Isaac's Thread - High Yielding Shares & other stuff

Sunday, May 16 2010 by

Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimisim is the best time to sell.

Sir John Templeton


Aviva (LON:AV.)
-Price 326.9
-Forecast Yield 7.71%
- Forward Cover 3.02
-Forward PE 4.3

-Price 530.2
-Forecast Yield 7.04%
- Forward Cover 1.82
-Forward PE 7.6

United Utilities (LON:UU.)
-Price 521.5
-Forecast Yield 6.58%
- Forward Cover 1.7
-Forward PE 8.97

Scottish & Southern Energy (LON:SSE)
-Price 1082
-Forecast Yield 6.5%
- Forward Cover 1.49
-Forward PE 10.3

Severn Trent (LON:SVT)
-Price 1128
-Forecast Yield 6.29%
- Forward Cover 1.42
-Forward PE 11.21

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA)
-Price 1779.5
-Forecast Yield 6.25%
- Forward Cover 1.81
-Forward PE 8.86

National Grid (LON:NG.)
-Price 618
-Forecast Yield 6.23%
- Forward Cover 1.55
-Forward PE 10.38

Vodafone Group (LON:VOD)
Price 134.5
-Forecast Yield 6.01%
- Forward Cover 1.91
-Forward PE 8.73

British American Tobacco (LON:BATS)
Price 2033
-Forecast Yield 5.58%
- Forward Cover 1.54
-Forward PE 11.66

Glaxosmithkline (LON:GSK)
Price 1167
-Forecast Yield 5.53%
- Forward Cover 1.86
-Forward PE 9.69

Astrazeneca (LON:AZN)
Price 2879.5
-Forecast Yield 5.37%
- Forward Cover 2.58
-Forward PE 7.22



Investment Greats: Ben Graham



Graham's approach is based on the principle that, while markets are not good at pricing investments, over the long term the true value of businesses will be revealed. "In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine".

'Mr Market', as he described the emotional and irrational marketplace, sets share prices that you may not agree with, based on your fundamental analysis of a share's value. When Mr Market's price is sufficiently below your assessment of the share's value, you have the opportunity to buy with what he referred to as a 'margin of safety'.

Allowing yourself this margin of safety is in stark contrast to the 'greater fool theory' (note the lowercase 'f'), whereby people buy shares regardless of valuation in the hope of finding someone to buy them later at an even higher price. It's all about risk and reward.

Risk can also be mitigated to an extent by buying a portfolio of shares, so that even if some companies go bust, the overall return may still beat the market.

Selection criteria

In the mid 1970s, Graham and his colleague, James B. Rea, refined his ideas into ten criteria for selecting a portfolio:

1) earnings yield at least twice the AAA bond yield;

2) price/earnings ratio below 40% of the highest P/E ratio the stock had over the previous five years;

3) dividend yield of at least two-thirds the AAA bond yield;

4) share price below two-thirds of tangible book value per share;

5) share price below two-thirds of net current asset value per share;

6) total debt less than tangible book value;

7) current ratio greater than two;

8) total debt less than twice net current asset value;

9) earnings growth over the previous ten years of at least 7% per annum; and

10) a maximum of two annual earnings falls of 5% or more over the previous ten years.

If you want to trawl for shares meeting these criteria, ADVFN has filters that facilitate this; you can see the results of a recent search I did in this article. Finding shares that tick all these boxes is quite difficult, but tests 1), 3), 5), and 6) were deemed to be the most important.

The following were considered sell signals:

1) share price up more than 50% since buying;

2) share held for more than two years;

3) company stopped paying dividends; or

4) profits fell enough to make it overpriced by 50% or more on the earnings yield criterion.


Books to Read

Investment Strategy:
Security Analysis - Benjamin Graham (HEAVY READING This is the old testament from the 'Dean of Wallstreet')

The Intelligent Investor - Benjamin Graham (HEAVY READING The New Testament)

Value Investing Made Easy - Janet Lowe (Easy read to see if you agree with the strategy)

The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham - Janet Lowe (Easy read with some late interviews that were interesting. I like this book.)

The Warren Buffett Way - Robert G. Hagstrom (Easy read and interesting examples of some of WB's great investments)

Buffettology - Mary Buffett and David Clark (An interesting slant on things. Easy Read)

The Essays of Warren Buffett - Warren E. Buffett (From the annual reports of his company Berkshire Hatherway. Fascinating).

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits - Phillip A. Fisher (Regarded as an investment classic. Fisher was one of the greatest growth stock investors. Buffett says he's 85 % Graham and 15 % Fisher, which is a real compliment).

One Up On Wall Street - Peter Lynch (Peter has a gift for making it all sound simple. I think this book extols the benefits of understanding brands).

The Real Warren Buffett - James O'Loughlin
(Buffett is so much more than an investor. What he has created in the management structure and culture of Berkshire Hathaway is truly unique).

The Smartest Guys In The Room - Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
(How it can all go wrong. The ENRON scandle. (A riveting read. You couldn't make this up).

Accounts: Interpreting Company Reports and Accounts - Geoffrey Holmes and Alan Sugden

The Great Crash 1929 - John Kenneth Galbraith
(Easy read. I think it's important to understand bubbles, crashes and investment history statistics. It may stop you being panicked out of a sound investment one day or help you avoid investing during the later stages of a bubble cycle).

The BZW Equity-Gilt Study (Facts and figures going back to 1918 on Equities, Gilts and the Cost of Living Index. Great for looking at corelations).

The Death of Inflation - Roger Bootle (Bootle saw the change coming 10 years ago, while inflation was still raging. He's a genius economist imo).

A Very English Deceit - Malcolm Balen (The South Sea Bubble and an excellent account of how London's financial power house started in the early 1700's. Insurance companies and share traders in coffee shops, no less).


20 years of dividends and still going strong

Here's its pick of 20 UK companies that have at least held their annual dividends since 1990, together with their forecast payouts for financial years 2010, 2011 and 2012:

Vodafone Group Mobile Telecoms 180 8.3 8.9 9.5
Royal Dutch Shell Oil & Gas Producers 2,145 107.2 111.2 118.0
Tesco Food Retailers 403 13.1 14.9 16.0
Schroders General Financials 1,851 34.0 37.0 40.0
Serco Group Support Services 553 7.2 8.0 8.8
Meggitt Aerospace & Def. 349 8.6 9.2 10.0
Cobham Aerospace & Def. 209 6.0 6.6 7.3
Derwent London REITs 1,552 29.4 32.1 35.0
PZ Cussons Personal Goods 360 5.9 6.4 6.9
Spirax Sarco Engineering 1,843 41.2 45.3 49.8
Halma Electronics 340 8.5 9.1 9.8
Close Brothers Group General Financials 858 39.0 39.0 39.0
Brown N Group General Retailers 280 10.8 12.3 13.5
Rathbone Brothers General Financials 1,150 42.0 42.0 42.0
Greggs Food Retailers 480 17.5 18.6 19.9
Daejan Holdings Real Estate 2,781 74.0 74.0 74.0
AG Barr Beverages 1,150 23.1 24.5 25.7
Cranswick Food Producers 850 25.0 27.5 30.2
Oxford Instruments Electronics 617 8.4 8.8 9.3

Filed Under: Income Investing,


As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. The author may own shares in any companies discussed, all opinions are his/her own & are general/impersonal. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested.

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National Grid plc is an electricity and gas utility company focused on transmission and distribution activities in electricity and gas in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company's segments include UK Electricity Transmission, which is engaged in high voltage electricity transmission networks in Great Britain; UK Gas Transmission, which is the gas transmission network in Great Britain and United Kingdom liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage activities; UK Gas Distribution, which includes approximately four of the eight regional networks of Great Britain's gas distribution system, and US Regulated, which includes gas distribution networks, electricity distribution networks and high voltage electricity transmission networks in New York, and New England and electricity generation facilities in New York. Its other activities relate to non-regulated businesses and other commercial operations not included within the above segments. more »

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Severn Trent Plc treats and provides water and removes wastewater in the United Kingdom and internationally. The Company provides clean water and wastewater services through its businesses, Severn Trent Water and Severn Trent Business Services. It operates through two segments: Regulated Water and Waste Water, and Business Services. The Regulated Water and Waste Water segment includes Severn Trent Water Limited's wholesale operations and household retail activities, and related support functions. The Business Services segment includes the Operating Services businesses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy; its renewable energy business, and Severn Trent Water Limited's non-household retail business. The United Kingdom Operating Services provides contract services to municipal and industrial clients, and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MOD). The United States Operating Services provides contract services to community, municipal and industrial clients. more »

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Aviva plc is a holding company. The Company provides customers with long-term insurance and savings, general and health insurance, and fund management products and services. Its segments include United Kingdom & Ireland; France; Poland; Italy, Spain and Other; Canada; Asia; Aviva Investors, and Other Group activities. The United Kingdom and Ireland segment consists of two operating segments: Life and General Insurance. The principal activities of its French operations are long-term business and general insurance. Its Poland Activities in Poland consist of long-term business and general insurance operations. Its Italian operations are long-term business and general insurance. The principal activity of the Canadian operation is general insurance. Its activities in Asia consist of its long-term business operations in China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and international operations. The Aviva Investors segment offers a range of asset management services. more »

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  Is National Grid fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

334 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

Isaac 14th Nov '11 315 of 334

It really is a breath of fresh air to listen to a sensible individual who has made £2.5 million from the lottery as to how he has invested his money :

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Isaac 18th Nov '11 316 of 334

Two trades

I've dumped my LLPC reluctantly. My reason for buying these in the first place was the ords had a good rally and the prefs did'nt move and I think good chance of LLPC paying out next year. These rallied 20% in Nov and with the Ords falling back significantly the last few weeks, I knew it was only a matter of time before LLPC would follow, which is what happened today.

I have no idea what is happening with the banks and I don't think the market does, the numbers look good on the face of it though so I can see myself buying back LLPC in the future and will look to buy ords of banks but I think there is still loads of time before a bull market starts in these.

I put the proceeds into EMG, I want to get a bigger dividend next week and I think these are also very good value.

I also dumped my holding in Sterling Resources again reluctantly, I think these have further to run in the months ahead when Breagh production starts but as things stand adding to my Soco holding makes more sense as I can see a 50-100% upside from here in Soco over the next year, whereas Sterling possibly 50%? And Sterling is up about 95% so far the last 6 weeks which is a good run..

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jseth123 19th Nov '11 317 of 334

Fwiw imho the markets in general are going higher and the current blip is a buying opportunity. Too much fear and too many people prepared to raise cash and wait on the sides thinking there is about to be another big crash as QE2 ends.

Time will show how wrong they are. The consensus is wrong time and time again.

People will think I'm talking nonsense because price declines in the market's make them feel 'comfortable' to stay in cash and be bearish etc.

But over the coming months people will see that I am actually correct.

The way these events play out is suddenly markets grind higher and the consense get's left behind as they completely miss the bottom and they scrabble to buy in taking the markets even higher. It really is funny how this pattern always repeats itself and it always seem to fool people over and over again.

The commodity weakness is temporary imho, it is my view that commodities/markets will make new highs this year.

For the recod the FTSE closed at 5861 this evening.

(my bolds)

That was 6 months ago this week, I thought I'd make a date in the diary...some of us have diaries that look that far ahead! ;-)

For the record, the FTSE closed at 5,362.94 on Friday evening :0)

What comes next? Mr Isaac Jekyll, or Mr Isaac Hyde?



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Isaac 19th Nov '11 318 of 334


FTSE is down about 500 points or about 10% since that post, my timing may have been incorrect but I'd rather be a buyer here then a seller so my bullish stance remains unchanged.

If you bought stocks at 5861 FTSE then time in the market will show you make money...IMO.

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tournesol 21st Nov '11 319 of 334

In reply to jseth123, post #317


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Isaac 9th Mar '12 321 of 334

Scott - £198k win on the bank job, 4 times winner....Lucky guy. Do you want a financial advisor? :-)

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Isaac 13th Mar '12 322 of 334

'UK economy may not recover for more than five years'

Fund manager Mark Slater of MFM on why we could be waiting until after 2017 for growth.

What have you learnt from 20 years in the City?

Run profits and cut losses. It sounds obvious, but it is supremely important. Ignore the noise and focus on the fundamentals. Back your own judgment with conviction. When in doubt, sell. And it is a cardinal sin to treat those rare, truly exceptional, growth businesses like other investments you might own.

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extrader 13th Mar '12 323 of 334

Hi Isaac,

Not having a pop, but you should re-read some of the things you write/endorse :

..."... Back your own judgment with conviction. When in doubt, sell....".....

Look at your postings re Soco management that have graced the Stockopedia board.

As a mildly Aspergers type, I am inordinately confused - and then irritated out of proportion - by people and situations that don't play out as originally (and rationally) expected, based on the original inputs.....

I hope you will understand my confusion.

Let's hope for some news tomorrow that will make sense to both of us


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Isaac 8th Apr '12 324 of 334

Dividend Investing is the way to go IMO

Largest UK companies boost dividends 16%

Dividends from almost 200 of the UK’s largest quoted companies by market value rose by more than 16 per cent in 2011, making it the biggest percentage increase since the credit crunch, according to stockbroker research.

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emptyend 9th Apr '12 325 of 334

Dividend Investing is the way to go IMO

Before leaping to that conclusion, perhaps one should consider the implications of this - also from the FT:

Debt expenses are well-covered by cash flows today. But that can change quickly. Second, it makes it more worrying that corporate margins are also near historic highs. Margins closely track revenue growth. And revenue growth is rolling over. Leverage is much less fun with higher interest costs and falling profits.
There is no doubt that dividend paying stocks have had a great run - but they have been buoyed by:
  • general improvements in market confidence
  • strong margin improvements due to cost-cutting coupled with lower rates of reinvestment of profits in the business
  • Strong investor interest driven by a perceived lack of income-generating alternatives


I think we can "look forward" to a reversal of all of those factors. Interest rates will turn higher within the next 1-2 years, with cash returns once again rising above inflation....corporate cost-cutting and underinvestment will drop out of the historical comparisons....and investors will start to "see who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out" as the macro environment becomes more challenging. Traditional dividend payers have had a great run - but the factors that have driven their out-performance are likely to reverse.

As an example, consider Tesco (LON:TSCO) - which I think is now in a strategic bind as its expected sources of growth are now in the process of disappearing. They've done the international diversification, they've done the IT systems gains from Clubcard etc, they've done the promotion of web-based shopping, they've done the squeezing of suppliers and the clever sale and leasebacks of property that have helped to flatter their profits..... the question for Tesco (LON:TSCO) (and many other dividend stocks) is "what next?". And I'm not the only one starting to ask.


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Isaac 9th Apr '12 326 of 334



I think your arguement of avoiding the HYP stocks is interest rates will rise which in turn will make it more expensive for corporates to fund debt and in turn will reduce their dividends. I don' think the BOE will raise rates for a few years, infact I've recently read they are contemplating more QE.....

When will the Bank of England boost rates?

This is the billion-dollar question, if you'll pardon the cliche. Unfortunately, it's anyone's guess; economists have consistently missed the mark with predictions since the base rate hit 0.5 per cent.

It's pretty safe, though, to say that the Bank of England has no immediate plans to raise rates in 2012. Bank Governor, Mervyn King, repeatedly stresses that low rates are a necessity to kick-start Britain's flagging economy into recovery mode. The theory is that low rates encourage cheap lending. This should translate into growth as cash is fed to small businesses in need (the reality is less clear-cut, as we've seen over the last three years with banks hoarding larger reserves).



With the UK expected to struggle to post growth higher than 1 per cent over the next 12 months, economists' latest estimate is 2015 for the first movement.

Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, says: 'We think that they could stay [at 0.5 per cent] for another three years.'

She also raises the possibility that the Bank could cut rates to 0.25 per cent, saying: ‘Official interest rates could fall even further.’

Money markets are also used as a guide of the financial world's expectations over base rate. The indications are currently a rise in May 2014 - the earliest forecast for a long time having moved slightly during the week beginning 12 March. These are constantly in flux, though, and change at the smallest piece of bad/good news on the economy.

A poll of leading economists by the Treasury found that most thought it highly unlikely that there will be any movement at all in 2012 - a consensus shared by This is Money - with perhaps only minute boosts until 2014 (see table above).

This is Money editor Andrew Oxlade, who has been tracking base rate for many years in his quintessential rates round-up, says the fragile state of the economy makes it very difficult for any western economy to hike rates at the current time. 'A rate rise still looks a long way off despite a threat of high inflation,' he says

Read more:


I personally am waiting for the US Fed to move their rates up and I would expect the UK to follow soon after with gradual movements.And the fed has already said

Federal Reserve says no rate hikes until at least late 2014


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Isaac 9th Apr '12 327 of 334


Have you looked at TJH 25 year HYP performance? The capital value is up 1400% in that period and the income is up 400%.

Have you read The Dividend Investor by Rodney Hobson?

In his book he talks about EPS, Yield, Dividend Cover, gearing, Interest cover & cash flow.

For interest cover Rodney says the following :

Interest on loans is paid before dividends, therefore investors should work out how much cash is left over before pay dividends so we need to work out the interest cover, i.e. how well profits cover interest payments.

This can be worked out by EBIT/ Interest paid

Obviously the cover that is acceptable to a defence stock would be different to say an engineering company where earnings are more volatile.

One can also stress test the above ratio for different interest rate environments to work out whether a company can continue to pay dividends.


4) Consider the value of dividends: “When things are going well and the stock market is rising strongly, the extra returns from dividends may seem relatively unimportant. However, in weaker markets, the return from dividends becomes a valuable contributor to the total return.  Furthermore, the impact of dividends actually becomes amplified over time due to the compounding effect of reinvesting dividends. For example, according to Barclays Capital (Equity Gilt Study 2012) $100 invested in the US stock market in 1925 would have grown to $9,229 by the end of 2010 without re-investing dividends, but to $299,395 if dividend income was reinvested throughout the period. Dividends also have the advantage of being more predictable than corporate earnings because companies strive to maintain their dividends even if their profits are temporarily in decline.”

Funds such as Fidelity Global Dividend make use of the dividend story and allow for a greater diversification of stocks with an equity portfolio, not just by geography but also by industry sector.  

Compounding is the concept of simply earning interest on interest; £100 earning ten per cent this year becomes £110 earning ten per cent the next year which becomes £121 earning ten per cent the next year – and so on. It is the mathematical equivalent of cells multiplying in a Petri dish.

What the above demonstrates is the returns on offer even during times of high interest rates. One is not suggesting investors should pile into any old HYP, clearly one needs to do more due dilligence then simply looking at the headline numbers.


I've held Soco for 8 years. The first few years were great, but the last 5 have been terrible. I knew the score in 2007, either TGD will come in and if it failed the price would drop but with a takeover the price would recover therefore it felt like a sensible bet to take at the time. I did'nt anticpate having to wait 5+ years to get a return though.....That was the fatal error that I did'nt consider properly.

The problem with most investors is they lack patience to sit tight with an Investment, they always feel they have to be doing something when most times doing nothing is the best strategy.

So I ask myself what type of strategy can I sit tight and do nothing, for me it is value investing where I see a discount to NAV and an eventual closer of this gap via the form of a takeover or alternatively seeing the same value gap but being paid a dividend to wait for th gap to close.

Clearly I favour the latter.


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emptyend 9th Apr '12 328 of 334

In reply to Isaac, post #327

So I ask myself what type of strategy can I sit tight and do nothing, for me it is value investing where I see a discount to NAV and an eventual closer of this gap via the form of a takeover or alternatively seeing the same value gap but being paid a dividend to wait for th gap to close.

Clearly I favour the latter.

Nothing wrong with that as a theory. But the past is the past, and I'm not interested in looking at anyone's historic HYP performance any more than I am interested in looking at my own past LTBH performance. The only thing that matters is the future....

...and I am merely suggesting that the dividend story has recently been "done to death" in the aftermath of the financial collapse and record low interest rates - and a normalisation of market valuations will mean that classical dividend-paying stocks will reverse some of their recent outperformance as people find they can do other things with their money.


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Isaac 9th Apr '12 329 of 334

In reply to emptyend, post #328

Ok fair enough - I appreciate your views.

So if one wants to make money in the future then in your view what would you say is the way to go?

Buy loads of BG. and LLOY ?

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emptyend 9th Apr '12 330 of 334

In reply to Isaac, post #329

I wrote a long reply earlier which got lost when the site was down - too late now to rewrite. However, the main view is that I would be focused on company specific growth prospects and recovery opportunities - but probably waiting for a better entry point (though I do have a few BG and LLOY already).

I certainly wouldn't be assuming that the numbers will "tell all" or that one should just aim for high divi payers though - I think the time for that trade has passed!

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thebuffoon 10th Apr '12 331 of 334


It takes a few minutes to read TJH's thread on TMF. It took 25 years to produce the data.

One needs to take one's natural temperament into account, before considering a strategy that one is going to adopt, AND STICK WITH.

You are right when you say: The problem with most investors is they lack patience to sit tight with an Investment. Experience, of course, is the best teacher.

Theorising is always a financially safe proposition (ignoring the opportunity cost).  At some time, it's best to stop flitting (intellectually or in practice) between strategies.

While I agree with ee about where we are with the level of company's dividends, he refers to the time having passed for the strategy as a decent trade.  TJH and others might be inclined to say that today is always the right time to start.

We are all to be found somewhere along the risk spectrum, and identifying where that is, is most beneficial.


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emptyend 10th Apr '12 332 of 334

In reply to emptyend, post #325

There is no doubt that dividend paying stocks have had a great run - but they have been buoyed by:
  • general improvements in market confidence
  • strong margin improvements due to cost-cutting coupled with lower rates of reinvestment of profits in the business
  • Strong investor interest driven by a perceived lack of income-generating alternatives


I think we can "look forward" to a reversal of all of those factors.

Coincidentally, Lex is this morning making a similar point about valuations, due to a reversal in the recent trend of margins:

With 10-year treasury yields at 2 per cent, many investors may think they have no choice but to buy stocks. But that doesn’t make them cheap.

Quite so.


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MadDutch 10th Apr '12 333 of 334

In reply to emptyend, post #325 the question for Tesco (LON:TSCO) (and many other dividend stocks) is "what next?". And I'm not the only one starting to ask.

ee, I know what Tesco has done wrong.

I remember an old management saying which we do not hear these days was "people are promoted to the level of their own incompetence."

I think it was a mistake to promote the man who lead Tesco's greatest recent successes, the development of the foreign ventures, and promote him to be CEO of the whole group. He has not been able to repeat his successes overseas, and they may have lost their growth driver. Tesco should have left him where he has outperformed and accepted that it has reached the achievable limit in the British market.

I do not think the current business plan, to increase staffing costs and have a price war, will work. Profit growth and dividend growth will probably end this year. I think it will be an income buy when the price falls further. 


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MadDutch 10th Apr '12 334 of 334

In reply to Isaac, post #320

Isaac, very useful table of footie managers, thank you.

Next time I meet someone winging about business CEOs' bonuses, I will quote it.


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