Penske Automotive Group Increases Quarterly Dividend 3.6%.

Automobile retailer Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG) announced a U.S. 1 cent increase in its quarterly dividend to U.S. 29 cents per share today. Today’s dividend increase follows similar increases announced in January, May, and July of this year, and amounts to a total increase over the final quarterly 2015 dividend of an impressive 16%.

You can read the announcement here:


Don’t You Just Love Stock Splits :)

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (NYSE: CHD), my favorite consumer goods company, just split its stock two for one on September 2…its fourth stock split since 1999. has a pretty good write-up on how CHD has done after splits were factored in.




Nice…Church & Dwight joining S&P 500 Index

Shares of Church & Dwight (CHD) jumped 1.4% yesterday on news that it was going to be joining the prestigious S&P 500 Index after Intel’s acquisition of chip maker Altera Corp. closes, which is expected to be after the close of trading on December 28th. The celebratory mood continued today with CHD jumping a further 1.7%!

This inclusion should see higher demand for the Company’s shares in the near term as managers of index products, and both retail and other institutional investors react to the announcement.

The Management and staff of CHD must be commended on such a great achievement…I believe this is just one of many more good things to come from the Company.

Watching: Alimentation Couche-Tard

Quebec-based convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard  (TSX: ATD.A, ATD.B) continues its consolidation drive with the recent acquisition of Irish convenience store and gas bar chain Topaz.

While I am generally not a fan of growth by acquisition, I must admit I am impressed with what Couche-Tard management has done while it consolidates what it says is an extremely fragmented industry (i.e. local convenience stores). The Company has managed to integrate most if not all of its acquisitions pretty smoothly and maintain financial discipline both in buying and controlling / paying down debt levels once deals are done.

Key to the Company’s strategy when acquiring convenience store networks is implementing best-in-class processes, improved controls, and a greater selection of private label and prepared food offerings…all of which tend to lead to both higher top and bottom lines.

Couche-Tard shares are currently changing hands at more than 30 times TTM earnings, a trailing yield of about 20bps, and have rallied about 30% YTD.

What do you think…do you like Couche-Tard for the (very) long-haul at these levels? I would rather wait for a pullback.