If you'd like a closer look at what my reasoning was behind each selection, you can do so by clicking on any, or all, of the following portfolio components:
Let's look at how our portfolio of basic needs stocks fared this week.
|Company||Cost Basis||Shares||Total Value||Return|
|American Water Works||$43.13||22.96||$935.39||(5.5%)|
|Procter & Gamble||$81.29||12.18||$948.70||(4.2%)|
|S&P 500 performance||(4.5%)|
|Performance relative to S&P 500||(2%)|
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, author's calculations.
It was a generally light week when it comes to news for much of the Basic Needs Portfolio, save for one aspect -- dividends!
Dividends, dividends, and more dividends!
There's little I enjoy more than reporting that a bunch of companies in this portfolio distributed their quarterly dividends over the past Labor Day-lengthened week. As you'll notice, that previous goose egg in the dividends receivable column is now sporting nearly $33 in fresh payouts.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was one such company, distributing $0.225 per share to shareholders on Sept. 1. The knock against Intel has been its need to spend heavily by pushing its focus away from PCs and moving its product line into mobile applications and cloud-based hardware. While looking like an early success, skeptics fear that increased spending will curb Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)'s cash flow and hurt its profitability. Based on its history of dividend increases, as well as a timely upgrade to buy from research firm Argus which placed a $28 price target on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), I don't see any cause for concern.
Hospital operator Select Medical Holdings Corporation (NYSE:SEM), the highest-yielding stock of this portfolio, also divvied out its quarterly payout to shareholders this past week of $0.10 a share. A big test is coming up for Select Medical Holdings Corporation (NYSE:SEM) in 2014 when the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kicks in. If a good chunk of currently uninsured individuals sign up for health insurance, Select Medical Holdings Corporation (NYSE:SEM) could see its doubtful revenue fall, and it may be able to pass along these extra earnings as a meatier dividend or utilize its extra cash flow to purchase new equipment and differentiate itself from its peers.
Continuing with our theme of dividends, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) put the pedal to the metal and delivered $0.10 a share to shareholders as of today! Ford CEO Alan Mulally doubled Ford's payout earlier this year to its pre-recession levels and the company -- minus Europe, which has been a struggle for practically all automakers -- has been firing on all cylinders globally. With growth outpacing its peers in China and its EcoBoost engine turning heads because of its fuel-efficiency without sacrificing performance, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)'s payout and profit growth seems like its back on track thanks to Mulally.
Water utility American Water Works also paid out its quarterly stipend of $0.28 a share as of today.