Another week has finished and we’re approaching the holiday season very quickly. It was a busy week, but also very productive. The latest podcast is live about Dividend Taxation and I shared with you a new entrant to the Noble 30 in replacement of Sodexo.
Without further ado, enjoy today’s 5 bullet Sunday 👌
5-Bullet Sunday is a weekly blog post with 5 topics that were on my mind this week related to Financial Independence and Dividend Growth Investing or something that just fed my curiosity. An overview of earlier posts can be found here
Unilever NV Unilever PLC
Today marks the end of a 90 year era for Unilever. As per today, the company is a fully British company and no longer partially Dutch.
This is really a unique moment in the company’s history, because in 1929 Lever Brothers (UK) and Margarine Unie (NL) decided to merge into Unilever. The reason why the company still exists today was due to it’s dual listing, because it allowed the company to continue business during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during the 2nd world war.
Unilever Plc was not able to communicate with Unilever NV during those years and Unilever Plc simply kept the company alive.
Fast forward to today: If I understand it well, then the dividend will be paid in British Pounds going forward. I’m not too happy with it, because it means that we as EUR focused investors will get additional currency risk going forward.
NV Shareholders that are registered in NV’s shareholders’ register should be aware that, if they take no action prior to the Cross-Border Merger and receive New PLC Shares in certificated form, they will receive dividends in Pounds Sterling and will encounter formalities when attempting to transfer or otherwise take action in respect of those New PLC Shares in the future that are different from the equivalent formalities for transferring or taking action in respect of shares in a Dutch company
So far the company has been using the dividend in Euros as their dividend growth track which was a nice uninterrupted curve upwards compared to the GBP equivalent.
🌟 Danone is taking it serious
Danone announced this week that it is taking additional measures in their effort to transform in a more localized model.
So far the company has been managed as a typical French company (no offense!): everything directed from the HQ with a strong corporate hierarchy which is referred to in their second bullet.
This week’s announcement also had another message included: the company wants to cut costs by 1 billion Euros by 2023 through a reduction of 20% in overhead.
This is really a lot in Euros, but I was personally surprised that they are also referring to “just” 1500 to 2000 reduction in full-time jobs. Some simple math tells me that this means minimally 500K in costs per employee. Not too shabby I would say!
To be honest, I think that every company needs to do this from time to time, because it’s the proverbial fat-on-the-bones every company needs to get rid of. It’s not like Danone is in a deep crisis right now, so it feels like they’re still doing it out of strength without the need to sell for instance their most valuable assets.
As always, I do feel pity for the people impacted, because I know it will create a lot of anxiety in their families, especially if they are the main providers of income. This is the unfortunate side-effect of a capitalistic system, but we need this to keep companies growing, innovating and ultimately create job opportunities elsewhere.
Danone is in my top 5 largest positions and I’m personally very supportive to these developments. I strongly believe that it will provide stronger agility to adapt to a continuously changing environment. Ultimately it will set the company up for the next leg of earnings growth and subsequently dividend growth.
🌟 Chart of the week
I found the below chart very interesting, because it shows how marketing is influencing us and the media. I still remember when black Friday started to become popular ~10 years ago with the introduction of Amazon in Europe.
Until then Easter Monday was the biggest “special” shopping day in the year, because many people used that day to buy furniture. There wasn’t really anything else out there except for the regular shopping days just before Christmas or the discounts on TV’s just before a major football tournament.
But look at what’s happening now as evidenced in the above chart. We can spend our evenings refreshing Amazon non-stop from October until the end of the year.
There’s never been a better time in history with incentives to get your wallet totally emptied and loaded up into debt with stuff you probably don’t need. I mean, how many electronics and sneakers could you possible need?
So what does this chart below tell me?
That you really don’t need to feel that you’ll be missing out on an opportunity to buy some Christmas presents for your family at a discount. There will be ample opportunities and I would even dare to challenge that continuous discounts are not discounts anymore. Those are just regular prices…
🌟 Recommended Read
This week it’s all about inspiring you with different stocks which might be worth considering for you in your portfolio’s, wherever you come from 🌎.
Rob from Passive Canadian Income wrote a nice article about the top 5 Canadian dividend growth stocks to hold forever. Those are some very interesting stocks and I must confess that I didn’t know all of them. All of them seem to have some pretty decent dividend growth track records. Worth to check it out I would say.
The Dividend Guy wrote an article about his top 3 utility stocks. I don’t own really utility stocks myself except for the Spanish Red Electrica and I could still do with another utility stock in my portfolio. Hence, it was interesting to read what his top 3 picks are.
Passive Income Pursuit wrote an article about the most recent Dividend hike from Aflac. He shares his thoughts about it including some dividend history statistics. I don’t own Aflac, because I own Chubb and Munich Re already, but I’ve found Aflac always very interesting. Check it out if you’re interested.
🌟 Recommended Video
What Zidane could do with a ball, Maradona could do with an orangeMichel Platini
That’s it for the week. I hope that you enjoyed this week’s 5-Bullet Sunday 🙏
As always, have a lovely week ahead!
PS: don’t forget that every comment = 1 Euro to Kiva.
European Dividend Growth Investor