One of the most difficult and common challenges that both average investors and financial advisors are all faced with, is how to achieve above average returns with below average risks. It’s an age-old dilemma, where the quickest and easiest solutions often come up short of what otherwise seemed to be rather reasonable expectations. Granted, sometimes they work great. But, other times, not so much (if at all.)
It’s show time for the elections, and the volatility in the markets are as unpredictable as trying to predict who is going to be president for the next 4 years, or whether it will be possible to determine a winner any time soon after the polls close on Tuesday. Without a clear-cut victor, we think these market gyrations are likely to increase, and continue showing no clear sign of direction.
As fears of the continued global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to drive financial markets to new lows, savvy investors should take note of the excellent opportunities that this massive global sell-off is creating.
The World Health Organization on Coronaviruses:
“Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
A monthly performance review of Durig’s high yielding Fixed Income 2 (FX2) Managed Income Portfolio which also explores the many benefits that the portfolio can provide to investors.
- Over 6% in Cash Generation Alone
- Year-to-Date Return of 6.20%
- Trailing 1 Year Return of 7.72%
- Trailing 3 Year Return of 9.03%
- Trailing 5 Year Return of 9.13%
- Annualized Return Since Inception of 8.72%
- Average Bond Maturity of 4 Years
- Alpha of 10.58 (vs. Benchmark)*
- Beta of -1.22 (vs. Benchmark)*
- Excess Return of 4.32% (vs. Benchmark)*
In this bond review, Durig takes a look at a company which serves banks and retailers alike around the globe. Diebold Nixdorf (NYSE:DBD) has a full service suite of back office services, including software and hardware solutions for both banking and retail industries. With the release of its fourth quarter results, it appears as if the company is making progress towards its goals. A few highlights include:
Announcing Durig’s latest addition to its portfolio of income solutions, the European Dividend Aristocrats Portfolio. This one of a kind portfolio targets 20 high yielding blue-chip stocks* (the actual securities held in the portfolio are American Depository Receipts and trade just like stocks) listed on various European exchanges for investment and was designed to produce high levels of dividend income and even the potential for growth of income over time. The idea is to invest only in the stocks of companies with a current high dividend and a long history of continuous annual dividend increases. Focusing investment on companies that increase their dividends annually should position the portfolio to consistently capture to the “cream of the crop” of higher dividend companies of a variety of European exchanges.
We are thrilled to introduce the latest addition to Durig’s portfolio of investment solutions, the Dogs of Europe. Designed to capture the high quality dividends of European Blue Chips with the potential to grow income over time, this new portfolio strategy allows investors to participate in European equity trends with the help and support of a registered investment advisor in the United States.
This week, Durig’s weekly bond review takes another look at a Canadian company that focuses on children’s content and brands. You may not have heard of WildBrain (formerly DHX Media), but you may know some of its beloved characters, which includes the Peanuts gang, Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget and the Degrassi franchise. WildBrain released its first quarter results for fiscal year 2020 (three months ending September 30, 2019). The company’s wildly successful YouTube Channel, WildBrain Spark, has continued its outstanding growth from the past few quarters. Along with the great news on WildBrain Spark, there were other wins in the quarter as well (see bullets above).
This week, Durig reviews one of the largest publicly traded hospital companies in the United States. Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) has spent the past few years paring down its portfolio of hospitals with an eye to retain those locations that are most profitable. The results of these divestitures are starting to be seen and the company has now put up two consecutive quarters of positive growth. In its most recent quarter results, one can see that same-store metrics tell a compelling story, especially in the competitive healthcare sector (see bullets above).
A year-end performance review of Durig’s Portfolio Solutions, designed to help you earn income, covering some of the key benefits that each can provide. The following portfolios will be reviewed in this article:
- Fixed Income 2 (FX2) Managed Income Portfolio
- Dividend Aristocrats – High Dividends & Growth Over Time
- Income Aristocrats – Multi-Asset Income Portfolio
- Dogs of the Dow – High Blue Chip Dividends
- Dogs of the S&P 500 – Blue Chip Dividends
Fixed Income 2 (FX2) Managed Income Portfolio
Following the success of it’s Dogs of the Dow and Dogs of the S&P 500 Portfolios, we now take an in-depth look at the latest addition to our portfolio of investment solutions, the Income Aristocrats Portfolio. A remarkably well diversified portfolio, the income aristocrats effortlessly blends three different portfolio strategies (Fixed Income 2, Dogs of the S&P 500, and the Dividend Aristocrats) into an excellent vehicle for generating cash flow.
This review explores the performance of the Dogs of the Dow Portfolio, with nearly 4% in dividend income alone, and considers the many merits of blue chip dividend stocks such as those held in the portfolio.
- Year-to-Date Return of 13.03%
- Trailing 1 Year Return of 10.31%
- Annualized Return Since Inception of 14.03%
- Average Dividend Yield of 3.98%
- Alpha of 4.47 (vs. Benchmark*)
- Beta of 0.75 (vs. Benchmark*)
For this week’s bond review, Durig looks at an issuer that provides services to banks and retailers around the world. Diebold Nixdorf (NYSE:DBD) provides end-to-end services, software and hardware for the banking and retail industries. Diebold has spent all of 2019 implementing its DN Now program, designed to increase efficiencies, decrease costs, and improve margins. With the release of its third quarter results, it appears as if the company is making progress towards these goals (see bullets above).
For this week’s bond review, Durig looks at a chemical company created by a DuPont spinoff in 2015. Chemours Company (NYSE:CC) is a global leader in the manufacturing of fluoroproducts, chemical solutions, and titanium technologies. It is one of the leading global producers of titanium dioxide (used in paints, coatings, plastics, cosmetics and food), as well as the creator and producer of Opteon™, an award winning environmentally sustainable refrigerant. Highlights from the company’s second quarter results include: (see bullets above).
In this review, Durig examines the ways in which holding a diverse portfolio of dividend paying, high quality blue chip stocks can help to provide investors some much needed stability.
- Lifetime Return of 14.06%
- Average Dividend Yield of 3.34%
Quality Investments That Deliver
As trade tensions between the US and China continue to plague financial markets, investors are looking for high quality investments that can still deliver.
Durig has found the solution; blue chip dividend stocks.
- Year-to-Date Return of 32.02%
- Trailing 1 Year Return of 26.07%
- Annualized Lifetime Return of 14.29%
- Alpha of 4.52 (vs Benchmark*)
- Beta of 0.73 (vs Benchmark*)
- Average Dividend Yield of 4.29%
Many employers today offer retirement plans to their employees, very commonly set up as a 401k plan. These retirement plans can be an excellent way for investors to build their retirement with help from their employer, but there are many pitfalls to be had if the plan administrator does not understand what to watch out for.
This week, Durig takes another look at the number two grocer in the United States. Albertsons has made a significant turnaround in the past few years after its purchase of Safeway stores in early 2015. With its most recent quarterly results, the company has now logged seven consecutive quarters of identical store sales growth. In addition, the company’s online grocery sales grew by 40% year-over-year, a massive win for this traditional brick and mortar retailer. (Other results from its Q2 results, see bullets above)
In this special review, Durig benchmarks the performance of its three unique blue chip equity portfolios, the Dogs of the Dow, Dogs of the S&P 500, and the Dividend Aristocrats, all of which are designed to capture high quality blue chip dividends of some of the most reputable companies on wall street.
With interest rates continuing to fall and attractive yields becoming increasingly difficult to find, many investors are turning away from conventional fixed income investments such as US Treasuries.
A review and performance recap of Durig’s highly successful Dividend Aristocrats Portfolio that also compares the portfolio to another aristocratic dividend portfolio. The Dividend Aristocrats Portfolio was also designed with income stability in mind, maintaining investment focus on only higher quality blue chip companies known as “Aristocrats.”
October Performance Highlights
- Average Dividend Yield of 3.51%
- Lifetime return of 9.44%
- Excess Return of 3.27% (vs. benchmark)*
- Alpha of 7.95 (vs. benchmark*)
- Beta of 0.18 (vs. benchmark*)
A benchmark performance review of Durig’s unique Dogs of the S&P 500 Portfolio that examines the income benefit the portfolio can provide, also exploring some of the achievements the portfolio has had in lifetime performance.
October Performance Highlights
- Average Current Dividend Yield of 4.68%
- Year-to-Date Return of 20.38%
- Trailing 1 Year Return of 17.63%
- Annualized Lifetime Return of 10.41%
- Alpha of 1.69 (vs Benchmark*)
- Beta of 0.72 (vs Benchmark*)
This week, Durig looks at an energy company that is making the transition from its historical focus on natural gas to be more focused on oil production. Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) has been making strides this year to transition towards a more oil focused production portfolio. Chesapeake has already increased oil in its production portfolio from 17% in 2018, to 24% as of the end of the second quarter. The company estimates it will exit 2019 with oil representing 26% of its production. Oil is a higher margin product, so Chesapeake is already seeing the fruit of its decision (see bullet points above).
A monthly performance review of Durig’s Dogs of the Dow Portfolio that explores several benefits that income producing investments such the Dogs of the Dow can help to provide.
- Lifetime Return of 12.87% (annualized)
- Year-to-Date Return of 8.30%
- Alpha of 4.89 (vs benchmark)*
- Beta of 0.77 (vs benchmark)*
- Average Current Yield of 4.18%
Durig takes an in-depth look at it’s newest addition to its portfolio of investment solutions, the Income Aristocrats. An extremely diversified portfolio, the income aristocrats seamlessly blends the Fixed Income 2, Dogs of the S&P 500, and the Dogs of the Dow strategies into an income generating machine.
This week, Durig looks at the auto industry to focus on a manufacturer who supplies components to many of the industry’s leader auto makers. American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE:AXL), a leading supplier of driveline technology, recently released its second quarter results. The company registered solid free cash flow, net cash from operations and improving EBITDA and EBITDA margins (see bullets above).
A monthly performance review of the Dividend Aristocrats, a diversified blue chip stock portfolio built around some of the highest yielding dividend payers listed on the S&P 500. We also examine the various benefits the strategy can offer investors in volatile markets.
(performance is net of fee, 9-17-19)
Annualized Return Since Inception of 8.03%
Average Current Yield of 3.52%
This week, Durig takes a closer look at the various benefits that its Dogs of the S&P 500 Portfolio may provide investors in light of today’s unpredictable financial markets. September Performance Highlights (See bullet points above).
A Multi-Benefit Income Strategy
Durig’s Dogs of the S&P 500 Portfolio has the dual benefit of growth and income from a variety of the highest yielding (with regard to dividends) blue chip companies listed on the S&P 500. The portfolio is able to capture the highest quality blue chip dividends through its use of strategic weighting, achieving an average dividend yield of 4.66%, with the growth component of this strategy helping to boost the total year-to-date portfolio return to 20.78%, and a trailing 1 year return of 13.77%, outpacing the S&P 500 itself in both year-to-date return and trailing 1 year return. This multi benefit strategy allows investors to capture strong growth in principal, while still generating a healthy level of diversified income and realizing strong historical returns.
Once in a great while you find or learn something that is so unbelievably good, that you have to hear or read it over and over again, often from different sources or perspectives, before the truth of it actually starts to sink in and really make sense. Perhaps it’s that initial bewilderment that has served to curb much of any demand from the fixed income markets for this otherwise “golden” opportunity. Fortunately, this is great news for those that eventually arrive at a deeper understanding of why these Gran Colombia Gold bonds are so darn good… and it is why these bonds are well deserving of overweighting in our high performing FX2 fixed income portfolios.
Do you want more income? If your answer is yes, we have excellent news for you! Durig’s FX2 Portfolio has a lifetime track record of historical outperformance of its peer benchmarks while generating extremely high levels of fully customizable income options, something that no mutual fund can offer, all within your own separately managed account.
This week, Durig Capital takes a look at a company that provides compression services and equipment for the oil and gas industry. With the demand increasing for takeaway capacity from oil and gas fields around the country, CSI Compressco’s services become even more valuable and essential. The company had a fantastic second quarter, with record setting utilization, increased revenues and adjusted EBITDA.
Second quarter overall utilization came in at a record setting 89.1%.
Revenues increased by 36% over second quarter 2018.
Adjusted EBITDA increased 22% over first quarter and 41% year-over-year.
Outstanding interest coverage of 2.2x.
This week, Durig Capital looks at the healthcare sector to review one of the largest publicly traded hospital companies in the United States. Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) has spent the last few years rationalizing its portfolio of hospitals. The company is beginning to realize the effects of this strategy as evidenced by its same-store results for the second quarter (see above).
Over the last few months, the ongoing trade-war between the U.S. and China has escalated into something of a volatility generating machine, with some market indices jumping up or down hundreds of points in a single day as new tariffs are added, sentiments of certain key political figures are expressed, etc. Causality aside, the markets are boiling and have many investors looking to find a way to beat the heat without having to leave the kitchen entirely. This week, Durig Capital explains how investors can do just that with its Dogs of the S&P 500 Portfolio.
This week, Durig Capital reviews one of the leading producers of steel products in the United States. AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) produces steel for the automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. There has been much talk of bringing back manufacturing jobs to the U.S., especially in the production and manufacturing of steel. AK Steel is one of the companies trying to ensure continued heavy manufacturing capabilities within the United States. It recently reported its second quarter results (for the three months ending June 30, 2019) with the highlights (listed above).
This week, Durig Capital looks to a Canadian issuer, a specialty pharmaceutical company that is successfully treating long-term HIV patients with its unique medicines so that patients have the opportunity to have a better quality of life. Theratechnologies (TSX:TH) has two landmark drugs, Trogarzo™ and EGRIFTA™ specifically developed to help HIV patients. The company has reported its second quarter results (for the three months ending May 31, 2019) and continues to see outstanding growth over its product lines.
This week, Durig Capital looks at a company providing private prison services for governmental agencies both domestically and abroad. Geo Group, Inc. (NYSE:GEO) is one of only a handful of private prison service companies. With the election of President Trump, private prison companies have gotten a boost due to more stringent prosecutions as directed by our new attorney general, as well as Trump’s zero tolerance policies on immigration. The company’s first quarter 2019 results reflect this new political climate (above).
Geo Group is awaiting decisions from the Federal Bureau of Prisons on two procurements (CAR 18 and CAR 19) that total close to 12,000 beds. If these decisions come back in favor of Geo Group, the company would likely again increase its current guidance (as it just did with the release of its first quarter results). Geo Group’s 2023 bonds, couponed at 5.125%, are currently trading at a discount, giving them an enticing yield-to-maturity of over 9%. With the most recent increase in guidance and the possibility of more on the way, these short-term maturity bonds (maturing in only 44 months) are an ideal addition to Durig Capital’s Fixed Income 2 (FX2) High Yield Managed Income Portfolio, the aggregated performance of which is shown below.
This week, Durig Capital provides a brief update on 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, a deep discount retailer whose bonds we have reviewed in the past for our Fixed Income 2 (FX2) High Yield Managed Income Portfolio. 99 Cents Only Stores has recently been challenged by its outstanding debt obligations. Here are some of the highlights:
Deep discount retailer 99 Cents Only Stores recently completed an arrangement with creditors which would eliminate many of their short term debt obligations.
Debt to equity swaps are a common method companies use to improve liquidity.
Under the newly agreed upon terms, 99 Cents Only Stores will issue common and preferred stock for some of its outstanding debt.
Recent Financial Statements
This week, Durig Capital takes a second look at an issuer involved in the design and manufacture of semiconductors. Magnachip Semiconductor (NYSE:MX) has been around for over three decades and is currently the largest independent supplier of OLED display drivers to panel makers for smartphones. The company is riding the wave of transition from LED to OLED in the smartphone world. This has paid handsomely as its full year 2018 results can attest (above). In addition, the company’s first quarter also posted continued wins for its Standard Products division.
Beyond Belief… this may be the most fascinating debt instrument we have ever reviewed.
Rising with the price of gold, the cash flow and yield of Gran Colombia Gold’s senior secured “Gold Notes” appears to be headed straight into the land of unbelief. Perhaps what we see here is either wrong… or something in this picture seems to have quietly escaped the attention or the view of most other investors in the high yield bond market. Granted, this is not a straightforward and easily understood issue because of the quarterly interest boost linked to its amortized quarterly redemption of principle when the price of gold is higher 1250 per ounce. However, it is precisely this “hard to be understood” feature that is driving its current push into the land of dreams.
This week, Durig Capital looks at one of the leading producers of steel products in the United States. AK Steel has been working diligently over the past few years to increase its competitiveness in the marketplace. Its design of its own ultra high-strength steel (UHSS) has produced excitement amongst the company’s automotive customer base. In addition, AK Steel’s acquisition of Precision Partners a few years ago has been very lucrative as that acquisition has now resulted in approximately $50 million in additional future revenues. The company recently released its first quarter results for 2019. Amongst some of the highlights:
This week, Durig Capital takes a look at an industrial designer, manufacturer and marketer of aftermarket parts for light vehicles, commercial trucks and other industrial uses. Tenneco Inc. recently posted a fantastic fourth quarter and full year results in large part due to its recent acquisition of Federal-Mogul. Highlights include:
Later this year, Tenneco will create two separate, market leading companies from its acquisition of Federal-Mogul. Federal-Mogul brings strong brands, products and capabilities that are complementary to Tenneco’s portfolio. Creating two new product focused companies with stronger product portfolios will allow each of them to move faster in executing on their specific growth priorities.
This week, Durig Capital reviews a Canadian heavy haul transportation and crane company. Entrec Corporation provides heavy haul transportation and crane solutions to the oil and gas, construction and power generation industries, among others. Entrec’s most recent results for both its fourth quarter and full year 2018 showcase healthy growth in the company’s U.S. operations. And given the volatility in oil and gas late last year, the company’s results are even more impressive.
This week, Durig Capital reviews a traditional print-based marketing company that is undergoing a transformation. Quad Graphics (recently rebranded to just Quad) is in the midst of implementing its Quad Transformation 3.0 plan. This plan is helping to add core marketing expertise to the company’s service offerings. This has been accomplished mainly through acquisitions. The company’s most recent financial results show some of the progress on this plan.
This week, Durig Capital takes a look at a company that provides compressions services and equipment for the oil and gas industry. CSI Compressco (CCLP) has had multiple successive quarters where the company has increased revenues and its latest quarter did not disappoint. Included with this increase were several other notable achievements.
With the continued demand for LNG and the current and planned LNG terminals in the U.S. and Canada, CSI Compressco looks to be perfectly positioned to take advantage of this demand. In light of the company’s solid performance in 2018, the company’s short-term bonds maturing 2022 are an ideal candidate for additional weighting in Durig Capital’s Fixed Income 2 (FX2) High Yield Managed Income Portfolio, shown below.
This week’s bond review focuses on one of the nation’s largest publicly traded hospital companies. Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CYH). CYH has spent the past few years divesting hospitals in an effort to reshape its portfolio towards urban and suburban markets. The company continues to make that shift and has now added urgent care centers in some of those markets to help drive additional patients to its hospitals. Its fourth quarter and full-year 2018 results look to be an indicator that the transformation is gaining a foothold.
This week’s bond review delves into the retail sector with a specialty retailer of durable consumer goods who also offers its customers financing on their purchases. Conn’s Inc., which is headquartered in Texas, has a market presence that stretches across the southern United States. Conn’s set some records in its most recent quarterly results (third quarter for its fiscal year 2019).
- Record third quarter retail gross margin of 41.2%
- Record quarterly credit segment revenues of $89.9 million.
- For the first nine months of fiscal year 2019, the company registered its second highest nine month operating income ever
- Excellent interest coverage of 2.4x.
This week, Durig Capital looks to the healthcare industry, where a medical supply logistics provider has made some key acquisitions to broaden its revenue sources. Over the past 18 months, Owens & Minor has acquired Byram Healthcare, a direct to patient medical supply distributor, along with Halyard’s surgical and infection prevention (S&IP) business. Combined, these two acquisitions are slated to add $1.45 billion in annual revenues for Owens & Minor. The company’s last reported quarterly results (third quarter 2018) show revenue growth coming through these most recent additions.
This week, Durig Capital reviews its own version on a time-proven investment strategy. The “Dogs of the Dow” investment strategy was introduced by Michael B. Higgins in the early 1990’s as a simple way for investors to design a portfolio around the “dogs” of the broader Dow index, and re-balance it annually. Durig Capital has created its own version on this investment strategy which has historically resulted in a less volatile portfolio and has produced excellent returns since its inception in June 2017.
Since its inception (June 6, 2017) Durig’s “Dogs of the DOW” Portfolio has generated a total return of 14.26% (as of January 22, 2019). Over the same time period, the greater Dow index generated a return of 11.37%. So, Durig’s “Dogs of the DOW” portfolio returned 25% more than the index.
Most notably, during the selloff in the fourth quarter of 2018, Durig’s portfolio was down -5.23% while the greater Dow index was down -11.30%. These figures are as of January 22, 2019.
Year-to-date in 2019, the Durig portfolio was up 1.56%, while the greater Dow index was up 4.71% (as of January 22, 2019). This statistic, along with the results from fourth quarter 2018 illustrate the portfolio’s reduced volatility.
This week, Durig Capital ventures to the technology sector to review an issuer involved in the design and manufacture of semiconductors. Magnachip Semiconductor (NYSE:MX) has been around for over 30 years and is the largest independent supplier of OLED display drivers to panel makers for smartphones. The company’s latest reported quarterly results (three months ending September 30, 2018) were excellent.
Adjusted EBITDA increased 13% year-over-year.
Gross profits were up 10.8% over the prior year period.
Operating income increased by 17.9% over Q3 2017.
Revenues were up 16.6% year-over-year and were at the highest levels since Q4 2012.
Interest coverage over 3x for the third quarter.
This week, Durig Capital takes a look at a leading marine transportation company. Teekay Corporation provides marine transportation, storage, and vessel leasing for the oil and natural gas industry. The company’s third quarter saw increases in its subsidiaries revenues over second quarter. Here are some highlights from its third quarter results.
Teekay Tankers nearly doubled its quarterly revenues from the prior year period.
Teekay Corporation recorded adjusted cash flow from vessel operations of $19.8 million as compared to $1.2 million a year earlier.
Teekay LNG revenues increased to $123.3 million as compared to $104.3 million a year earlier.
This week, Durig Capital reviews a bond from an issuer that was snapped up a few years ago by one of the most enigmatic figures in corporate America. In late 2016, SolarCity was acquired by Elon Musk’s company, Tesla. The acquisition made sense- combine the maker of electric cars and energy storage with a company that produces solar panels that produce energy (seemingly to ultimately charge Tesla’s vehicles). Tesla has since integrated SolarCity’s products into the Tesla portfolio. Tesla’s most recent reported quarter (Q3 2018) was truly historical.
Free cash flow of $881 million.
Operating income of $417 million
Cash flow from operations of $1.4 billion.
Interest coverage in Q3 of 2.4x.