Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Adding another name to my Private income ETF

I am in the continuous process of creating my own ETF to create income from dividend stocks.  In this personal ETF I use covered call options.

  • Dividend Machine stocks are essential when building a stock income portfolio
  • Dividend growth at a reasonable price is required for a stock income portfolio to keep up with inflation
  • Solid fundamentals allow you to sleep at night when the market gets volatile on the downside
  • Call income can add as much as 25% to the income stream
Last week I wrote up a post about Prudential.  This week I am adding UPS, United Parcel Service.
I always start with fundamentals and then I look to see if covered call options are available.

You cannot expect every stock you pick for your portfolio to be a winner. To use a sports analogy, some stocks will deliver home runs and others will allow you to bat for average; and some will just be another strike out.

Look at the portfolios I built between 2011 and 2018 and you will see evidence that using solid criteria to pick stocks that I call Dividend Machines will produce a solid portfolio with some home runs, lots of batting for average and yes a few real strike outs.  

The second stock I am adding for 202 is UPS.   Let's look at UPS's fundamental performance over the past 11 quarters (data from


Fiscal Quarter
 UPS (Fiscal Year) (Fiscal Year) (Fiscal Year)
   Revenue $17,160(m) $17,113(m) $15,510(m)
   EPS 1.28 (3/31/2019) 1.55 (3/31/2018) 1.33 (3/31/2017)
   Dividends 0.96 0.91 0.83
   Revenue $18,048(m) $17,456(m) $15,927(m)
   EPS 1.94 (6/30/2019) 1.7 (6/30/2018) 1.58 (6/30/2017)
   Dividends 0.96 0.91 0.83
   Revenue $18,318(m) $17,444(m) $16,173(m)
   EPS 2.01 (9/30/2019) 1.74 (9/30/2018) 1.44 (9/30/2017)
   Dividends 0.96 0.91 0.83
December  (FYE)
   Revenue $19,848(m) $18,975(m)
   EPS 0.52 (12/31/2018) 1.26 (12/31/2017)
   Dividends 0.91 0.91
   Revenue $53,526(m) $71,861(m) $66,585(m)
   EPS 5.23 5.51 5.61
   Dividends 2.88 3.64 3.4

Dividend payout is less than earnings, revenues are growing which fuels dividends.   UPS allots some of  that growth to us, the investor, by increasing the dividend over time.  And now the yield is within my range at over 3%.  Moreover, their balance sheet has improved over recent quarters.

I use debt to equity ratio (D/E ratio) when I write up posts about my stocks.  D/E ratio is a measure of balance sheet strength.  Many other investors use different measures and I applaud any investor who can delve more thoroughly into the balance sheet to determine balance sheet strength.

The chart  below presents UPS's debt to equity and free cash flow on a quarterly basis.  Debt to equity has gone down significantly over the past four years and that is good.   Free cash flow is greater than debt to equity and that too is good.   However, UPS's D/E ratio is quite high.  With that in mind you may want to be more careful with this stock

The table below is a nice summary of UPS's Dividend Machine fundamentals.

UPS Earnings Dividend
 Earnings > Dividend $5.14 $3.84
 Debt to Equity 4.76
 Dividend Yield 3.62%
 3 Yr. Rev. Growth 6.41%

Notice the revenue growth in the table above.  Then look back up at dividend growth in first table and we can see a stock that delivers for the income investor.

When a stock, even a relative value stock like UPS, has growth potential, you can sometimes see that in their call option premiums.   UPS does not command premiums like Nvidia but it does have some option activity to work with for the purpose of our personal income ETF.


Here is a call I sold today on half of the shares I added today.  I didn't sell this call because UPS is going to be a growth machine like Nvidia.  I sold the call to boost my income by at least 25%.

UPS $106.65 4/17/2020
Cost Basis:   2/19/2020 $106.17
Strike Price: $110.00
Call Premium:  $1.52
Dividend  2/24/2020 $1.010
Call Yield on Basis 1.43%
Call + Dividend Yield on Basis 2.38%
$ Gain if Assigned $6.36
Max Return  if Assigned 5.99%

The call doesn't look that impressive until you analyze it from an income viewpoint.   By selling this call with an expiration under 2 months, I have  added income greater than a quarterly dividend.  The next dividend will be $1.01 and the premium I received today was $1.52.

UPS goes ex-dividend on February 24 and to get both the dividend and the call premium you have to own the stock by 2/24 and sell the call by 2/24.  You can buy it on the 24th at least at Schwab.

Selling the call on half the position allows me to keep upward potential if the stock goes higher by not risking losing half the shares.   On the other half of the shares, this strategy gives me a chance to book a quick nearly 6% gain in fewer than 60 days.  And if I get to keep both lots, I have good dividend yield with 25% more income than I would have by not selling the call.


Regarding the industry.  Amazon has impacted Fed Ex (FDX) more than UPS.  I fell comfortable with the revenue growth and dividend growth and the fact they are tackling the debt issue.

Good Income Investing:

M* MoneyMadam

Use this calculator (or click on the call options at the top of this blog) to calculate how a covered call will work for you.


Enter Cost Basis:
Enter Strike Price:
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Enter Dividend if ex-div before Option Expiration:
Call Yield
Total Return Percent if Assigned