Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Stocks Go Down, but Companies Keep Going

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Last week, the real-money Inflation-Protected Income Growth portfolio dropped a bit more than $400, giving up much of the gains it had picked up during the prior week. Still, ending the week with a value of $34,505.64 puts it up around 15% since it was launched in December, which is not a bad return for a bit less than six months of investing.

In light of that drop, it's important to remember that the portfolio's main focus isn't the weekly fluctuations of its holdings. Instead, what matters most to the iPIG portfolio is the payment and growth of the dividends produced by the companies it partially owns. And on that front, the news was decidedly better.

What's working well with dividends?
The highlight of last week was Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN  ) paying out its $0.28-per-share dividend, which was an $0.08 increase over its previous dividend -- and a raise after only two quarters. The semiconductor giant has been under siege lately as it shuts down its mobile business because of increased competition. That increase was a welcome reminder that the company's business lines extend far beyond just the hot technology gadgets of the day and that its core operations still remain solid.

On a similar note, this week, the iPIG portfolio expects to receive its ordinary quarterly dividend from package delivery powerhouse United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS  ) . UPS took a large charge for its pension fund back in December that knocked its earnings into the red and tripped up its otherwise solid balance sheet. The continued dividend -- which looks like it should be fully covered by operating cash flows -- showcases just how much stronger the underlying business is than its trailing net income would indicate.

Likewise, CSX  (NYSE: CSX  ) and Union Pacific  (NYSE: UNP  ) , the two railroads in the iPIG portfolio, are both expected to go ex-dividend this week as their businesses keep rolling along. CSX's $0.15-per-share dividend is a 7% increase from what it paid last quarter, while Union Pacific's dividend is its third quarterly payment at that level.

Additionally, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) kept on cooking up cash last week, with its board of directors declaring a $0.77-per-share dividend on Wednesday. That dividend, the company's third consecutive payment at that level, is a solid reminder that the company is still making good money. That tangible reminder is especially important given the weak same-store sales the company has been reporting recently.

McDonald's dividend strength in spite of that near-term weakness showcases one of the benefits of the iPIG portfolio's methodology. At some point, either McDonald's will turn around its slumping same-store sales or its dividend or balance sheet metrics will show up as problematic. If it pulls up from the slump, as a shareholder, the iPIG portfolio should benefit. If the weakness continues indefinitely, declining dividend or balance sheet metrics may very well indicate a reason to sell, before it becomes a crisis.

All told, in spite of the loss in market value, it was a reasonable week for this real-money portfolio.

For more Foolish dividends
If you're looking to own shares in companies that reliably pay you to own them, The Motley Fool has compiled a special free report outlining our nine top dependable dividend-paying stocks. It's called "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks." You can access your copy today at no cost! Just click here.

iPIG portfolio snapshot as of May 24, 2013


Purchase Date

No. of Shares

Total Investment (including commissions)

Current Value

United Technologies





Teva Pharmaceutical





J.M. Smucker





Genuine Parts





Mine Safety Appliances















NV Energy





United Parcel Service










Texas Instruments





Union Pacific















Becton, Dickinson










Air Products & Chemicals










Emerson Electric








Total Portfolio



Data from the iPIG portfolio's brokerage account, as of May 24, 2013.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2454370, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/28/2015 8:17:31 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Chuck Saletta

Chuck Saletta has been a regular Fool contributor since 2004. His investing style has been inspired by Benjamin Graham's Value Investing strategy. Chuck also can be found on the "Inside Value" discussion boards as a Home Fool.

Today's Market

updated 13 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 1.24 0.06%
NASD 5,127.53 11.38 0.22%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

11/27/2015 1:02 PM
CSX $28.99 Up +0.16 +0.55%
CSX CAPS Rating: ****
MCD $114.23 Up +0.72 +0.63%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***
TXN $57.55 Up +0.28 +0.49%
Texas Instruments,… CAPS Rating: ****
UNP $84.50 Down -0.13 -0.15%
Union Pacific Corp CAPS Rating: *****
UPS $104.18 Up +0.69 +0.67%
United Parcel Serv… CAPS Rating: ****