Today’s purchase: Franklin Resources

Anyone else a sucker for a good ol’ special dividend? Those of you who’ve been keeping tabs on my march know I can’t get enough regular dividends … let alone special ones. I don’t necessarily seek them out – a reader actually gave me the heads-up on the upcoming special payment from Franklin Resources I’m about to dive into – but when I get wind of them I most certainly take a closer look.

Franklin Resources

Franklin Resources (BEN) announced its $3 special dividend back in February and, well, I’ve scooped up three shares since. Today’s purchase – one share for $38.24 – bumped my position to four at an average cost of $39.73. The company now makes up 0.83% of my portfolio.

I’m still the furthest thing from an intelligent investor at this point, so I always feel as though there’s something I’m missing. It’s kinda the situation I’m in right now.

The company isn’t having the best stretch it’s ever had, so a part of me is saying the special dividend is just a ploy to get dumb money like mine into a struggling stock. The good people at Franklin Resources, though, say that’s not the case at all. Here’s a quote from Greg Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Franklin Resources, Inc.

Given our strong balance sheet and projected financial performance, we believe it is appropriate to return capital in the form of a special cash dividend to our stockholders. This dividend is consistent with our long-term capital management policies and our commitment to our stockholders.  We will continue to prudently invest in our business, actively pursue strategic and accretive acquisitions, buyback our stock when it makes economic s2ense, and distribute the rewards of those investments to our stockholders over time.

After reading that, I just told the part of me that was hesitant to buy to pipe down and pull the trigger. If the Chairman and CEO of the company says things are good, who am I to argue?

Just for fun, though, let’s forget for a second Franklin Resources is paying the $3/share special dividend (payable April 12 to shareholders of record at the end of business March 29). Forgot about it? Good. Now, BEN is trading just $1 or so above its 52-week low. It looks like there’s good reason for that, too. Its P/E ratio is a bit frothy for my liking (32.11), its EPS ($1.19) could be a bit higher and revenues, well, they’ve been headed in the wrong direction.

All that said, we’re talking about Franklin Resources, a company that’s been managing money for a long, long time. I’m sure it’ll be able to turn those numbers around. Would I buy right now if it wasn’t for the special dividend? I don’t know. With the added incentive, though, I’m in.

I also earned a pair of dividends today …

GameStop

Yeah, I own a share of GameStop (GME) … and it paid me a $0.38 dividend. I haven’t sold the share because, after the drop, it has a divi yield of better than 10%. It’s not like I have a monster position or anything. What’s the risk? At worst I lose the last $14 or so of equity. At best, the company hangs in for awhile and I get some capital appreciation while collecting a juicy dividend.

UnitedHealth

UnitedHealth (UNH) has been a tremendous stock for me. My one share earned me a $0.75 dividend today, the same payment it yielded each of the last three quarters. It’s also appreciated $62.90 (38.70%) since purchase.

This week’s steps

Today’s dividends, my 31st and 32nd of the month, boosted my March total to $39.08 and my 2018 mark to $123.75. I also received $1.38 for my three shares of VFC yesterday.

The purchase of BEN, meanwhile, coupled with yesterday’s purchase of CVS, adds a cool $2.92 to my forward annual dividend income.

Last week’s steps

Friday’s dividend from Duke Energy, coupled with Thursday’s $5.62Tuesday’s $1.84 and the combined $11.08 from Monday, brought my weekly total to $19.43.

I also made a small purchase Wednesday, picking up a share of CVS.

March on!

 

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