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Questions of the Week: AGL, Costa Group and bank dividends

Question 1. For research purposes when looking to buy shares, where’s the best site or place to find the main measurements for the listed companies that might be on my buy list?
I’d like to get at least the following and for it be for current and historical data:

Paul’s answer: Any of the broker sites such as CommSec or Nabtrade should be OK. It is usually sourced from the same provider (which tends to be Morningstar). This is generally historic data. If you want forecasts, you may need to subscribe to a service such as FN Arena. Some of the broker sites now publish forecasts but this is often limited to a very narrow subset of analysts.

Question 2. We’re retired and in receipt of the aged pension. I feel that my holding in AGL has run its race and while it’s fairly well priced, I may sell and replace with Aristocrat. What are your thought?

Paul’s answer: AGL and Aristocrat Leisure are two very different stocks in two very different industries. The former is trading on a multiple of 13.9 times FY19 earnings, the latter 18.6 times. AGL is yielding 5.2%, whilst Aristocrat is forecast to yield 2.2%. Apples and oranges. If I had a preference (for my financial situation and objectives), I’d probably nominate Aristocrat.

Question 3. What are your thoughts on Costa Group (CGC)? Is it a hold or sell? I’m a big believer in agricultural stocks for the future and also the China theme. CGC also having a stake in fruit farms in China possibly gives it a foot in the door as far as trade goes? Looking forward to your opinion.

Paul’s answer: I’m a bit lukewarm on the stock. It seems that it has fallen out of favour with the market after its profit warning. This came after a substantial run-up and quite a bit of hype. Sometimes when this happens, the market is very slow to forgive.

Costa is due to report on 27 February. As for the brokers, they still like the stock (3 buys, 2 neutrals according to FN Arena), but the target price of $5.64 is a small 4.7% premium to the last price.

Question 4. There is a considerable likelihood right now that imputation credits earned in an SMSF in pension phase after June 30 will be lost. It is annoying that three of the banks pay their next dividends in the first week of July! Is there any way of encouraging those banks to pull forward into the last week of June this year for the benefit of some of their shareholders?

Paul’s answer: If the three major banks (ANZ, NAB and Westpac) are thinking about their shareholders, they’ll seriously consider advancing the timing of the dividend payment from July to June. I doubt they’ll announce anything in this regard until they declare the dividend, which won’t be until May. What can be done? Well, make some noise. Beat the drum. Write to each of the Directors reminding them about their obligation to act in the best interest of shareholders. Clearly, this would qualify.

Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regard to your circumstances.