Dividends don't lie revisited: two new ingredients for the pot but RPS is removed

It is still early days for the Dividends Don't Lie experiment but already one is heading for the exit and two more are asking to be let in.

New pound coin
Sound as a pound

Back in February, we ran a stock screen on UK stocks using some of the edicts of investment guru Geraldine Weiss, and now it is time to check on their progress.

The filter generated four candidates: Mitie Group PLC (LON:MTO), Aberdeen Asset Management PLC (LON:ADN), RPS Group PLC (LON:RPS) and Unite Group PLC (LON:UTG).

Mitie Group

The outsourcing specialist was rejected on the grounds of serious concerns about the future of the dividend.

Since then, the shares have risen from 197p to 215p, so rejecting it may have been a mistake, but we are playing the long game here.

The company cut its dividend at the half-year stage from 5.4p to 4.0p, and the suspicion must be that it will cut again when the full year results are announced on 24 May.

Aberdeen Asset Management

The fund manager has been doing all right since February, rising from 269p to 281p.

No new news has emerged since I wrote towards the end of February “this is one for fans of the Weiss method to keep a careful eye on.”

It remains one to follow.

RPS Group

RPS is a consultancy group that does a lot of work for the oil & gas sector (among others). Its fortunes waned when the oil price collapsed, with the shares tumbling from around 345p at the beginning of 2014 to 237p at the end of 2015, but by the time we earmarked it for the 'Dividends Don't Lie' portfolio, it had recovered to 251p.

It is now trading at 258p, so it has not been a roaring success so far, but neither has it been a disaster.

Results in early March showed underlying profits ebbed to £50.7mln from £51.8mln the year before. The dividend was held at 9.74p, when it was tipped to rise to 9.81p.

In terms of still fitting the edicts of the Geraldine Weiss stock selection method, this one has fallen off the radar, and no longer fits the bill.

Unite Group

The student accommodation management and development firm UNITE does still fit the bill.

When we ran the screen towards the end of February, it was trading at 631p, and has since risen to 649p.

In March it did one acquisition and one disposal suggesting business as usual.

New ingredients for the pot

While catching up on the previous selections I re-ran the filter to see whether new candidates were generated, and it came up with two stocks: auxiliary power generation specialist Aggreko PLC (LON:AGK) and cyber-security outfit NCC Group PLC (LON:NCC).

Both have been through some hard times of late but are worth looking at, which we will do in the near future.



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