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HFC pays 8th Special Dividend and Boosts Regular Dividend by 50%

Investors looking for a regular helping of special dividends should consider HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE: HFC). The company just announced its 8th special dividend since August 2011.  In addition, HFC just juiced its regular dividend by 50%.

Subscribers to my Get Rich Monthly Income Plan received $31.00 per share in dividends in 2012 with a yield on cost of 12.5% in one year.  In addition, subscribers received $1,690 in call premiums on each 100 shares of HFC stock in 2012.  The covered call premiums accounts for a yield of 68% as subscribers utilized a special income technique called the perpetual covered call.  In total, Monthly income Plan subscribers booked a total return of 219% on HFC in 2012 alone!

HollyFrontier Corporation (HFC) announced today that its Board of Directors approved a 50% increase in the Company’s regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.30 per share from the current rate of $0.20 per share. This is the fifth increase in the regular dividend since the merger in July of 2011, representing a total increase of 300%. The regular dividend will be paid on April 2, 2013 to holders of record of common stock on March 15, 2013.

The Company also announced today a special cash dividend in the amount of $0.50 per share. The special dividend will be paid on March 19, 2013 to holders of record of common stock on March 5, 2013. This is the 8th special dividend declared by HollyFrontier since August 2011.

HFC’s stock price is up 70% in the past year but still trades at a low PE of 7.5 which is a 60% discount to the industry average PE ratio.  HFC has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Mike Jennings, CEO and President of HollyFrontier, said, “Our Board of Directors remains committed to delivering value to our shareholders through both a growing regular dividend as well as special dividends. After today’s 50% dividend increase, our current regular dividend yield is 2.2%, and our trailing twelve month cash dividend yield stands at 6.1% relative to today’s closing price of $53.72. Including today’s announcement, HollyFrontier has returned almost $1.3 billion in capital to shareholders through regular dividends, special dividends and buybacks since the July 2011 merger.”

Perpetual Covered Call Year End Results

For the year 2012, we had some impressive investment returns.  The Monthly Income Perpetual Covered Call Portfolio easily surpassed both the S&P 500 and PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite Portfolio (PBP).  The table below displays the investment returns for each of the Perpetual Covered Call positions.  The average monthly return was 6.2%!  We had exceptional returns on HFC, CVS and JCI (see table).

Get Rich Investments - Perpetual Covered Call Trades

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In January, we kicked off the perpetual covered call strategy. We have started adding new perpetual covered call trades each month to keep the trades fresh with market conditions and opportunities.  For those who are new to this concept, let me share the rationale of this income investment. This strategy was created to produce monthly income with stock dividends and covered call premium.  In addition, there is a protective, blanket put, to ensure the volatility in the market does not affect your return of capital.

August 2012 Monthly Income Plan Update

As we approach the end of the August option expiration cycle, the Get Rich Monthly Income Plan had a great month for investors.

In January, we kicked off the perpetual covered call strategy. For those who are new to this concept, let me share the rationale of this income investment. This strategy was created to produce monthly income with stock dividends and covered call premium.  In addition, there is a protective, blanket put, to ensure the volatility in the market does not affect your return of capital.  We will follow the progress of the perpetual covered calls each month throughout 2012 and I will email premium members with trading directions when an action is required.  Here are some of the results for 2012:

Perpetual Covered Call Returns:

Stock 1 – Oil Company has a YTD total return of 96.1% including dividends and special dividends.

Stock 2 – Drug Store Company with a YTD total return of 36.4% including dividends.

Stock 3 – Technology Company with a YTD total return of 25% including dividends.

We also provide a list of stocks for monthly covered calls.  Here we change the list each month based on investing in the right stock for monthly income.  For the August option cycle, this was a great month for our Monthly covered call trades.  We made monthly returns of 7.55% on UA, 4.33% on LVS, 4.0% on HP, 3.73% on VIAB and 3.58% on CERN.

We have added the covered put trades as an additional way to sell premium and to enter stock positions.  I frequently sell puts to enter a new stock position because (1) I get the stock at a lower price than it is trading at the market. (2) I get to produce income from the premium I receive when selling the puts.  If the stock is above the put strike price at expiration, I keep the premium and have the opportunity to sell more outs or just purchase the stock cheaper because I have the put premium to cover partial costs.  I have used this technique for several months on the same stock before I get the stock put to me.  This creates enough income to really lower the total cost of the stock.  Then, when the stock is put to me, I sell calls (covered) to earn more income until the stock is called away.  Then – rinse and repeat.

For August options, the covered put trades were great this month as all recommendations were winners.  Returns ranged from 2.2% to 3.93% in one month.

For investors wanting to create monthly income, the Get Rich Monthly Income Plan is right for you.  Click here to learn more.

The Biggest Mistake New Call Writers Make

Covered call trading is not like directional trading which has an objective to time the movement of a stock in the direction it is moving.  Covered writing is a game of regular, incremental returns.  The covered call writer’s objective is to collect the option premium for income without taking any damage to the downside of owning the stock.  The secret to success for the call writer is to make smaller, more consistent returns compared to a advanced option trader who makes many bets waiting for a 50% – 100% winner.  The biggest mistake by new call writers is writing a stock solely to capture the fattest time value premiums.

To improve the chances of being successful, the call writer should focus on stock selection.  The covered call trader should focus on 3% monthly returns.  However, a 15% drawdown on a trade will require 5 months of 3% returns to recoup the loss and get back to even.  This is why the Monthly Income Plan focuses on 5 star stocks signaling high quality stocks.

Why avoid the fattest premiums for a measly 3% monthly return?  The short answer is that high premiums often signal high risk, and writing calls on these options without regard to stock quality will eventually decimate your trading account.  There are two reasons that value premium becomes high enough to offer big returns:

1)   The stock is volatile and implied volatility is in line with the stock, or

2)   Implied volatility (IV) is significantly higher than actual volatility.

Simply, the higher the rate of return, the higher either actual or implied volatility (or both) must be on the options.  If two stocks had volatility of 60% we would expect the option premiums to be roughly comparable.  What if one stock had an IV of 25%?  This indicates a market expectation of less volatility in the future but it also means the investor is not getting paid for the 60% volatility risk he is taking on.  If the other stock had IV of 80% then the investor must determine what is causing the IV to be higher than the 60% actual volatility.  This usually indicates that the market is expecting some new event on the stocks such as news, announcement, earning or more.

If the IV is in line with the stock volatility, then the options are priced fairly so the decision comes down to – do you want to invest in the stock.  The rule is to AVOID stocks with spiking IV and look for a different trade.  To be conservative, look to write calls on stocks with a volatility of 40% or less.  If you are experienced and seek more income, look for stocks with volatility between 40% and 60%.  Anything above 60% I would consider high risk so proceed with caution.  You should at least look at the volatility of the stock before you invest to know what the risk of the trade may be over the coming option period.

Option Selection for Covered Call Writing

Throughout the day, a person makes hundreds of decisions.  Paper or plastic? Double cheeseburger or salad?  Home brewed coffee or Starbucks Brew to Order?  And for option traders, which option to select from a large list of strike prices and expiration dates.

Option selection can be difficult especially for the new option investor.  Do you play a short-term or long-term option?  Do you take risk with OTM options or play it safe with DITM options?  Don’t let the selection process get too complicated for you.  Follow these three questions when making an option selection:

  1. What direction will the underlying stock go in the future?
  2. What are your expectations for the stock?
  3. What is your risk tolerance?

For the first question, don’t just guess where you think the stock will go in the next few months.  Look at the put/call ratio on the open interest tables.  Are there more calls than puts?  This indicates that investors feel the stock will rise.  If there are more puts than calls, then investors feel that the stock is going to decline.  You can use the put/call ratio to help determine the future direction of the stock.

The risk is in selecting the strike price of the option.  You have three choices: ITM, ATM and OTM.  Which one works for your stock?  An ITM has the highest price as it has intrinsic value because the stock price is higher than the option strike price.  This intrinsic value provides a spread for the option, making it less risky.   An ATM is when the stock price and option strike price are very close.  Generally, the price of the option is all time value and it has more premium than an OTM option.  This is the middle ground on the option risk scale.  The OTM option is the riskiest option play.  The option writer gets less premium income and takes on the risk that the stock will move higher to get a better return.  However, when the stock price does rise, OTM options have the greatest return.  You probably have heard about the more risk, higher return trade.

Now, you need to select what time to sell?  The more time the more premium income.  Selecting the right time to sell is up to the option trader.  Regular options are up to nine months and LEAPS are for up to 2 years.  You must decide how much premium you want to receive based on how long you want the trade to be.  For covered calls, most writers select the monthly option and repeat until called away.  However, this should be based on the objective of the covered call writer.

Covered Call Trade on Deere and Company (DE)

This is a covered write on Deere and Company (DE) for the December 2012 expiration.  Deere & Company provides products and services primarily for agriculture and forestry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Agriculture and Turf, Construction and Forestry, and Credit.

OPTION STRATEGY:

Look at the December 72.5 covered call. For each 100 shares of Deere and Co (DE) stock you buy, sell one December 72.5 covered call option for a 70.14 (73.64 – 3.50) debit or better. That’s potentially a 3.36% assigned return in 19 days.   That is a 63.66% anualized gain (comparable purposes only) on this short trade.

TRADE TECHICALS:

The technicals for DE are bullish with a weak upward trend.  The stock is under accumulation with support at 74.06. S&P rates this stock 4 STARS (out of five) – buy.

RESEARCH NOTES:

S&P maintains buy opinion on shares of Deere (DE) .  Oct-Q EPS of$1.62, vs. $1.07, beats our est. by $0.23.  Revenue gain of 20% was in line with our est., on strong equipment demand, but costs were controlled better than we expected.  Most encouraging, in our view, is DE’s equipment outlook, with its guidance of 15% growth in FY 12 (Oct.) equipment sales, well in excess of our prior 10% est.  Our long-term view also stays positive, on growing needs for food and infrastructure.  We raise our FY 12 EPS estimate by$1.00 to $8.60, and initiate FY 13’s at $9.60.  We keep our target price at $99, in line with historical relative metrics.

Support and Resistance levels for the Covered Call Writer

One of the keys to covered call writing success is knowing how to determine support and resistance levels.  A support level is a stock price low that the price has hit and recovered from to advance back up due to more buying than selling of shares.  This is referred to as the trading floor until a stock price breaks below it.  The resistance level is a higher level that the stock price has hit and pulled back due to more selling than buying of shares.  This ceiling acts as resistance that the stock price must break through to advance higher.

The more times the price has hit a support or resistance level, the stronger it is and more difficult to move through it.  The longer it takes for the stock to test
these levels, the stronger they are to break through.  For example, an intraday test is not as strong as a one week test of these levels.  The higher the stock volume at the level, the stronger the level is holding.  For example, if volume is above average and the stock price doesn’t break out then the level will hold and be more difficult to go through.

Most technicians draw the support and resistance levels at the lowest and highest price points on a stock chart.  If stock price reached a certain support or
resistance level multiple times, you can safely disregard a single price spike above or below these levels.

How can the covered call writer use these support and resistance levels.  If a quality stock has successfully tested the support levels, then you know where the price bottom is for that stock.  You can also use the support level to tell you when to react as a break below support requires a new decision on what to do with your covered call – close it, roll out, etc.  The other use of support and resistance for the call writer is to delay entering a new trade when a support or resistance level is being tested.  These price points should be watched closely to see if they hold.  If they do not hold, then be prepared to make
a decision on managing the covered call trade.

How To Manage A Covered Call Portfolio

The option income portfolio approach to selling covered call options seek to do the following:

  • To create options portfolios with the objective of earning consistent returns on investment throughout the stock market cycle;
  • To maximize options premium income, dividend income, capital gains potential and downside protection;
  • To increase long-term capital appreciation and income from stock ownership;
  • To minimize risk and provide diversification.

The option income portfolio is a continuous investment strategy.  Stock should be owned and options sold.  Dividend and option premiums can be earned and capital gains increased.  This is a key step in successful investing.

The more active you are, the greater you potential returns will be.  For example, when a sold call’s market value drops to 10-20% of the call premium received when initially sold – the investor should buy to close the call and then write a new call for more time value and/or at a different strike price.  This makes the covered call strategy more continuous and more profitable.

The experienced covered call investor will not panic when the stock price exceeds their call strike price.  They will buy to close the sold call for a loss and sell a new call at a higher strike price.  The loss will be covered by the additional call premium and the potential capital gain of the increased stock price.  The loss from the initial call buyback is a taxable loss for your income tax statement.  The loss is calculated by subtracting the cost of the buyback from the initial call premium received.  The investor should always keep a running log of these buyback transactions that result in a trading loss for income tax purposes.
Like any losses over the allowable $3,000 in annual investing losses, they can be carried forward.

As an individual investor, you may not have time to manage a covered call portfolio like described above.  This is OK as you can still create a covered call portfolio for monthly income.  As you gain more investing experience, you can move in the direction of being more active in managing your covered call investing.

 

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Covered Call Trade on Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD)

Covered call trade on Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD).
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD) , today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a semi-annual cash dividend of $.25 per share, payable on December 15, 2011 to shareholders of record as of December 1, 2011.
STRATEGY:  Look at the December 2011 42.5 covered call.  For each 100 shares of Expeditors International of Washington Inc (EXPD) stock you buy, sell one December 2011 42.5 call option for a 40.85 (43.65 – 2.80) debit or better. That’s potentially a 4.68% assigned return including the dividend.
TECHNICAL:  The technicals for EXPD are bullish with a weak upward trend.  The stock is under accumulation with support at 45.19.  S&P rates this stock 4 STARS (out of five) – buy.
RISK:   For those seeking downside protection with a blanket put, buy the May 2012 42.5 Put for 4.10.  Sell the put when you exit the covered call trade.
S&P RESEARCH:  S&P reiterates buy opinion on shares of Expeditors International (EXPD) . Q3 EPS is $0.50, vs. $0.44, $0.01 ahead of our estimate and Capital IQ consensus.  However,$0.03 of EPS came from higher non operating income.  Gross revenues were disappointing, but net revenue growth improved on better airfreight margins.  We think EXPD did a good job in a difficult operating environment, and believe it remains well positioned for an eventual improvement in shipping demand.  We cut our ’11 and ’12 EPS forecasts to $1.80 and $1.98from $1.89 and $2.28.  We cut our target price to $60 from $65, 30X our ’12 estimate, in the middle of EXPD’s historical range.
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