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Drive this Stock to 40% Gains while Increasing Dividends Each Quarter

Income investors should look at this stock for a growing dividend, increasing earnings per share and a 40% potential upside in stock price.  The Company has increased dividends for 11 straight quarters, increased EPS 21% in latest quarter and trades at a current price to sales ratio of 0.27.

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG), an international transportation services company, announced the highest third quarter and nine months income from continuing operations and related earnings per share in company history.   For the third quarter 2013, income from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders increased 21.0% to $66.0 million and related earnings per share increased 21.7% to $0.73 per share when compared to adjusted figures for the same period last year of $0.14 per share.

The big auto retailer logged a 12% jump in 3Q same-store sales, outpacing larger rival AutoNation (AN), and service-and-parts margins also rose strongly.  But average profit/car sold was essentially flat from a year ago for both new and used vehicles. Nonetheless, Sterne Agee says, “PAG’s luxury and import portfolio, concentration in the UK market (34% of revenue) and the company’s ability to improve cost accounted for the better-than-expected financial performance. We expect the positive trends to continue in 2014.”

On October 23, 2013 Penske increased its dividend by 6.3%.  Commenting on the dividend, Penske Automotive Group

President Robert H. Kurnick, Jr., said, “Our Board of Directors is pleased to offer our shareholders a 6.3% increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.17, demonstrating the continued confidence we have in the strength of the auto retail marketplace and in our ability to continue growing our business.”

Penske has increased dividend s for 11 straight quarters as the dividend paid in Q2 2011 was $0.07 per share.  Today (Q4 2013), the Company is paying $0.17 per share for this quarter.  This is an increase of 143% over a little more than 2 years.  Penske has a 5-year average annual dividend growth rate of 13%. The Company has a current dividend yield of 1.5%.

Penske is projected to have earnings of $2.73 per share in calendar year 2013.  The Company is projected to grow earnings by 15% to $3.15 in 2014.  Carmike is projected to increase EPS by another 10% to $3.45 in 2015.

The stock has an equity summary score of 7.9 out of 10 for a BULLISH outlook.  Thomson Reuters consensus has a buy rating of 2.3 on the stock.  Penske Auto Group (NYSE: PAG) has a 12-month price target of $63.00 which is an increase of 40% from the current trading level.

Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is an international transportation services company, operating retail automotive dealerships, Hertz car rental franchises and commercial vehicle distribution. The company currently operates principally in the United States, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, employs approximately 17,000 people worldwide and is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 2000.

This Lodging Stock is a Stable Growth and Income Play

RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ) is a self-advised, publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on acquiring premium-branded, focused-service and compact full-service hotels.  The Company’s portfolio consists of 145 hotels in 21 states and theDistrict of Columbia, with a total of more than 21,600 rooms.  RLJ is a great growth and income stock as it is projected to increase EPS by 19% in 2013 while paying a steady 3.6% dividend yield.

The Company recently announced that it acquired the historicHumble Oil Buildingcomplex in downtownHouston, for a purchase price of$79.5 million, or approximately$151,000per key based on a combined forward room count of 528 keys.

The Humble Oil Buildingis a three-tower complex that occupies an entire city block in downtownHouston. The complex consists of an 82-unit apartment tower that will be converted to a 166-room SpringHill Suites and two existing hotels, the existing 191-roomCourtyard Houston Downtown Convention Center(“the Courtyard”) and the 171-roomResidence Inn Houston Downtown Convention Center(“the Residence Inn”). The purchase price represents a forward capitalization rate of approximately 10.1% for the Courtyard and 9.5% for theResidence Innbased on each hotel’s projected 2013 net operating income and applicable purchase price allocation. The Company purchased this portfolio of assets with its revolving credit facility.

“Our ability to execute this off-market transaction required the expertise, experience, and relationships that are unique to RLJ,” commentedThomas J. Baltimore, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer. “Acquiring theHumble Oil Buildingcomplex represents a value-add opportunity. Both existing hotels have notable upside potential and our extensive experience managing complex renovations will enable us to deliver another conversion property that will help drive economies of scale.”

Adjusted FFO for the three months ended December 31, 2012, increased $13.4 million to $50.7 million, representing a 35.9% increase over the comparable period in 2011. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, Adjusted FFO increased $43.5 million to $185.6 million, representing a 30.6% increase over the comparable period in 2011. Adjusted FFO per diluted share and unit for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012, was $0.48 and $1.74, respectively, based on the Company’s diluted weighted-average shares and units outstanding of 106.8 million and 106.6 million for each period, respectively.

Net income attributable to common shareholders for the three months ended December 31, 2012, was $13.7 million, compared to a loss of $1.3 million in the comparable period in 2011. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, net income attributable to common shareholders was$41.3 million, compared to$11.3 million for the comparable period in 2011.

First Call consensus has the company producing $2.08 in EPS in 2013 which is a 19% increase from the prior year.  EPS are projected to be $2.34 in 2014 which is a nice 12% increase from 2013.  First Call Analyst currently have a buy rating with a 2.0 rating.  RLJ has an equity summary score of 7.2 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  The stock is currently trading near $22.50, 10.8 times 2013 EPS and 9.6 times 2014 EPS.

This New Monthly Dividend Payer is an Undervalued Growth and Income Play

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC (NYSE: VNR) is a publicly traded limited liability company focused on the acquisition, production and development of oil and natural gas properties. Vanguard has significant growth and income potential while also being undervalued at its current stock price.

Vanguard trades at a PE of 7.4 compared to an industry PE average of 14. The Company increased earnings 88% and revenues 35% last quarter compared to the same quarter one year earlier.  Vanguard is projected to grow EPS by 36% next year.  Vanguard has increased cash flow 33% in the last 5 years compared to 12% for the industry.

Vanguard reported consolidated earnings and operations results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2012.  For the quarter, the company reported total revenues of $151,915,000 against $112,509,000 a year ago. Income from operations was $102,301,000 against $61,088,000 a year ago. Net income attributable to the company unit holders was $103,447,000 against $31,799,000 a year ago.

Vanguard announced a public offering of an additional $200 million aggregate principal amount of their 7.875% senior unsecured notes due 2020 at a public offering price of 7.875%. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay a portion of the outstanding borrowings under its senior secured reserve-based credit facility.

Vanguard converted its quarterly dividend to a monthly dividend in July 2012.  The Company is paying 40.20 per month for an annual dividend of $2.40.  This is a current dividend yield of 8.04%.  The Company increased its quarterly dividend 7 straight quarters before converting to a monthly payout.  Vanguard has a 57% dividend payout ratio.

Richard Robert, EVP & CFO, commented, “We have listened to investors and we believe that we are giving them what they want. A monthly distribution should allow investors to better manage their finances by matching their monthly cash outflows with monthly cash inflows. In addition, a monthly distribution will allow us to reward our investors in a timelier manner as we make accretive acquisitions in the future. We believe the decision to pay distributions monthly rather than quarterly will be welcomed by both our current Vanguard unit holders as well as other potential investors looking to invest in high yielding energy securities.”

First Call analysts have a BUY recommendation with a 1.8 stock rating.  The stock has an equity summary score of 7.2 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  Vanguard has a 12 month price target of 33.

Monthly Income from a Covered Call Closed-End Fund

For monthly income investors, the BlackRock Enhanced Capital and Income CEF (CII) offers an investment option for both growth and income.  CII trades at a 10% discount to its NAV.  The dividend yield is 11.47% which is inline with other CEFs in this category.  CII’s previous closing price was $12.59 and has a superior rating by Morningstar.

The fund invests in large-cap value stocks and includes a call option writing overlay (on individual holdings and the S&P 500 Index). Individual holdings are picked based on strong competitive performance, a good balance sheet, excess cash flow, low debt payments, and management with proven ability to effectively manage though various market cycles. Stocks must meet multiple valuation criteria, including low price earnings ratio, low price/book ratio, high dividend yield, and high return on equity. Analysts and managers like companies that are currently out of favor and that they believe have future growth potential.

Over the latest three-year annualized period, the fund gained more than 4%, beating the the S&P 500 Value Index, which lost 2%.  During the first year and a half using the new strategy (the second half of 2007 and 2008), the fund struggled and underperformed the peer group and the index, but performance improved markedly in 2009 as the new management team took over. Strong performance continues:  The fund is up 7% over the past year and down 1.7% for the year to date while peers are up 2.5% over the past year and down 4.6% for the year to date.

Following June’s distribution reduction, the 11% distribution rate is on par with peers. The fund has used destructive return of capital in two of its seven fiscal years: In 2008, almost half was from destructive return of capital, but in 2010, it was less than 10%. The recent 25% reduction is a positive sign, but investors should question whether an equity strategy can earn 11% in this market. If the call strategy is successful and stock picks continue to be profitable, it’s possible.    The fund offers a standard distribution reinvestment program. If the fund is trading at a premium (including brokerage commissions), then the dividend amount is invested in to newly issued shares.

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