Home Investments Creating my January 2016 Undervalued Dividend Watch List

Creating my January 2016 Undervalued Dividend Watch List

by My Journey to Millions

I love consistent dividend paying stocks that increase their dividends year after year.  While the reasons are many I think the main one, is that it will one day satisfy one of my main financial goals which is to create multiple streams of income.  So starting from with that goal in mind, I then try to buy stocks that have paid increasing dividends for 20+ years that may be undervalued relative to their current price.  I wish this account was bigger, but it is currently only a fraction of both my assets and total net worth.  Notwithstanding, it is easily my favorite part.

I was especially pumped to write this month’s watch list because the market has decided to go to hell the first full week of trading in the new year:

YTD 2016

While this means my accounts have suffered and it completely sucks to look at, this post gives me an opportunity to try and find stocks that I haven’t been able to purchase in a long time!

Dividend Stock Investment Portfolio Activity in December 2015

In December 2015, I bought more Emerson Electronics.  That is two months in a row.  Funny side note, I ordered a new thermostat from a company called Sensei (I ended up returning the product) and right on the back it said it was a division of Emerson.  Who knew?

  • I purchased 11 shares at $47.69/share

My December 2015 Dividend Income

Dividend Income by Month December 2015 Dividend Income by Quarter December 2015

I am not seeing the growth I’d like in income, but that is completely my faultAnti-Complacency is my 2016 Goal.

Attempting to Find Undervalued Dividend Stocks for January 2015

This, along with everyone of these dividend research updates, is a snap shot in time (this one was done on January 7, 2016) so please don’t use my data as anything but a starting point for your own research.  I use the metrics below to get to a “watch list” which I use to try and purchase equities closer to their 52 week low.

My Dividend Investment Portfolio Screening Criteria

All data is taken manually from Morningstar:

  1. The company has paid increasing dividends for at least 20 years
  2. The stock has to have a Price to Earning that is lower than their industry average. The Price to Earnings Ratio has to below 20 regardless of industry average.
  3. The Operating Margin has to be in line with the particular stock’s industry average. I want companies that are profitable as compared to their peers.
  4. Price to Book – Should be below 4, but if it isn’t it must be in line with industry average (or lower).
  5. This monthly update the Dividend Yield should be above 2.5% (changes whenever I update the list depending how many stocks I have left after the first 4 steps).
  6. Dividend Payout Ratio – It took me a long time to add this to my screen but basically I weed out any companies paying over 60% to shareholders.  Couple reasons.  The main one would be sustainability, but also, I do want growth in a company and if all dollars are going out it is likely to hurt the company in the long run.

Since this is a snapshot I am not that strict since I am well aware that if the underlying company opens a tenth of a percent the other way it could pass a metric.

Definitions of Metrics Used for my Dividend Investment Portfolio

Since not everyone knows what I am talking about above I have provided definitions (all quotes taken from Investopedia):

  • Dividend Champions are those dividend paying American companies that have increased their dividend for the past 25 years. Unlike the Dividend Aristocrat list they do not have to be part of the S&P 500. I have included a part of the dividend contenders list (20+ years but less than 25).
  • P/E is Price is “a valuation ratio of a company’s current share price compared to its per-share Earnings.”
  • Operating margin is “a measurement of what proportion of a company’s revenue is left over after paying for variable costs of production such as wages, raw materials, etc. A healthy operating margin is required for a company to be able to pay for its fixed costs, such as interest on debt.”
  • Price to book is a ratio used to compare a stock’s market value to its book value. It is calculated by dividing the current closing price of the stock by the latest quarter’s book value per share.
  • Dividend Yield a “Financial ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its share price. In the absence of any capital gains, the dividend yield is the return on investment for a stock. Dividend yield is calculated by dividing Annual Dividends per Share by Price Per Share”
  • Payout Ratio – “The proportion of earnings paid out as dividends to shareholders, typically expressed as a percentage…The payout ratio is a key financial metric used to determine the sustainability of a company’s dividend payments.

Applying My Stock Screen Criteria to the Dividend Champion List

First Stock Screen: PE Ratio

The first Stocks I their eliminated were those whose Price to Earnings Ratios were out of line with their industry average. I also eliminate companies with PEs above 20 regardless of their industry average.  This usually brings me from 150 or so equities to about 50, but like I said earlier, with equities getting pummeled year to date the number after this step was only 68.



Second Stock Screen: Operating Margin

Next I eliminated those stocks whose operating margin was not better than its peers in the industry. I want the companies I invest in to be more profitable than their peers. This way unless there is a huge problem with the industry they’d be less likely to stop doing something (i.e. paying increasing dividends) that they have been doing for the past 20+ years


Third Stock Screen: Reasonable Price to Book or in line with their Industry

I was looking for those stocks whose price to book value is low as to further evidence that it is undervalued. In an effort to limit the unintended consequence of choosing stocks with a lot of tangible or financial assets on the books I have started comparing the P/B to the industry average.


Fourth Stock Screen: Yield

While I am not ‘chasing yields’ I am attempting to create a dividend portfolio, so the next elimination step was to remove any stocks with a dividend yield of less than 2.5%. This is a moving target depending on how many stocks I have left to choose from. Sometimes I go for 2% sometimes 4%


Fifth Stock Screen: Payout Ratio

Next, I eliminated those equities whose payout ratio was 60%+.

Dividend Stock Watch List for January 2016

Name Symbol
Atmos Energy ATO
Bemis Company BMS
Community Trust Banc. CTBI
Conn. Water Service CTWS
Dover Corp. DOV
Eagle Financial Services EFSI
Emerson Electric EMR
First Financial Corp. THFF
MDU Resources MDU
MSA Safety Inc. MSA
Sonoco Products Co. SON
T. Rowe Price Group TROW
Target Corp. TGT
Tompkins Financial Corp. TMP
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT
Northeast Indiana Bancorp NIDB
Arrow Financial Corp. AROW
Caterpillar Inc. CAT
Cullen/Frost Bankers CFR
John Wiley & Sons Inc. JW.A
Thomson Reuters Corp. TRI
United Technologies UTX
Chesapeake Financial Shares CPKF


There are a bunch of companies that I have never seen on this watch list before! The exact reason I was excited to run this report/write this post.  If you take a look at those companies that have never shown up before (example TRowePrice) you see a huge drop over the past year.

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1 comment

Investment Hunting 01/11/2016 - 4:48 pm

Thanks for sharing your methodology. I always appreciate learning how others screen stocks. Using the Champions list is a great way to reduce the list of stocks for evaluation. Are you going to buy any of these stocks?


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