Friday, June 27, 2014

Bought General Mills, Inc (NYSE: GIS)

Being patient and having some extra cash in my RRSP paid off on Wednesday as I was able to initiate a position in General Mills, Inc. When General Mills missed the consensus Q4 EPS estimate of $0.72, and reported EPS of a mere $0.67, the stock tumbled over 4%, and I was able to initiate a position in this great company that has been on my watch list for over a year. Here are a few reasons why this stock has been on my watch list:

- Dividend yield of 3.2% at purchase, well supported given the payout ratio of 54% (slightly above historical norm of ~50%).
- An impressive history of dividend growth over the last five years (averaging annual growth of 14%) and 24% over the last year.
- Reasonably priced at a P/E of 18X at cost.
- Strong balance sheet reflected in credit ratings of BBB+/Stable and A3/Stable.
- International sales account for about 30% of total sales, which enhances diversification of my portfolio.

My purchase of General Mills also allowed me to reach my forward dividend income goal that I had set for December 2014. With six months still to go, I'll have to re-set this goal, and figure out what it is I'd like to accomplish during the rest of the year.

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