals - remains a Buy

06/12/2019

Purplebricks - a Woodford fave that was a sell before and is now slam-dunk says Nigel Somerville

06/11/2019

Woodford Patient Capital Trust - Sell says Lucian Miers

06/10/2019

Joules - a rare retail jewel?

06/07/2019

Provident Financial - failure squared from man of the moment Neil Woodford says Chris Bailey

06/06/2019

Tesla - a fantastic sell says Lucian Miers

06/05/2019

A FTSE reshuffle look by Chris Bailey

06/04/2019

OptiBiotix Health - still a buy?

06/03/2019

Bilby - recovery potential?

05/31/2019

Shoe Zone - still a buy?

05/30/2019

Thomas Cook - still a sell says Lucian Miers

05/29/2019

Red Rock Resources - unbelievably cheap? Tom Winnifrith reviews for HotStockRockets

05/28/2019

Three shares which rose on a shabby day from Chris Bailey

05/24/2019

Marks & Spencer says it is getting match fit, should you back the rights issue?

05/23/2019

Updated thoughts on WH Smith, Halfords and Greencore from Chris Bailey

05/22/2019

Ryanair - what to make of it following results & those of great peer easyJet last week?

05/21/2019

Anglo Asian Mining - what after stellar 2018 results? Tom Winnifrith & Steve Moore review...

05/20/2019

Genel Energy has great growth potential says Gary Newman

05/17/2019

Getech - 2018 results, remains a buy considers the HotStockRockets team

05/16/2019

Ariana Resources - more positive news as we wait for more numbers says Nigel Somerville

05/15/2019

Bluebird Merchant Ventures - a buy from HotStockRockets

05/14/2019

Purplebricks headed for 50p says Lucian Miers

05/13/2019

Union Jack Oil - potential share price catalyst, as date set for Wressle planning appeal

05/09/2019

Purplebricks - keep selling says Tom Winnifrith

05/08/2019

Reach4Entertainment - 2018 results, much more to come?

05/07/2019

The implied valuation for Bould Opportunities looks crazy - strong sell says Gary Newman

05/03/2019

Optibiotix - full year numbers, the share price reaction wrong says Tom Winnifrith

05/02/2019

Sirius Minerals - the current drop a good buying opportunity? Gary Newman reviews...

05/01/2019

WPP & Royal Bank of Scotland - Chris Bailey reviews...

04/30/2019

Tesla remains a sell after Q1 fiasco says Lucian Miers

04/29/2019

Barclays, Sainsbury & Taylor Wimpey - Chris Bailey reviews...

04/26/2019

Dividend Munchers Easter 2019 update (and still beating Neil Woodford) says Nigel Somerville

04/24/2019

Gem Diamonds looks too cheap down here - buy for the longer term says Gary Newman

04/23/2019

Atalaya Mining remains a buy after recent updates says Gary Newman

04/18/2019

A couple of ShareProphets share tips of the year updates

04/17/2019

Lessons from Plus500 and time to sell more Purplebricks. From Lucian Miers...

04/16/2019

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