Imperial Tobacco investment returns a stress free 27.8% in just under 2 years

Monday, Dec 08 2014 by

Imperial Tobacco is the epitome of a defensive company. It generates a steady flow of cash from millions of loyal customers who spend small amounts of their income on the company’s products every day, regardless of the state of the economic.

The result for shareholders has been steady and progressive but also relatively rapid dividend growth over long periods of time. When Imperial Tobacco was added to theUKVI model portfolio back in early 2013 I hoped that we would see more of the same and, in the end, that’s exactly what happened.

Purchase price

2,355p on 08/03/2013

Sale price

2,896p on 04/12/2014

Holding period

1 Year 9 months

Capital gain (net of fees)


Dividend income


Annualised return


However, after a recent run up in price it is now one of the lowest ranked stocks in the portfolio, so I have decided to sell and lock in those capital gains.

Imperial Tobacco share price performance 2014 12

As investments go it was relatively quiet, as the chart above shows. There was no drama and the company simply did what it said it would do, which was to raise the dividend by at least 10% a year. Eventually, as is often the case, the share price responded accordingly.

If the share price drops again I would not be in the least bit surprised to see this company back in the portfolio for a second time.

The decision to buy

As usual the main reason Imperial Tobacco made it into the model portfolio was its high rank on the UKVI stock screen. Back in March 2013 the company was in position 16 out of 162 companies, with the following features:

  • Growth Rate of 13% (10 year average growth of revenues, earnings and dividends)
  • Growth Quality score of 93% (consistency of revenue, earnings and dividend growth over 10 years)
  • Dividend yield of 4.4% and
  • PE10 ratio of 18.9 (share price to 10 year average earnings)

Adding the Growth Rate to the dividend yield as an estimate of possible future annual returns gave a figure of 17.4%, which of course would be more than satisfactory if it could be achieved. In the end, despite being a very high target, that’ wasn’t far off what the investment actually returned.

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This article is for information and discussion purposes only and nothing in it should be construed as a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall and an investor may lose all their money. Any investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors.  Investors should always seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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Imperial Brands PLC, formerly Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, is a fast-moving consumer goods company. The Company offers a range of cigarettes, fine cut and smokeless tobaccos, papers and cigars. The Company's segments include Growth Markets, USA, Returns Markets North, Returns Markets South and Logistics. The Growth Markets segment includes Iraq, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan, and also includes Premium Cigar and Fontem Ventures. The Returns Markets North segment includes Australia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom. The Returns Markets South segment includes France, Spain and its African markets, including Algeria, Ivory Coast and Morocco. Its businesses include Tobacco and Logistics. The Tobacco business comprises the manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products. The Logistics business comprises the distribution of tobacco products for tobacco product manufacturers. more »

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About UK Value Investor

UK Value Investor

My name is John Kingham and I'm the editor of UK Value Investor, a blog and investment newsletter for defensive and income-focused value investors. I'm also the author of The Defensive Value Investor.I invest mostly in large and mid-cap dividend-paying stocks. My investment goal is to build and maintain a high yield, high growth, low risk portfolio. more »


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