|Trimmed position in Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)|
Occasionally though it comes time to sell some shares and close a position. Sometimes that decision is due to valuation, concerns about the company or just portfolio allocation.
There haven't been too many sales within my portfolio and just glancing at the post labels gives you a hint of the relationship. There's over 130 Recent Buy articles, but this is only the 11th Recent Sell article. So, it's pretty obvious that I prefer to make purchases, but sometimes there's other factors at play and a sale is necessary.
Let's look at the transactions and returns first and then I'll discuss the reasoning behind the sale.
Transactions & Returns
On Thursday, October 20th I made the decision to sell 23 shares of my 69.069 share position in Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). I sold the 23 shares for $80.9352 per share which netted me $1,853.51 after commission and fees.
I'm going to look at the returns a little differently than normal since I only trimmed the position rather than close it completely. All 22 shares that were sold were purchased in August 2012 at a total cost basis of $1,039.47.
|Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) Returns|
After trimming my position by ~1/3 I know own just 46.069 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance. The returns are a bit murkier when looking at my entire position in Walgreens Boots Alliance. There's been 2 purchases, 5 reinvested dividends, 12 cash dividend payments and now a sale. To figure out how the position as a whole stacks up we can calculate an internal rate of return.
Reason for the Sale
You might be wondering why I would sell shares of a company that's done well for me. Well, sometimes I ask myself that same question. Walgreens Boots Alliance is a Dividend Champion with 40 consecutive years of dividend growth that's given me a raise every year that I've owned it. In fact the total organic dividend growth since I first purchased shares has been over 36% although the most recent increase was just 4.1%.
That's all well and good but there were a few reasons that I decided to sell. For one, the share price appreciation has far outpaced the dividend growth pushing the current yield down to just 1.84%. I also want to be a bit more cash heavy than normal to take advantage of really good opportunities if they present themselves.
Plus cash allows me to be more active in the options market where it should be very easy to generate more income via options premium than the dividend yield from Walgreens Boots Alliance.
The valuation on Walgreens Boots Alliance isn't completely out of whack which made this a harder decision. Walgreens Boots Alliance reported 4Q and fiscal year earnings this past week and the GAAP EPS were $3.82 although the adjusted EPS were $4.59. That puts the TTM P/E ratio at 21.4x to 17.8x. They also provided guidance of $4.85 to $5.20 of adjusted 2017 EPS so shares are currently trading at a 15.7x-16.8x forward multiple.
I've changed my tune a bit from the buy and hold and just focus on the dividend from earlier in my dividend growth investing "career" although that still remains the core of my investment philosophy. However, at this stage of the game with nearly $200k in my taxable accounts I also understand the value of taking profits every now and then.
There's plenty of stories of investors getting out of companies to lock in a gain only to see the company continue on doing wonderful things and compounding wealth at absurd rates. While I still think the Walgreens Boots Alliance business model should do well over time I felt it was time to reap some of the rewards from the investment I sowed a little over 4 years ago. So I trimmed my position by around 1/3 at an absolutely wonderful return.
Effects on my Dividend Stream
Since Walgreens Boots Alliance is a Dividend Champion and I just sold some shares I unfortunately no longer get to receive payments on those shares. My forward 12-month dividends were reduced by $34.50 which in the bigger picture isn't that bad since I desire a larger cash position.
However, since the dividend yield was relatively low at just 1.84% that should be an easy hurdle to boost my cash flow via the options market or through an outright purchase of a company. Just for some perspective an investment offering a 3.68% yield would double my annual cash flow.
My FI Portfolio's forward 12-month dividends declined to $5,392.95. My Loyal3 Portfolio's dividends are still at $65.40 which brings my total taxable account forward dividends to $5,458.35. My Roth IRA's forward 12-month dividends stayed the same at $241.45
Do you own Walgreens Boots Alliance? Have you taken profits on an investment to make sure you lock in some gains or do you just let it ride?
Please share your thoughts below.
Image provided by renjith krishnan via FreeDigitalPhotos